September 4, 2023

Instant Pot Tortellini Soup: A Hearty Meal for Busy Weeknights

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A Lily Love Affair shares a delicious Instant Pot Tortellini Soup recipe topped with parmesan cheese

Instant Pot Tortellini Soup: The Ultimate Comfort Food in Minutes

Warm, creamy, and utterly comforting, the Instant Pot Tortellini Soup is a revelation for those looking to whip up a gourmet dish in a jiffy. With the rising popularity of the Instant Pot, it’s no surprise that traditional recipes are getting a modern twist, and this soup is no exception.

Why Make Tortellini Soup in an Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot, a wonder gadget in the kitchen, offers faster cooking time while infusing a depth of flavor that traditionally slow-cooked dishes boast of. Add the convenience of a one-pot dish, and you’re all set for a hassle-free meal. 


A Lily Love Affair shares a delicious Instant Pot Tortellini Soup recipe topped with parmesan cheese

Key Ingredients for Your Instant Pot Tortellini Soup

  • Yellow onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Celery stalk
  • Olive oil
  • Dried basil
  • Chicken stock (I use 2 cups low sodium and 2 cups regular broth and it still tastes delicious! You can also replace with vegetable broth or water, if needed)
  • Fire roasted tomatoes (you can also use canned or fresh diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Tomato paste (you can also use tomato sauce, if needed.  I recommend tomato basil for extra flavor)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic pepper
  • Kale (you can also use fresh spinach, if needed)
  • Half-and-half or heavy cream
  • Dried tortellini, fresh (I used a mixed three cheese tortellini, but any flavor such as Italian sausage tortellini or spinach tortellini would taste great, too! If needed, you can also use frozen tortellini)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

For those leaning towards a vegan or plant-based diet, rejoice! The recipe can easily be adapted. Swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth, choose a dairy-free milk option like soy or coconut milk, pick vegan tortellini brands such as Kite Hill, and replace Parmesan with its vegan counterpart. Many of these substitutes are readily available in popular stores like Whole Foods, Target, and Aldi.

A Lily Love Affair shares a delicious Instant Pot Tortellini Soup recipe topped with parmesan cheese

How to Make Instant Pot Tortellini Soup

  1. Sautéing for Depth: Start your Instant Pot on the ‘Saute’ mode. Add in the olive oil, onions, and garlic, cooking until the onions are golden.
  2. Building the Base: Hit ‘Cancel’ to reset the pot. Combine broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, celery, Italian seasoning, garlic pepper, Kosher salt, red pepper flakes, and basil.
  3. Pressure Cooking: Secure the lid and set the pot on high for 8 minutes. Remember, it takes a few moments to heat up.
  4. Releasing Pressure: After the beep, opt for quick pressure release.
  5. Final Touches: Stir in the cream, tortellini, cheese, and kale. Cook on ‘Warm’ or a low ‘Saute’ mode for about 5 minutes, until the kale is just wilted and tortellini is tender.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Add any seasonings if needed, and serve the soup piping hot, topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Tips for Perfecting Your Instant Pot Tortellini Soup

  1. Choose the Right Tortellini: While dried tortellini is a common choice for this soup because of its longer shelf life, fresh tortellini will give your soup a more delicate texture. If you’re after a super cheesy bite, go for cheese tortellini or even cheesy sausage tortellini.
  2. Sautéing is Essential: Taking a few extra minutes to sauté your onions, garlic, and any ground meat you’re using will elevate the flavors in your soup. This step releases the aromatics, ensuring your soup has a rich base to build on.
  3. Mind the Burn: One of the challenges with using an Instant Pot is avoiding the dreaded burn notice. To steer clear of this, always deglaze the bottom of the pot with a splash of broth after sautéing. This ensures no browned bits are stuck to the bottom, which can trigger the burn notice.
  4. Layering Ingredients: Avoid stirring in the tomatoes immediately after adding your broth. Tomatoes can sometimes stick to the bottom, increasing the chances of burning. Instead, layer them on top and let the pressure cooking process mix the ingredients.
  5. Tortellini Timing: Add the tortellini towards the end of your cooking process. If left in the Instant Pot for too long, it can turn mushy. A few minutes are all you need to get them perfectly al dente!
  6. Creaminess to Preference: Depending on your desired consistency, you can adjust the amount of heavy cream. Some prefer a brothy soup, while others love a creamy base. Start with less; you can always add more at the end.
  7. Spice It Up: If you love a kick in your soup, don’t hesitate to be generous with the red pepper flakes. Conversely, if you’re serving this to kids or those sensitive to spice, consider adding it separately upon serving.
  8. Herbaceous Touch: While dried Italian seasoning is convenient, adding fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, or thyme can elevate your soup’s flavor profile. Add them towards the end of the cooking process to retain their vibrant taste and color.

Pairings and Serving Suggestions

A side of crusty garlic bread or a light green salad with a citrus dressing can elevate your meal. Consider a crisp white wine if you’re in the mood for an indulgent dinner.

Adapting the Recipe

From creamy sausage tortellini soup variations using hot Italian sausage to versions with sweet Italian sausage or even gluten-free pasta, there’s something for everyone. Prefer a vegetarian route? Replace chicken broth with vegetable or beef broth.

