This Instant Pot tortellini soup with sausage and spinach is a classic creamy soup that only takes 30 minutes to make.
This hearty meal is the perfect fall or winter soup recipe when you don't want to spend much time prepping in the kitchen. No carrots to peel and no celery to chop, just an onion and some garlic. For an even faster meal, use pre-minced garlic.
Making this in an electric pressure cooker brings out all of the amazing flavors from the Italian sausage. Use mild, sweet, or hot Italian sausage.
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- Fast recipe: This soup recipe takes 30 minutes from start to finish
- Creamy: Heavy cream makes this a creamy tortellini soup recipe
- Simple ingredients: This recipe uses pantry staples and common ingredients
What to serve with tortellini soup
Serve this alongside a simple spinach salad and homemade garlic bread or crusty bread. For more easy Instant Pot recipes, try taco pasta or cheeseburger macaroni.
Looking for a slow cooker version? Try this slow cooker recipe from A Family Feast.
- olive oil
- ground mild Italian sausage
- yellow onion
- minced garlic
- chicken broth or chicken stock
- refrigerated cheese tortellini
- diced tomatoes
- Italian seasoning
- ground black pepper
- crushed red pepper flakes
- fresh baby spinach
- heavy whipping cream
- shredded parmesan cheese, optional
See the recipe card for quantities.
No added salt: You may notice this recipe does not call for salt. Italian sausage can be quite salty, and in the pressure cooker, the flavors come together nicely, so added salt may be unnecessary. Once the heavy cream is added, give the soup a taste before adding any additional seasoning.
Using the Instant Pot’s Sauté setting, heat the olive oil. Brown the Italian sausage and cook the onion together in the pot, breaking the meat up into small crumbles. When the sausage is cooked, add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Drain excess fat if desired.
Add a splash of chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot to deglaze if needed, scraping the bottom of the pot with a flat spatula. This helps to prevent a burn error.
Then, add the remaining broth, the tortellini, diced tomatoes (do not drain), Italian seasoning, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Do not stir, but gently press the tortellini to submerge it.
Cancel the Sauté function, close the lid, and turn the knob to Sealing. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook on High pressure for 2 minutes. It will take the pot about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cook time begins.
When the cooking time is complete, carefully quick release the pressure. If the steam release valve spits liquid, close the valve and wait 3-5 minutes before finishing the quick release to release the remaining pressure.
Note: Usually with soups or liquidy meals, a natural release of pressure is best to prevent liquid spewing from the pressure valve, but this recipe is designed for a quick release.
After the pressure is released, remove the lid. When you open the lid, you will see that tortellini has floated to the top.
Next, stir in the baby spinach.
Allow the spinach to wilt (about 1 to 2 minutes) before stirring in the heavy cream. The heat from the soup will wilt the fresh baby spinach in just a couple of minutes.
Serve with shredded parmesan cheese or grated parmesan cheese (optional). Other garnish ideas include chopped parsley and sliced green onions.
Here are a few tips to customize this soup based on your preferences.
- Less fat - Skip the heavy whipping cream. This soup is great even without the dairy! Additionally, you can drain the excess fat from the Italian sausage before pressure cooking.
- More veggies - For a vegetable-forward soup, I recommend adding carrot, celery, and zucchini.
- Greens - This recipe is great with baby spinach or shredded kale.
- Broth - Use chicken broth or vegetable broth
Vegetarian: To make this recipe vegetarian, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and omit the Italian sausage. If you leave out the sausage, add a half teaspoon of salt.
Adjust the heat level
Another great thing about this cozy, warm soup is you can easily customize the heat level to your liking.
- Mild - Use mild or sweet Italian sausage, omit crushed red pepper flakes.
- Medium - Follow the recipe as listed.
- Hot - Use hot Italian sausage.
For this recipe, you will need an electric pressure cooker. I use the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart. Be sure to read the user manual for safe use.
You will also need a chef's knife for dicing the onion and mincing the garlic, as well as a cutting board.
