Creamy Slow-Cooker Tortellini Soup

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

If your house is anything like mine, week nights have the tendency to get a little crazy every now and again. With only one in school so far, I thought I still had some time before turning into a chauffeuring, car-snack-wielding, off-the-gymnastics-floor-toddler-chasing, multiple-pony-tail-making, “Did you do your homework while you waited?” mom. But, it’s happened. When did I get so old? At least it should only be crazy for next few months until the musical she’s in closes and we can nix 3-5 after-school rehearsals a week off our schedule. Hallelujah!

Since we usually get home just before, or sometimes even after dinner time, it’s looking like slow-cooker meals will be making their appearance quite often over the next little while. I’m kind of excited. The only downfall to this is that I’ll actually have to make a plan, and we all know how good I am at planning meals. NOT(will saying not ever come back in style?). If you happen to be good at planning meals, you’re going to love this tortellini soup because the base of it uses already made spaghetti sauce. You can make a big batch of sauce and turn part of it into something completely different. If you’ll recall, last week I posted a recipe for a killer homemade spaghetti sauce that is just perfect for this soup. If planning happens to not be your thing, a jar of store-bought sauce combined with some browned ground beef and italian sausage will work well too.

You’ll start by tossing your spaghetti sauce, a brick of cream cheese, sliced mushrooms, some fresh spinach and a few cups of chicken broth in to the slow cooker.

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

Give it a good stir and set to cook for a few hours on high, or about 5-6 on low.

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

About 20 minutes before you’re ready to eat, turn your slow-cooker on high if it isn’t already and give it another stir to distribute the ingredients evenly. Pour in a bag of frozen cheese tortellini, cover and let cook for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through and hot.

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

When it’s finished you’ll have a perfectly seasoned, creamy, hearty tortellini soup that took all of 20 minutes to prep.

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

The best way to eat it is topped with copious amounts of parmesan cheese, but really what isn’t good when topped with cheese?


**Update 1/26/2013**

Some readers have had problems with using low-fat and fat-free cream cheeses as they curdle and don’t blend well into the soup. I’ve personally used Neuftachel cheese without any problem, but to be on the safe side I recommend using regular cream cheese. Also the spinach can be added at the end with the tortellini if you would like it to not break down as much.

Creamy Slow-Cooker Tortellini Soup
  • 6 cups of your favorite homemade meaty spaghetti sauce or 24 oz jar prepared spaghetti sauce + ½ lb browned ground beef + ½ lb browned Italian sausage
  • ½ bag (4.5 oz) fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 16 oz frozen cheese tortellini
  1. Combine spaghetti sauce (and meat if adding it in separately), spinach, cream cheese, chicken broth, and mushrooms in a slow-cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, on high for 2-3.
  2. 20 minutes before serving, turn heat to high if it isn't already an stir in frozen tortellini. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender and hot.
  3. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.


  1. Michelle says

    Oh my Heather, I’m at work and I must look ridiculous with my mouth hanging open. You’re email came in and I thought I’d take a quick peak at the recipe and then I stopped dead in my tracks because this looks so good. Mouth is watering, didn’t blink for a few minutes there. It sounds so easy too! Can’t wait to try it.

  2. Kate says

    I have dry tortellini – not frozen – how much time should I adjust for these, do you think? I figure they will cook faster, right?

    • Heather says

      Actually the dry will take a little longer than the frozen. Depending on their size I’d say 20-25 minutes, but just give it a peek every so often and check for done-ness.

  3. Shammy says

    So, I made this – and it didn’t turn out well. A couple of things to note:

    DO NOT USE ANYTHING BUT REGULAR CREAM CHEESE. I used a brick of fat free. I cut the brick into about five slices and gave it a good stir with the other ingredients. It didn’t melt – it ended up sort of cooking itself like cubes of Indian cheese. I think because reduced fat versions must use some sort of binder to make up for the lost of fat. It tried to break these cook cubes down and stir into the soup, but it just made a big, curdled-looking mess.

    Next – the spinach overcooked into a nasty, gray lump. And the mushrooms shrunk to rubbery nothings. Six hours on ‘low’ is too much for both. I think adding the spinach at the end with the pasta would work better. And perhaps, cooking the mushrooms on the stove top with a little butter and adding it at the end as well.

    • Heather says

      Oh no! I’m sorry! I’ve used the lower-fat Neufchâtel cheese with no problem but haven’t tried non-fat, I’ll add a note not to use it. As far as the spinach and mushroom go, maybe my crock-pot runs low/your hot? I don’t know they seemed to be okay for me. Sorry again that it didn’t work out!