How to Store Your Tortellini Soup

For meal prep or future meals, store the Instant Pot Tortellini Soup in an airtight container. This ensures freshness and flavor retention. For best results, refrigerate and consume within 3-4 days. If freezing, avoid adding cream and tortellini initially; instead, add them fresh upon reheating to maintain the best texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze Tortellini soup?

Yes, you can freeze Tortellini soup, but with a few caveats. It’s best to freeze the soup without the tortellini and cream to prevent them from turning mushy upon reheating. Prepare the base of the soup and freeze in an airtight container. When ready to serve, thaw the soup, heat it up, and then add fresh tortellini and cream.

Is it possible to make this soup without an Instant Pot?

Absolutely! If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can use a regular pot on the stove. Follow the same sautéing steps using medium heat, then after adding all your ingredients, let the soup simmer until all components are cooked through. This might take longer than the Instant Pot method, roughly 30-40 minutes of simmering. Add the tortellini in the last 10 minutes to ensure they’re cooked perfectly.

Can I make tortellini soup ahead of time?

Yes, this soup can be made ahead of time, and in many cases, it tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld together. If you plan to serve it the following day or after, it’s recommended to store the soup and tortellini separately to avoid overcooked pasta. Before serving, reheat the soup and cook the tortellini in it until they’re al dente.

How do you reheat Instant Pot Tortellini Soup?

For best results, reheat the soup in a pot over medium heat on the stove. If the soup has thickened while in the refrigerator, you can add a splash of chicken or vegetable broth to bring it back to your desired consistency. If you’ve stored the tortellini separately, add them during the reheating process. Alternatively, if you’re in a rush, the microwave can be used, but make sure to stir occasionally for even heating.

Can I use ground sausage?

Certainly! Browned bits of pork sausage or even beef can add a depth of flavor.

How do I ensure the tortellini doesn’t overcook?

Monitor the cook time closely, especially during the sauté mode towards the end.

Can I add fresh baby spinach?

Absolutely. Spinach or fresh spinach can be added in the last few minutes for a touch of greenery.

The Instant Pot Tortellini Soup recipe is not only an easy meal but also a hearty one that the whole family will love. Whether you’re looking for a warm dish for cold weather or just a simple soup for any day, this Instant Pot recipe is sure to impress. For more Instant Pot recipes, stay tuned!

Other Delicious Soup Recipes You May Enjoy:

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Instant Pot Tortellini Soup {Vegan Recipe Included}

5 from 5 votes
SERVES/MAKES: 6 people


  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 celery stalk, finally chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I use 2 cups low sodium and 2 cups regular broth and it still tastes delicious!)
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed
  • 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 20 ounce ounce bag of tortellini, fresh (I used a mixed three cheese, but any flavor such as cheese and spinach or with meat is also awesome!)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt


  • Turn your Instant Pot on and select the 'Saute' function.
  • Add Olive oil, onions and garlic and saute until onions are slightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Press 'Cancel' to turn off the Instant Pot and reset the cooking function.
  • Add broth, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, celery, Italian seasoning, garlic pepper, Kosher salt, red pepper flakes and basil to the Instant Pot.
  • Secure the lid, select 'Pressure Cook' or 'Manual' and cook on high for 8 minutes. The pot will take a few minutes to heat up before cooking begins.  
  • When timer beeps, quick release pressure or ‘Venting’ to release steam fully.
  • Once the steam is fully released, remove the lip and stir in cream, tortellini, grated Parmesan cheese and kale. Continue to cook on warm or saute on medium or low until the kale is soft or slightly wilted and pasta is softened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Add any additional seasoning to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy!!
  • Top with Parmesan cheese, too!

Tips / Notes:


If you have been following the blog for any time, you know we really love recipes that are versatile.  This soup is absolutely one of those!  And, it’s one of our all-time family favorites.
What’s great about this Instant Pot Tortellini Soup is you can change it up so many different ways to accommodate the needs and wants of your family.  For examples, this Tortellini soup is also great with the addition of a little bit of celery and carrots.
Similarly, you’re welcome to add meat like an Italia sausage.  If you don’t have or like Italian sausage, you can also use ground beef.  Prefer chicken sausage?  Go for it!  Only have linked sausage?  Add that instead!  It truly is a soup you can make your own and still have it be incredibly delicious!
Last, if you’re not a fan of Kale, you can also choose to replace with spinach.  See, so versatile!
For this recipe I also used cheese tortellini, but you could also choose to use a tortellini with meat, mushrooms, etc.  The sky is the limit!  
If you are looking for a dairy-free, plant based or vegan recipe you can simply replace the ingredients above with the following
  • Use say milk or coconut milk in place of half and half or whole milk 
  • Replace the tortellini pasta with a vegan or plant based option such as Kite Hill vegan tortellini or ravioli. 
  • Replace the Parmesan cheese with a dairy-free or vegan option.  There’s a large variety at Whole Foods, Target and Aldi.


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  1. 5 stars
    We really enjoyed it, but next time I will reduce the sodium and add more broth. The second night we reheated it, it was more like a stew.