Store leftover sausage tortellini soup in the refrigerator for three days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
The pasta may become soggy if the creamy tortellini soup is frozen. Additionally, dairy-based soups may separate. I recommend enjoying this recipe fresh.
One option is to make the soup without the tortellini, freeze it, and then add fresh tortellini, baby spinach, and heavy cream when ready to defrost and serve.
Instant Pot Tortellini Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage or Italian sausage with casings removed
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 package (9-10 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach packed
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Shredded parmesan cheese optional
- Using the Instant Pot’s Sauté setting, heat the olive oil. Brown the Italian sausage and cook the onion together in the pot, breaking the meat up into small crumbles. When the sausage is cooked, add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add a splash of chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot to deglaze if needed, scraping the bottom of the pot with a flat spatula. This helps to prevent a burn error. Then, add the remaining broth, the tortellini, diced tomatoes (do not drain), Italian seasoning, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Do not stir, but gently press the tortellini to submerge it.
- Cancel the Sauté, close the lid, and turn the knob to Sealing. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook on High for 2 minutes. It will take the pot about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking time begins.
- When the cooking time is complete, carefully quick release the pressure. If the steam release valve spits liquid, close the valve and wait 3-5 minutes before finishing the quick release.
- After the pressure is released, remove the lid and stir in the baby spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt (about 1-2 minutes) before stirring in the heavy cream. Serve with shredded parmesan (optional).
- Mild version: Use mild or sweet Italian sausage, omit crushed red pepper flakes.
- Medium version: Follow the recipe as listed.
- Hot version: Use hot Italian sausage.
Frequently asked questions
Making soup in the pressure cooker can have the same effect as slowly simmering a soup for a long time. The end result will have a good depth of flavor. In this dish, the pressure cooker brings out the flavors of the Italian sausage into the creamy broth.
Italian sausage is a seasoned ground pork sausage. You can usually find ground Italian sausage. If not, Italian sausage in casings will do the trick, just remove the casing before adding the meat to the dish.
Soups with pasta can turn mushy in the freeze/thaw process, and dairy-based soups can separate, so I do not recommend freezing this soup.
When cooking with raw meat, food safety is especially important. Here are a few food safety reminders.
- Cook ground meats to a minimum temperature of 160 °F (71.1 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands with hot, soapy water after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Follow your pressure cooker safety instructions
Just made it a second time, it's so good! My husband loved it
Kelsey Smith says
Happy to hear you enjoyed it!
Made this stove top and came out sooo good! I can only imagine how the instant pot would come out.
Kelsey Smith says
That is great to hear. I haven't tried it stovetop, but I will now.
Let me start by saying this recipe is amazing!!! I followed recipe exactly the only things different was I added extra garlic 2 whole garlics minced and I used my Ninja personal blender to finely chop the spinach. I looked through a few other recipes and went with this one. I'm glad I did this is a keeper!!! Thanks for sharing!!
Kelsey Smith says
Thanks for stopping back by to share that, that's awesome.
What If you don't have an Instant Pot, what other kind of pot can you use?
Kelsey Smith says
This recipe will work for any electric pressure cooker, but if you're interested in cooking on the stovetop, try Life Made Simple for a similar recipe.
Carrie Kagel says
I made this last night! Huge hit with the boyfriend
Kayla DiMaggio says
I loved this instant pot soup! It was so easy and made for the perfect dinner!
Mihaela | https://theworldisanoyster.com/ says
I never made a pasta soup, but I am so inspired now! You used my favourite ingredients; I bet the taste is excellent! I will try a hot version soon.
easy IP soup are the best!
Giangi Townsend says
Looks amazing, and I do love a great soup on chilled nights. I do have tortellini in my refrigerator, a perfect recipe to have them with.
Thank you for sharing.
Love this tortellini soup with sausage and it's so easy to make in the Instant Pot! It is so delicious, the family loved it and asked me when I was making it again.
I'm making this for sure. My son would love this soup. Such an easy dinner idea for busy weekdays. thanks!