    • Jordan says

      I had the same problems (although I only used a reduced fat cheese). I used my hand emulsifier; it took care of the curdle-like texture of the cheese and the unfortunate spinach texture. (Admittedly, I did not have mushrooms in my soup either. My husband refuses to eat them.)

  4. says

    I made this last night and it was amazing. It made about 10 small bowl servings so my fiance and I will have leftovers to eat all week!

    I made a few small changes- I used store bought organic marinara sauce and ground chicken in place of the spaghetti sauce, sausage, and ground beef. I also used a whole bag of spinach and two 9 oz packages of fresh tortellini.

    It was awesome and will go in my recipe box to make again in the future!

  5. Lauren says

    looks so yummy! think i could replace the ground beef with turkey? as well as the sausage with turkey sausage?

    cant wait to try it!

    • Heather says

      Cook the meat first and then add it to the slowcooker. If you’re using spaghetti sauce that already has meat in it, you’re good to go! :)

  6. Beth says

    Yum!!! Loved this recipe. I didn’t plan for dinner on time to do this in the crockpot, so I cooked it on the stovetop and it was perfect. Thanks Heather!

  7. Mandie Murk says

    This looks delicious! I’m planning on making it for a family party this weekend. About how many servings does this make?

  8. Michelle says

    I did this in a big pot rather than the crockpot. I used Philadelphia low fat cream cheese and that worked well. I lightly fried my mushroom with some leeks before adding to the soup mix. I also added shredded zucchini to get more veggies in. So far, turning out fabulous!

  9. Alissa says

    Made this today, exactly as written. Turned out wonderful! I think I will add the spinach at the very end next time, but it was a huge hit with the whole family. I did use “real” cream cheese, and it was divine! Thanks for a great slow-cooker recipe.

  10. Elle Hart says

    I made this soup tonight as a “fast” in the pot soup. And since I don’t care for tortelli, I used Butoni 3 cheese Ravioletti. It turned out wonderful. I think it’s the best soup I’ve ever EATEN, much less MADE. Thanks again.

  11. Cortney says

    We know that low-fat and no-fat cream cheeses don’t work as well as the regular version… Are there any suggestions for a dairy free version of this recipe? Would non-dairy spread work?

  12. says

    Making this for Valentine’s Dinner with some Italian bread and a side salad. Hope it turns out well considering I don’t have a back up plan :-). Im still not sure at what point your supposed to put the meat in so… I just added it with the sauce, broth, cream cheese, ect.

  13. Lindsay Forscht says

    Just a note, this looks delicious. If you ever have issues with cheese curdling add a pinch or two of baking soda, it’s a trick that works especially when dealing with fat free things. You could try Greek yogurt in this too. I’m sure it would taste good and be less fattening for those that want to try. But if you do add a pinch of baking soda. This is an old chef trick to combat the chemical reaction of the acid and cream.

  14. Debbie says

    I made this on top of the stove in my dutch oven…I did everything from browning the meats and the mushrooms to the final adding the spinach..And I must say it was probably the best thing ever….SO YUMMY…Thank you..I am making it again tomorrow..

  15. Amy says

    Loved it! Used ground turkey, low sodium broth, and added the spinach at the end with the pasta. Definately a keeper recipe

  16. Molly says

    I made this last night, pretty much as directed- just added the spinach with the tortellini. My husband and kids loved this..I’m having leftovers for lunch today and had to thank you for such a fantastic recipe!

  17. Allison says

    Just made this soup — Delicious! I used lower-fat cream cheese, and was a little worried (from the reviews) about it curdling. After I browned and drained the meat, I put the meat back in my skillet and melted/stirred in the cream cheese (on low). Worked great — no curdling, and it’s all incorporated beautifully!

    • Heather says

      It would be great with some sliced zucchini, just add it in when you do the tortellini! Otherwise the soup is great even without the mushrooms. :)

  18. says

    I made this with regular cream cheese and it still has weird cream cheese chunks. What’s the deal? Does it need to be room temperature first?

    • Heather says

      Hmmm, you know I’m going to make it again soon and see what’s up. I made it several times before posting and never had a problem. I think it might have to do with the brand of cream cheese. I’ll do some research and report my findings!

  19. Brittany says

    I used the Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese and it worked just as wonderfully. Sooooo delicious. Just make sure you use a good pasta sauce!

  20. Gusmom says

    Trying this tonight after having it at a relative’s. Cheese still has a few chunks (probably missing some chemicals -full fat but from trader joe’s)- I think a gentle whisking will help that.
    No mushrooms -husband won’t eat them
    Spinach –I only had frozen so I thawed and threw it in. Think I can save that until the end next time. It doesn’t look as good as the raw but no clumping as others have seen.
    Has anyone else used frozen spinach?

