My family LOVES this Pesto Turkey Tortellini Soup recipe! And really, you can never have enough 30 minute recipes in your arsenal. 230 calories and 4 Weight Watchers SP
Pesto turkey tortellini soup brings memories of growing up in Vancouver. My parents and I made regular trips to the Granville Island Public Market, the city’s mecca for colorful produce, artisan foods and crafts, and the freshest seafood. Duso’s Italian Foods, the booth that sold fresh pasta and sauces was a revelation for us. So THAT was how pasta was supposed to taste! Each time we walked away with an armful of tortellini, both cheese and meat filled, and containers of pesto and olives. Heaven!
This easy tortellini soup recipe is an ode to those meals, and it quickly became a favorite of my older son, who is a sucker for anything involving tortellini and pesto. A chip off the ol’ block.
We usually serve this soup with a fresh salad for an extra dose of veggies.
Tips for making this turkey tortellini soup:
This soup follows the same basic formula that I use for most of my broth-based or tomato based soup recipes. Start off by cooking the ground turkey before sautéing the vegetables – onion, carrot and celery in this case – in a little olive oil. Next, add in the garlic and herbs before stirring in the broth and pesto. Ten minutes of simmering is all that’s needed to intensify the flavors before stirring in the tortellini.
Fresh, frozen or dried tortellini will work in this recipe. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time. Fresh tortellini will take no more than five minutes, while frozen will take a few minutes longer. For the dried variety, follow the package directions. You may need to add some extra chicken broth if cooking for longer to replace any liquid that that evaporates.
When using fresh tortellini, cook at a lively simmer rather than a full rolling boil so that the tortellini doesn’t start to break apart.
Can you freeze tortellini soup?
In general, tortellini soup and the freezer don’t play well together. However, there is a way around this. Make the recipe through Step 5 in the directions below. In other words, don’t add the tortellini. Cool the soup and freeze it in freezer safe glass containers (affiliate link) WITHOUT the tortellini.
When ready to eat, defrost the soup and reheat it in a saucepan, bringing the liquid to a lively simmer. Add the tortellini and cook until tender. You get the benefit of a pre-made broth (with meat and veggies) and the texture of fresh tortellini. It’s a win-win.
How long will tortellini soup last?
Transfer the soup to a bowl or other glass container, cool completely, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
The tortellini are like little sponges and will soak up the broth as the soup sits in the fridge. The tortellini will be softer, but will still taste great! Add additional broth and gently reheat the soup over medium heat.
Other healthy 30-minute meals:
Pesto Turkey Tortellini Soup Recipe
- 1 pound 99% extra lean ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 large carrots cut into half circles
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoon basil pesto
- 5 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 9 ounces fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
- 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil to the saucepan. Stir in the onion, carrot and celery. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, thyme and pepper, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the pesto and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a lively simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the ground turkey and tortellini, and cook until the tortellini is tender, 5 minutes for fresh and 8 minutes for frozen.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve.
The recipe was first published on February 23, 2017 and updated on January 22, 2020.
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