This one-pot chicken tortellini soup with kale is light, fresh and ready in just 20 minutes! It's perfect for a quick weeknight dinner that's healthy and hearty!
Three out of four times a year, I love the transition between seasons.
From spring, warming into the hot days of summer, from summer into the cooler autumn breezes, from fall into the chilly days of winter.
But, and you probably saw this coming, I don’t especially enjoy the transition from winter to spring.
It drags on too long, usually. I’m not a fan of the flip-flop between really cold days and really warm ones. Make up your mind weather!
And by the time spring starts peeking out, I’m ready for it, so I hate when we slide back into chilly winter days here and there.
It doesn’t even get that cold here in N.C., so I think this dislike must be a remnant from my time in Chicago where the first hint of spring was so late and so slow in coming. I’m not a patient person, could ya tell? 😉
This one-pot chicken tortellini soup makes the transition a little easier though.
It’s warming and comforting, but it’s also light, brothy and fresh tasting. You get the cozy feeling of soup but none of the heaviness. Perfect for when I’m already dreaming of short sleeves and flip flops.
And it’s ready in 20 minutes (see, no patience) with just a few simple ingredients needed from the store. 🙌
You should also check out Italian wedding soup, which has mini chicken meatballs, pasta and spinach. Oh, and turkey white bean soup with kale, which is simple but so hearty and delicious. Very similar to the flavors here.
I have to say though, my kids don’t really get soup. They’ve always liked chili — especially my white turkey chili - but it’s so thick that it just seems like a great big bowl of yummy ingredients put together. Who could resist?
M (4 ½) is starting to catch on and this chicken tortellini soup is her favorite soup so far. She mostly goes for the tortellini and chicken pieces, but that’s OK by me.
J, at 2 ½, just doesn’t get the concept. I try picking out the chicken and pasta pieces from the bowl for him and that usually just makes him mad. Last time, I served the individual chicken, tortellini and kale pieces on a plate for him - no bowl or resemblance to soup at all - and he went for it. Hmm...
Regardless, hubby and I both really love this for a light, flavorful dinner.
The tortellini cooks in the broth to be perfectly tender and oh so melt-in-your-mouth soft. The chicken gets warmed through at the very end so it is tender and juicy. The kale is optional but I highly recommend. It wilts into the soup and brings a good oomph of heartiness.
Notes on chicken tortellini soup with kale:
- You can use leftover cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken from the store. You could also sub in 2 cups of shredded chicken here if you have that on hand.
- I use kale here, obviously, but you could also substitute spinach. You'll want to use a little more since it wilts down so much, and just add it at the very end.
- I use a cheese tortellini and I always try to get a whole wheat kind, but you can substitute your favorite flavor. If yours is frozen, it will need to be thawed for this recipe.
- We serve this soup with some freshly grated Parmesan and a few shakes of hot sauce.
- And if you are like my husband, oyster crackers are a must with every single soup, every single time. Don’t mess with the oyster crackers.
Such a lovely dinner, whatever the weather outside decides to do. Still, here’s hoping spring comes swiftly and decisively this year. 💚
P.S. Check out my new VIDEO for this recipe!
20-minute chicken and tortellini soup with kale
A one-pot chicken and tortellini soup that’s light, fresh and ready in 20 minutes!
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup celery, finely chopped
- ¼ cup carrots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups good quality chicken broth
- 1 (9 oz.) package fresh tortellini pasta - I use a whole wheat 3-cheese tortellini
- 2-3 big handfuls of kale leaves, roughly chopped (optional)
- 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped in bite-size pieces (see notes)
For serving (optional):
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley or basil
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion, celery and carrots and saute for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds. Add thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Add chicken broth, turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. (I cover the pot to speed this up.)
- Add the tortellini and cook for 7-8 minutes.
- Add spinach/kale if using, and cook an additional minute.
- Stir in cooked, chopped chicken and turn off the heat.
- Serve and top with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
You can use leftover cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken from the store. You could also sub in 2 cups of shredded chicken here if you have that on hand.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 535Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 1676mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 9gSugar: 5gProtein: 34g
I like the combinations in this soup!! I love the earthy taste of Kale. Mixing it with the chicken and tortellini….how yummy!! Pinning it now!