  21. Mindy says!! So so so delicious!! I substituted kale for the spinach for some additional protein and it did not disappoint.

  22. Anastasia says

    I made this tonight on the stovetop and it was fabulous! No problems with the cream cheese, in fact the only problem is that I might not have enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Heather says

      Haha, you know it’s good when the only problem is not having leftovers! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Katie W says

    I made this before in my crockpot and loved it!!! But for time’s sake I’m thinking about doing it on the stove next time instead. Do you have any idea how long it takes on the stove? Thanks for the recipe! My husband and I both devoured it last time!

    • Heather says

      It doesn’t take long at all- maybe 20 minutes. Bring everything up to a simmer and once the cream cheese is melted stir in the tortellini and spinach. Once the tortellini is tender, you’re good to go!

  24. Alyssa says

    I a variation of this recipe today for the second time. Instead of ravioli, I added quinoa. I kept the mushrooms and spinach but also added sweet potato, yellow potato, red pepper, eggplant, zucchini, spanish onion, garlic and carrots.
    I simply LOVE the chicken broth/tomato/cream cheese base. mmmmmmmmm

  25. Aimee says

    Making this tonight, but not sure of i put the meat in the crock pot raw or cook it before putting it in…

  26. J Money says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Thank you so much for sharing. It will be a regular in our house :)

  27. Denise Wiersema says

    @Jason Tieri. That’s awesome…and yes, it totally does, so now I need to make this cause ear is one of my favorite soup ingredients :).

  28. Kristi says

    Thanks for the great recipe! I made it tonight with ground turkey and store-bought sauce on the stove. It was great! I think I will try the greek yogurt thing next time since we don’t usually buy cream cheese.

  29. Noel says

    I made this soup today and it is SO delicious and so easy!! I actually used fat free cream cheese but with fat free you have to make a sauce first. I heated it up on the stove with a little broth until it was all melted and formed a nice, thick sauce then put it in the crock pot. It turned out great!

  30. Cora says

    I made this soup tonight for my boyfriend and me. He claims to hate soup, but he absolutely LOVED this. I saw that some people had issues with using reduced fat cream cheese, but I didn’t have a problem with it at all; you just have to let it soften and blend it really well with the rest of the mixture. For some reason, I felt inclined to throw in a half teaspoon of curry powder and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, which was a good choice. Long story short, this was an awesome dinner (served with Gouda grilled cheese) that I will definitely be making again! Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Melissa Gusman says

    The soup was absolutely delicious! I took two other readers’ comments and used 1/3 Philidelphia lower fat cream cheese and added it to the meat after it was drained to let it warm up and melted in with the meat. Add that to the red sauce and give a good stir. I also waited to put in the spinach until I added the tortellini at the end. It took about 30 minutes to fully cook the noodles. I added some Mrs. Dash Italian seasonings then too. My brother and husband loved it, plus it was very easy!

  32. Missy says

    Wow! This was amazing. I made it on the stove. Used organic spaghetti sauce, organic cream cheese, ground turkey, small portabella mushrooms and I added a can of great northern beans. Delish,,

  33. Elizabeth says

    Made this tonight after I found it on Pinterest. Absolutely amazing. I served it in bread bowls. Actually I think I’m going to go get another bowl. Thanks for adding a new recipe to my rotation.

  34. susan says

    Oh my! I knew it was going to be good based on the pict but it was REALLY good and so simple!!! Instead of the ground beef I found some stew beef chopped on sale while buying ingredients, so just lightly browned and threw it in with the rest of the pot. I did add the mushrooms and spinach the last 45 minutes and it was perfect!! Wondering if anyone knows how well this would freeze? Would like to make another pot and freeze in individual bowls for winter.

  35. Sarah says

    Just made this tonight! Turned out wonderful (and my boyfriend loved it too)!

    I used ground turkey for my meat. I also added sautéed onions and lots of garlic :) As others advised, I added the spinach at the end with the tortellini and it worked out very well. I added quite a bit of cayenne pepper to kick it up a notch!

    There is a lot of room to play around with this recipe. It is great as is, but next time I might throw in some other vegetables! Zucchini suggestions sounds great!

  36. Susan says

    Hubby loved this…I used the refrigerated tortellini and added some pre-cooked chicken meatballs. I would probably add the spinach for the last hour or two…kind of grey and overcooked. Otherwise yummy!

  37. Traci says

    I made this tonight with a few adjustments…. I used Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo sauce instead of red spaghetti sauce and I only used Turkey sausage. It turned out fantastic!

