This Sausage, Kale, and Tortellini Soup is so easy to make and can be made in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot!
Another easy slow cooker recipe here for you!
I am going to be honest here, and let you know that kale is not my favorite vegetable. It has something to do with feeding it to my kids as babies. I used to boil fresh kale and then puree it; it smelled horrific. I have since gotten over this, but whenever I eat it, I have to make sure it’s more of a “background” taste. I have also found that it tastes much better raw within a salad, or sautéed with other vegetables (I don’t recommend boiling it, unless it’s for a baby). And in case you’re wondering, kale is a super food to feed your babies! It is a super nutrient rich vegetable packed with vitamins A, C, and K. The best part is that it’s great for brain development containing folate (one of the power B Vitamins also known as folic acid), and even a small amount of Omega 3’s. Adding it to smoothies, salads, or sauces is a great way reap the nutritional benefits.
So now that I put that out there, I used frozen kale in this soup. While living in Germany, fresh kale was only available for about one month out of the year. We became accustomed to eating it Frozen! In this recipe, I added a cup, but you can certainly add more. Please feel free to use your lovely fresh kale in place of frozen.
This soup cooked beautifully in the slow cooker, but did require a few minutes of prep time before hand. I used turkey sausage, and had to cook the sausage prior to dumping it in the pot. I added just a few more simple ingredients, and let this baby cook for 4 hours on low. For any of my “anti-soup for dinner” folks out there, you can adapt this recipe to make it more of a pasta. Simply change the amount of broth to only 1 cup, omit the water, and add in more tortellini (16 oz). Voila!
For a Gluten-Free version, use beans instead of tortellini. I have done this a few times while the husband is away, and liked it even more!
Both of my kids loved this and the husband said it tasted even better the second day. So yes, you will have plenty of leftovers. Enjoy!
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Slow Cooker Sausage, Kale, and Tortellini Soup
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 1 lb turkey sausage or whatever sausage you would like
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes I love the Organic San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 32 oz of chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 8 oz frozen cheese tortellini
- 1 cup kale frozen or fresh
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Fresh basil to serve
For the Slow Cooker:
Cook turkey, onion, and garlic over medium heat in a large saucepan
Place inside slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients (except basil) and stir combine
Cook on low for 4 hours
For the Instant Pot:
Select the saute function on your IP. Once hot, add avocado or olive oil. Toss in chopped onion and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes and add sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, or until sausage is almost cooked. Select cancel.
Now add tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, chicken broth, water, wine, spices, and kale (if frozen, if using fresh add after the pressure cooking). Secure the lid. Select the manual function, and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
Use a quick release. Select cancel. Open lid and add in tortellini (add kale if using fresh kale). Select the saute function, and cook tortellini for 3-4 minutes.
Hi, Amy. I have an aversion to kale. (When I was a kid, my mother boiled it without spices. Yuck!) So, I plan on using fresh spinach instead of kale. No problem, right?
Thanks for the recipe.
Haha!! You can absolutely substitute spinach! Sounds exactly like my aversion to kale 😉 I have since changed my ways a bit, and like it in this soup.
I was making an Italian chicken soup once and didn’t have whatever the greens were that the recipe called for, so I threw in a few chopped collard greens. It sounds crazy, but that soup was delicious, and I’ve used collard greens ever since! They add such a nice touch to the soup.
Can I use smoked sausage? I never use turkey sausage or. could I use regular pork sausage?
Either one works, but ground pork sausage is probably better!
Any suggestions on a substitution for the tortellini? I’d like to avoid pasta if I can 🙂
Yes, try red kidney beans instead. I recommend this for a healthier soup or to those following a Gluten-free diet!
jean karcz says
Can you leave out the wine? Thank you
Yes! I would add in some red wine vinegar for a little tang (maybe 1/4 cup). Just add more broth!
Red or white wine?
Red wine! Sorry, just changed the recipe.
Hi Amy, What type of wine did you use? Thanks! Kaye
Use a dry red wine 🙂
Made this today, trying to cut back on calories so I substituted dark red kidney beans for the tortellini …but then really wanted cheese so I finished it off with some shaved Parmesan …..soooooooo yummmmy
The kale was a little crunchy, I think I’ll do a quick blanch next time I make this
Great!! Glad you enjoyed it!
So I made this tonight and loved it with the exception of one thing…next time
I’ll put the tortalini in at the last
Minute. It got super soggy after 4 hours and the directions only
Call for a couple
Minutes on the bag. Other than that, very good!
Glad you enjoyed it!! And yes, I think everyone’s slow cooker and type of tortellini may be different.
So I opened the yummly webpage to this recipe and it didn’t specify the wine type:/ I assumed white, just now after I added the white wine, I read red wine in your instructions. Should I add red now too? Or???
YOu should be fine with white. I would maybe add in a little red wine vinegar if you have some, but no need to add more red.
Thanks Cheryl! Glad you loved it!
Definitely 5 stars…..tasty, flavourful and filling!
Do you use breakfast sausage or italian sausage? Also, what’s the portion size for the kidney beans?
I use Italian turkey sausage. I would use 2 cups kidney beans or 14 oz can. Hope that helps!
I just wanted to tell you that this recipe is absolutely fabulous. I make it at least once a month and my husband goes crazy for it.it makes several bowls but never lasts long 😉
Awesome! So glad you love it!
Are fresh tortellini OK too?
Sure! I would just wait until the last hour to add it.
Amy, hi…my name is Beverly…I am hoping you can help me.
IV been trying to find out how do a couple things on pinerest… I need to know how to post a board where it appears in a search and how to post a recipe with the picture
Hi Beverly, if you pin from this recipe using the button at the top of the recipe, the picture will show up on your board. Hope that helps.
Can you use quinoa instead of tortellini in this recipe?
Yes, absolutely! I have used quinoa and beans 🙂
Really looking forward to making this. I love kale in soup, and this looks great! I do not like raw cabbage, carrots or kale.
Made this last night and it was great. I used vegetable broth and veggie sausage as my wife is vegetarian. Also, I didn’t have the four hours the recipe called for so I just put it all on the stove and cooked on a low boil for about 45 minutes. Tortellini and kale were both tender – even my kids loved it.
Made this for dinner today. Used mild market pork sausage. I used three cups of kale. I did not have fresh basil so put in a tsp dry as well as a teaspoon of a tuscan seasoning blend with the rest of the ingredients. I cooked the soup 4 hours on low then added the tortellini and cooked it for another hour. The pasta still came out a bit mushy but this soup was good. My husband and I really enjoyed it. Will be on my new soup favorites list.
Yay Michele! So glad you enjoyed it!
Lorrie Butler says
When I first saw this recipe it didn’t have squash or carrots. I have added carrots to get more vegetables in my family’s diet and they make a good addition and don’t change the flavor of the soup. I add frozen tortellini during the last few minutes of cooking. My family loves this soup and it is on my winter supper rotation.
I’ve made it without the tortellini and frozen it and added the tortellini after thawing and it makes a quick meal.
Robbi Huckaby says
I want to substitute spinach. Do I put this in at the same time as everything else. Also tortellini goes in at beginning of cooking time?
If using the slow cooker, add it altogether at the same time (should be frozen). If doing the Instant Pot, add the tortellini and spinach at the end.