Chicken And Tortellini Vegetable Soup Recipe

This one's for the soup lovers: This chicken and tortellini vegetable soup is packed with tender pulled chicken, fresh veggies, and cheesy pasta, all made from scratch in under 40 minutes (okay, the tortellini is pre-packaged, but you get the idea). This soup is also perfect for when you don't quite want a creamy soup, but want something heavier than the usual brothy veg. The broth and vegetables simmer with white wine and a parmesan rind for deep, rich flavor made more intense with a hint of tomato. 

There's some serious vegetable action going on here; this recipe written by developer Michelle McGlinn includes mushrooms, zucchini, onion, garlic, carrots, and kale. Still need more veggies in your soup? Throw in summer squash, celery, or even cauliflower. This soup is as versatile as it is simple and can be used to clean out the fridge on even the busiest weeknights. Best yet, the cheesy, chewy tortellini makes this an irresistible one-pot meal, no sides needed.

Everything you need for chicken and tortellini vegetable soup

First, you'll need chicken breasts, salt, pepper, and oil to cook with. You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe, which will also be easy to cook and pull. The vegetables you'll need are onion, garlic, carrots, cremini mushrooms, zucchini, and kale. To make the broth, you'll need about half a can of tomato paste, a splash of dry white wine, some fresh thyme, chicken broth, and a parmesan rind. You can buy rinds at the store, but since you'll need grated parmesan to serve this recipe, we recommend buying a parmesan wedge. From there, you'll just need a splash of heavy cream and a package of tortellini. You can use any tortellini for this recipe, but we recommend a cheese-stuffed variety for the best results.

Brown the chicken

Before doing anything, give the chicken a decent sear on either side so that each breast has some color. No need to cook the chicken all the way through yet, just cook it enough that either side is brown. If the chicken is sticking to the bottom of the pot, add another splash of oil and turn the heat down slightly. Don't worry if a few pieces of chicken stay stuck on the bottom, those will be scraped up later with the wine.

Soften the vegetables

In the same pot, add the vegetables all at once and cook until they start to soften. Stir often to ensure the little pieces of garlic aren't burning, and add a splash of oil if the vegetables start sticking. The mushrooms should be light brown and glossy, the onions and garlic very fragrant, and the carrots and zucchini slightly soft. Stir in the tomato paste to combine with the softened vegetables and cook until the paste starts to darken — this only takes a few minutes. Splash the wine into the pot and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer and reduce the wine until barely any liquid is left in the pot.

Simmer the chicken

Chicken becomes tender pretty quickly in simmering broth. To make pulled chicken, add the browned chicken breasts to the pot and cover with broth. Add the thyme and parmesan rind, then season with a few pinches each of salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the chicken is soft enough to be pulled to pieces with a fork. For thicker breasts, this may take close to 20 minutes, while thighs will be ready in under 15. To pull the chicken, remove it from the soup and pull with two forks on a cutting board. Return the pulled chicken to the soup.

Cook the pasta then stir in the cream and kale

Bring the mixture to a steady boil and drop in the tortellini. Cook times will vary by brand, but in general, start checking the pasta after about 5 minutes. When it's ready, the shape will have expanded and the texture will be soft and tender.

Turn the heat down to halt the boil and pour in the heavy cream. Stir to combine into the soup, then stir in the torn pieces of kale. As soon as the kale softens into a bright green leaf, remove the soup from the heat.

Serving the chicken and tortellini soup

Ladle the soup into bowls, then grate fresh parmesan on top of each bowl to serve. This soup is also delicious dairy-free, which can be done by omitting the parmesan and swapping the heavy cream for coconut cream or oat milk. To avoid a dairy topping, you can instead top with breadcrumbs, croutons, sesame seeds, or nutritional yeast.

This soup can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to a week, but note that the tortellini will absorb the broth as it sits. To reheat, add more broth or water, then microwave or simmer on the stovetop until warmed through. If you're serving this for dinner, you can pair with garlic bread, garden salad, or crostini; though we must say this action-packed soup makes a good meal all on its own.

Chicken And Tortellini Vegetable Soup Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
Learn how to make this hearty chicken and tortellini vegetable soup that stands on its own as an easy weeknight meal.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken tortellini soup on a table
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 1 (9-ounce) package cheese tortellini
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups kale, roughly chopped, stems removed
  • 1 cup shaved parmesan, for topping
  1. Season the chicken with ½ tablespoon each of salt and pepper on either side. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then cook the chicken until lightly browned on either side. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
  2. Add more oil if needed, then add the onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini. Cook until soft and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the vegetables and stir well to combine. Once the tomato paste begins sticking to the bottom of the pot, add the wine and stir to scrape any browning bits. Let the wine reduce, then add the broth.
  4. Return the chicken to the pot and submerge in the broth. Add the remaining ½ tablespoon each of salt and pepper, the thyme sprigs, and the parmesan rind. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until chicken is pull-apart tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from the pot and shred using two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the pot, and remove the thyme sprigs and parmesan rind. Bring the broth to a boil.
  6. Add the tortellini and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in the kale until kale is wilted and bright green, then remove from the heat.
  8. To serve, top with shaved parmesan.
Calories per Serving 775
Total Fat 34.2 g
Saturated Fat 14.7 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 163.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 53.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Total Sugars 11.0 g
Sodium 1,541.7 mg
Protein 59.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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