  38. Jacki says

    Made this tonight… Delicious! I opted stovetop rather than my crockpot. I also opted to just use a 1 lb package of ground Italian sausage. Half way through cooking my sausage, I threw in the mushrooms. Once fully cooked, I stirred in my low fat cream cheese on low heat until well blended. Then threw the meat mixture and all remaining ingredients in my pot to cook. So easy and quite tasty!!

  39. says

    Made this soup at a Scrapbooking retreat. It was FANTASTIC! Used sliced Baby Bella mushrooms, and added a little garlic powder. Everyone wanted the recipe.

    Added the spinach at the beginning and it was still “visible” in the soup. It didn’t cook away to nothing. I definitely will be making again.

  40. Ivana says

    Went by the recipe except I did it stove top ( 45minutes ) and used fully cooked grilled chicken strips, added some garlic and chipotle powder

  41. Rachael says

    Hi Heather! I found your website through pinterest and made this soup for my co workers today. THEY LOVED IT!! Thank you for sharing!!

  42. Sharon says

    This was so easy! It was very good! I only used half of the cream cheese (we are watching calories) and it was still nice and creamy. I also used frozen spinach it was half the cost of fresh and since it was going to be cooked down it would be ok. The frozen worked out great too! My hubby loved this! This will go into my permanant meal rotation.

  43. says


  44. says

    I tried the Tortellini Slow-Cooker soup. Great! I didn’t use the slow cooker method just stove top,and I was out of cream cheese but I substituted sour cream, also the first time I made it I used dry tortellini.The dry tortellini seems to hold its shape longer. It goes so quick that doesn’t even matter. Nothing but raves here! Also use those corn-chip strips as a garnish along with the Parmesan. Wow your site is great!

  45. says

    This recipe looks amazing! I am definitely going to try this! Not sure if I’m going to add the spinach or not yet, I love it, but my husband is definitely not a fan of green things. Will keep you posted. Thanks for the great recipe! Jan

  46. says

    Made this on the stovetop tonight, no time for slow cooker! It is delish! Followed recipe exactly, other than cooking method. Served with hot, crusty bread. Definitely a keeper.

  47. Bonnie says

    Have tried many versions of this, but your recipe is the best. Literally CRAVE -worthy. I used dry pasta and it worked fine – just needs to cook a little longer and a little more chicken broth. Thank you!

  48. Helen says

    I made this last night & OMG!!! Even though some of the reviews stated that they had a problem with the cheese, I did not have any issues and I used the Neufchâtel cheese. I think that as long are using a good slow cooker & as you cook it enough & stir regularly, you wont have any problem either. This was the second recipe provided by Heather that I will keep forever. THANS AGAIN HEATHER! Keep them coming!

  49. Lynn Pullman says

    This soup was a huge hit at a holiday party… so much so that I shared this website with several people on FB. My husband hates soups… you have his stamp of approval! Keep up the tips and good work, oh… congrats on the new addition to this wonderful world!

  50. Megan says

    Just thought I’d let you know I made this months ago and it is now one of our household faves (i’m actually making it again tonight). I skip the spinach and mushrooms and add mozzarella cheese a small bit every hour. Not only is it delicious but it reheats really well and during the cold months it’s a perfect dinner as well as a reheated lunch.
    p.s – it’s also really good if you dip ciabatta or garlic bread into it.

    Thanks so much for sharing – I didn’t even like soup until I tried this 😀

  51. vikki says

    Your mother made this for our Women’s Conference and we have been bugging her for the recipe. So delicious. Can’t wait to make it for my family.

  52. Angela says

    I have made this soup several times and will be making it again for a big Christmas eve party as it is a family favorite and I want to share with the rest of the family. Since I am making a large batch ( probably going to triple the recipe) and want to make on the stove do you have any pointers? How long should I cook it for etc…

  53. Sunnie says

    I haven’t made this yet but I wanted to comment on the person that had trouble using fat free cream cheese. I cook with it all the time, it just needs to be stirred as it melts to incorporate it into the liquid. I’d suggest possibly heating up the chicken broth in a saucepan and adding softened cream cheese to it, stirring until it melts, then add it to the other ingredients in slow cooker. I know it’s a little more work, but it should help if you want to use ff cream cheese. I hope this helps!

  54. Robby says

    This looks fantastic and we’ll be having it tomorrow night. I have a soup recipe that uses cream cheese and people tell me it curdles. It does not, the cream cheese (full or low fat) isn’t fully melted yet which is why they have little white specks floating in there. I accidentally let my soup come to a boil once and still no curdling. Just another data point, as my resident scientist would say.

