Tuscan Tortellini Soup

Tuscan Turkey Tortellini Soup

Tuscan tortellini soup is a real treat for the whole family, loaded with fresh or frozen cheese filled tortellini pasta in a rich broth with plenty of veggies and leftover turkey. I make this turkey tortellini soup after every Thanksgiving using leftover turkey, but I’ve also made it with leftover rotisserie chicken, so it doesn’t have to be a once-a-year dish.

Ingredients for Tuscan tortellini soup:

  • Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Fresh Parsley Sprigs
  • Fresh Thyme Sprigs
  • Bay Leaf
  • Salt
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • Garlic
  • Chicken or Turkey Stock
  • Parmesan Cheese Rind (optional)
  • Turkey (can substitute chicken)
  • Fresh or Frozen Cheese Tortellini
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese (for serving)

Note: I use whole sprigs of parsley and thyme tied together with a string. The herbs will simmer with the soup stock to season it. Remove the bundle of herbs before serving.

You can also use dried parsley and thyme if you don’t have fresh. Substitute about 1 teaspoon of dried.

adding carrots onion and celery to the dutch oven.

I like to use a large dutch oven to make this leftover turkey soup recipe. Mine holds about 7 quarts, but you could use a 5-6 quart model as well. I prefer a dutch oven to a traditional soup pot because the enameled cast iron keeps an even heat without any hot spots.

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How to make homemade Tuscan turkey tortellini soup

  1. Brown the mushrooms in a little olive oil over medium high heat in your dutch oven.
  2. Stir in the chopped celery, onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally until the celery and onions just start to get translucent.
  3. Add the seasonings: salt, pepper, minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, bundle of fresh thyme and parsley.
  4. Stir in the broth and parmesan cheese rind and bring the soup to a simmer (not quite boiling) and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the bundle of herbs and parmesan cheese rind and discard.
  6. Stir in the diced turkey and tortellini. Simmer until the tortellini is cooked (according to the package directions).
  7. Add green peas and simmer just until the peas are heated through. It only takes a minute or two.
  8. Ladle Tuscan tortellini soup into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
adding chopped garlic and fresh herbs to the pot.

For the ABSOLUTE BEST homemade turkey tortellini soup, you can’t beat a homemade turkey stock. You know the one that uses up the turkey carcass and transforms the connective tissue and bones into a rich, gelatinous stock that coats your tongue with every mouthful. OMG – so good.

adding broth and parmesan rind to the dutch oven for the soup.

There’s a huge difference between store-bought and homemade and while I always have store-bought stock on hand, I will always make a stock from a leftover turkey carcass or try my easy chicken stock from rotisserie chicken carcass.

removing parmesan rind from the soup.

What is the parmesan cheese rind for in a soup?

You might wonder about the parmesan cheese rind that I add to the stock. By cheese rind, I mean that little leftover wedge of parmesan cheese that’s leftover after you’ve used it on Italian meatballs, or a sausage ragout and it’s too hard to grate any more.

Well, this is an old chefs trick to add richness and a bit of umami depth to the stock.

Just add it to the stock to simmer. The rind will become soft and pliable, but it won’t actually melt. What it WILL DO is add even more richness and flavor to the soup stock.

This trick is pretty well known, so if you go to specialty food shops, you’ll often find them selling packages of parmesan rinds, just for this purpose. Usually they come in packages of 5-6 oddly sized rinds. I just throw the whole thing in the freezer and pull one out whenever I’m making a soup.

turkey tortellini soup-12

Dark or white meat turkey for the Tuscan tortellini soup?

Yes. What I mean, is that you can use either dark meat turkey from the legs and thighs or the breast meat. It’s up to you.

Just be sure that when you’re chopping the turkey that you remove any excess fat or skin and definitely avoid any cartilage or bones. You just want turkey meat.

adding tortellini pasta to the soup.

What type of tortellini should I use for the Tuscan turkey soup?

Tortellini are one of my favorite stuffed pastas to use in soup.

Why? It’s because of their size and shape. They’re bite sized pastas that fit perfectly on a spoon. Trader Joe’s has fresh cheese tortellini and that’s what I used for this Tuscan soup recipe, though you can also use frozen or dried tortellini pasta noodles.

Just be sure to simmer the tortellini in the turkey soup until the pasta is tender and cooked through. Look at the package directions for timing if you’re not sure.

adding frozen peas to the turkey tortellini soup.