Thanks Katie! It's such a tasty combination 🙂
allie @ Through Her Looking Glass
What a beautiful bowlful, Kathryn. The kale is a perfect addition, also the hot sauce. That was a surprise for me. And bring on the oyster crackers!
I think hot sauce goes with most foods 😉 But it does bring a nice punch to this soup! Thanks for stopping by Allie!
I love soups, they are healthy, tasty and light. Your soup is so good looking, I would love to taste it 🙂 Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing the recipe ❤❤
Thank you! It is definitely one of those lovely light soups that's healthy but packed with flavor and won't weigh you down.
The only thing I like about winter is that I can eat lots of warming soups, like this one! Yum!!!
I'm right there with you, Karrie! I've been getting my fill of soup this year for sure 😉
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food
The weather around here is starting to warm up and all the snow is gone...woot woot! I can't wait for it to finally be Spring, though. One thing is for sure, though, is that I love all sorts of soups any time of the year. This one looks delicious!
Come on spring! But I love that you also eat soup year-round 😉
Sounds like the perfect dish for today... I don't like the weather ups and downs at this time either, but still I love this trasition, so much hope in the air and then all the snowdrops everywhere, they just make me happy.
I do love that part, too, Adina - everything getting ready to bloom and burst and start fresh 🙂
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Hahaha! This is my first in between winter and spring here in NC and don't get mad, but I LOVE it! I'm digging the mix of cold days with warmer ones. It's like getting two seasons in one week. Anyways (please say we are still friends), LOVE this soup, my dear! Tortellini soups always make my belly smile, but the addition of chicken and kale in here is totally winning! I am craving a few bowls of this for breakfast! Pinned! Cheers, Kathryn!
It's cool, we're still friends 😉 And yeah, it's nice to be able to slip my favorite sweaters on still but I'm also eyeing my warm-weather clothes... even if I'm not ready to give up soup! Have a great weekend Cheyanne!
rebecca | DisplacedHousewife
This soup looks and sounds delicious and I love how quick it is! I'm so glad I found your site!! xo
Thanks so much Rebecca!! I love an easy, quick meal for those crazy weeknights!
Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness
No way this is made in 20 minutes! I love the look of this soup!
Thanks Cathleen! Such a help for those busy weeknights 🙂
Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry
This definitely would make that transition easier, Kathryn! I bet 🙂 I hope spring makes its way to you soon! We have similar seasonal problems here. Actually, our biggest problem to do with the seasons here in Brisbane is that we only really have two of them: summer and winter. No, hold on a second, make that one: summer! 😛 This soup looks divine. I love the tender chicken pieces waiting to be devoured in amongst the cheesy torellini and hearty vegies. Major yum! And it sounds like J has a penchant for deconstructed cuisine. Isn't that all the rage nowadays?! Looks like fussy, soup-hating toddlers are leading all the latest food trends 😉
Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry
Make that tortellini 😉
I love my four seasons but something about constant summer sounds pretty nice 😉 Also, yes, my 2-year-old is definitely cooler than me and leading the way with the trends 😉 Hope you have a great weekend!
Well if this soup is the signal of the transition, I think I'll like the change!! the soup looks awesome! Thanks for sharing on the "What's for Dinner" link up~
Thanks Helen! The soup is the perfect way to ease into spring 🙂
Such a pretty picture and the recipe looks so good! I don't think it would be the same without the kale!
I know just what you mean about Spring - most people love spring and I just don't get it! The few nice days are like a tease and the rest is cold, windy, dreary and often wet...
Thanks for bringing this by Throwback Thursday! We're already looking forward to what you'll bring next week! 🙂
The kale really should be included 😉 We've had a good week of warm spring weather, but I hear rain is in the forecast. Back and forth, back and forth... Thanks for stopping by, Mollie!
My husband still doesn't get soup! Wierdo! I love it though, so I make him suffer through a bowl every now and then. This looks delicious, he may just find himself eating a bowl whether he likes it or not! Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday!
Haha, I keep thinking my kids will grow out of it, but maybe not?! You can always serve this like I do to my 2-year-old: deconstructed and not at all looking like soup 😉
Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen
Looks like such a comforting meal!
Thanks Lindsay! It really is!
What a gorgeous soup!
Thanks Ashley! 😊
This is perfect for dinner!
Yes! So quick and easy!