  55. Marilyn says

    I got this recipe from your Mom and made it last weekend for a teacher training conference! Everyone loved it! Thank you for a great recipe….I have shared your blog with everyone….

  56. Sherry says

    Just throwing together this very simple recipe, it smells amazing. Thank you for sharing Heather! Im using a stove top instead of a slow cooker, seems to be pretty straight forward. The minute I saw this on pinterest it just looked so warm and hearty. Pinned it right away, it jumped right out at me!Thank again!

  57. April says

    This is so yummy. My husband asks for it weekly. I add the spinach at the same time as the tortellini and it turns out great.

  58. Kate says

    Awesome recipe! I am a vet student and will get stuck at school for 14+ hours a day, this soup is a great pick-me-up, thanks so much for sharing!

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  60. says

    I made this yesterday and can’t stop thinking about it! Thank God for leftovers! 😉 I sliced the mushrooms nice and thick, made a few changes in the meat, based on what I had on hand. I’m not a big mushroom fan, but they were heavenly in this dish. I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you for sharing.

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  63. Marcia says

    Didn’t use mushrooms since my boyfriend doesn’t like them but I found the cream cheese didn’t melt. I cooked on low all day and when I came home the chunks were still in the pot. ODD
    Otherwise, I think my measurements were off also, a lot of sauce…I’m not one to measure ingredients much! It was still good.

  64. says

    I’ve made this several times and it’s absolutely delicious!! I make it on top of the stove by browning both ground chuck and Hot Italian Sausage, then throw the mushrooms in to cook with them. I add all of that to a soup pot, add the spaghetti sauce, broth, and once it’s bubbling, the cream cheese. I chop the spinach and add that with the fresh/refrigerated tortellini. Simmer and enjoy! Easy and awesome recipe.

  65. Kristen says

    I just wanted to comment that I used plain greek yogurt instead of cream cheese in the recipe and it came out excellent! I added the sauce, broth, and yogurt first and whisked it until it was well combined, then added everything else. I also threw in a handfull of chopped onions and peppers.

  66. Johanna says

    I don’t put this one in the crockpot. I just cook everything but the pasta and spinach on stovetop and then add them the next day after work or freeze and add them when I need them. This is a very tasty recipe!!

  67. Kati says

    I used full fat cream cheese and let it cook all day – the cream cheese still didn’t melt, but I used an immersion blender to blend things up a bit and that fixed it right up! Good excuse to use a wedding present, haha! Can’t wait for my husband to get home so we can eat!

  68. Becca A. says

    Omgosh!! This is soooo good!! I have also never commented on one of these before… but the soup is cooking on the stove now and I’ve just tasted a couple of bites and I love it! It will definitely go on our recipe rotation.

    I made it on the stovetop… used a vodka red sauce (no meat) because I already had it in the pantry. Used Kroger brand cream cheese (regular fat)… threw everything in the pot (except the spinach and pasta) and let it cook/boil for maybe 10 min. Then tossed in the tortellini and spinach, a little crushed red pepper because we add it to almost everything ;-), and voila!!! SO TASTY!! Thanks for the recipe!! Can’t wait for my fiancé to try it :-).

  69. Sarah says

    I came across this recipe online while trying to figure out what to do with the frozen tortellini that had been in my freezer for forever. It looked good so I decided to make it. Wow!!! It was delicious. I had my nephews over and they are notoriously picky eaters. They ate this stuff like it was going out of style. (Though they did pick out the kale that I had used instead of spinach) though it makes a lot, there was no left overs. There arnt many recipes I make often but this one has become a favourite. After the first time I made it though I decided to double the mushrooms and take out the spinach/kale as I found it didn’t really add anything.

  70. Liz says

    This looks amazing, but looking for a substitute for the meat. Might try ground chicken, has anyone used Lentils as a replacement? Any suggestions?

  71. Beth says

    This fid not turn out well. But it was my fault. I stupidly added the tortellini at the beginning. The flavor was good but too mushy. Will definitely try again. But the correct way.

  72. Sarah says

    So good! I sautéed the mushrooms in butter and evoo with onions and garlic, then added them with the liquids. We are vegetarian, so I didn’t add in any meat, but I added a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes. I added the spinach with the tortellini noodles. A dash of crushed red pepper and a big hunk of crusty bread. Yum!

  73. Nicole says

    I make this on a regular basis, it’s one of my family’s favorite dishes. But we like our food spicy so I always use hot Italian sausage and add a can of sliced jalapenos in escabeche. So delicious!!!


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