I like to finish this turkey tortellini soup with some frozen peas. They add a bright pop of color to the soup and go perfectly with the Tuscan tortellini.

turkey tortellini soup-10


Can I make the Tuscan tortellini soup ahead of time?

Yes. Partly. Make the soup up to the point of adding the tortellini. Because the pasta will continue to cook and soften in hot broth, it’s best to add the pasta just before serving the soup. So if you’re making this soup a day or two ahead of time, just refrigerate it after adding the turkey. When you want to serve, bring the soup to a rapid simmer, add the pasta to cook and finish with the peas.

How long will leftovers last?

The soup will keep for 3-5 days, well sealed in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze the leftover turkey soup?

Yes, though the pasta will be softer when you reheat it. Frozen soup will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

a cup of turkey tortellini soup.

More turkey soup recipes you’ll love:

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a cup of leftover turkey tortellini soup with parmesan cheese sprinkled on.
Print Pin
4.45 from 18 votes

Tuscan Turkey Tortellini Soup

Use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey in this tasty turkey tortellini soup. With cheese filled tortellini, fresh veggies and herbs and a rind of parmesan cheese for richness, this easy turkey soup recipe is always a family favorite.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword tortellini
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8


  • 3″ piece of kitchen string


For soup

  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 stalks celery peeled and 1/2″ dice
  • ½ onion diced
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes according to your tastes
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 8 cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken stock
  • rind of parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 2-3 cups leftover turkey meat diced
  • 10 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated for garnish (optional)


For the soup

  • In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the sliced mushrooms.  Saute the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they give up their liquid and are tender and browned.
  • Add the celery, onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender 3-5 minutes.  
  • Tie the parsley and thyme into a bundle with kitchen string and add it to the vegetables.  Stir in the red pepper flakes and and cook for 1-2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the turkey stock and the rind of parmesan cheese.  Heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the rind of cheese and the bundle of herbs and discard.  Stir in the turkey meat and tortellini.  Cook until the tortellini is tender — according to package instructions.  Stir in the frozen peas and simmer for 1 minute, just until they are warmed through.  Taste broth for seasonings and adjust to your taste.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a tablespoon of parmesan cheese (optional – but good!)


Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.


Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 530mg | Potassium: 520mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3320IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 2.4mg

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Need a good leftover turkey recipe? Tuscan Turkey Tortellini Soup with mushrooms, peas & carrots and a sprinkle of parmesan is easy and delicious! #turkey #leftoverturkey #turkeysoup #thanksgivingleftovers #turkeystock #tortellini #pasta #mushrooms #soup #homemadesoup #homemadeturkeysoup

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  1. 5 stars
    This was very good. The mushrooms really put flavor in the broth. I added some frozen broccoli in, too.

  2. Can this be made in the crock pot?

    1. Yes. You’d want to saute the vegetables in a separate pan, then assemble everything in the crockpot to simmer. Add the tortellini in the last 15-20 minutes of simmering so it doesn’t overcook.

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Added a little chopped green pepper & a few of my roasted tomatoes, dash of sage. Often my habit to add leftover veg into a soup. Will keep this recipe for a great base

  4. 5 stars
    Made this today. Turned out very good. I added some oregano, basil, a little heavy cream, and a good splash of sherry wine.

    1. Love your twists! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Emily Larson says:

    5 stars
    This is going to be the perfect after Thanksgiving recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Perfect for all this leftover turkey I have sitting in my refrigerator.

  7. 5 stars
    What an absolutely gorgeous soup. All of those vegetables and then tortellini on top of it is just wonderful.

  8. 5 stars
    Totally just pinned this. Now that it’s cool, I like to make soup at least twice a week! Always on the look out for a new recipe so my family doesn’t get bored!

    1. This is a good one, hope your family enjoys it too, Lisa!

  9. I was just thinking of searching out some new soup recipes, so this is perfect timing. And, I love, love, love the idea of the parmesan rind in the soup. Genius!

  10. 5 stars
    Tortellini makes everything a little better, doesn’t it?? This looks really good!

  11. 5 stars
    What a great way to use up leftover turkey to make a hearty and delicious soup. Love the addition of tortellini for that added cheesy bite. This is my kind of winter comfort in a bowl. Yum.

  12. 5 stars
    Such a great use for leftover turkey! I am glad I saw this – totally saving it for next week!