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This creamy bowl of Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana is the perfect cold-weather dinner. Spicy Italian chicken sausage simmered together with basil pesto, cheese tortellini, kale, a little lemon, and finished with crispy bacon. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to each bowl and serve with crusty bread. It’s hearty, full of greens, and so delicious. A fun twist on the classic and great for just about any night of the week! 

Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana | halfbakedharvest.com

We finally have snow here! This has been the weirdest December I’ve ever seen. We’ve had very little snowfall and back to back days of sunshine. Usually by this time of year we have full snow cover and more snowy days than sunny. But this year has just been so strange. 

I’m excited to report that we have a couple days of snow in the forecast. Snowy cold days mean soup! And this is one I’ve been looking forward to making for months. 

A few years ago I made my own version of the Olive Garden’s very well loved Zuppa Toscana. It’s been such a favorite soup ever since. When I make it for people, they always ask for the recipe. 

Back in the fall I had the idea to replace the potatoes in the soup with some cheese tortellini. At the time I had been making a lot of soup, so I held off on this recipe until I had the perfect day to make it. 

Well, I finally made it, and I actually think it’s better than the original. 

Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana | halfbakedharvest.com

Here are the details 

The key to a good Zuppa Toscana is the spicy sausage. So begin with the sausage, you’ll want to brown it with onions and garlic and add in some broth. Then, I love to add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto for even more flavor.

This may not be traditional but it really adds so much to this hearty soup. I’ve found that both the addition of sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and fresh lemon really lighten things up and truly enhance the flavors.

Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana | halfbakedharvest.com

Once you have everything in the soup, add the kale and let it cook down into the broth. Towards the end of cooking, stir in the tortellini, cream, and parmesan. 

Then just ladle the soup into bowls and top with crispy bacon. Nothing fancy at all, but so warming delicious. 

Really excited to serve this to my family over Christmas break. My cousin Abby loves soup, so this is perfect!

Bonus, this soup is great to have after coming in from the cold and so easy to cook up too. 

Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for winter soup recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Creamy White Lasagna Soup

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Creamy Gnocchi Soup with Rosemary Bacon

Creamy French Onion and Mushroom Soup

Lastly, if you make this Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 685 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. 
    2. To the pot, add the sausage and onion. Brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, and a pinch of chili flakes, cook 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, 1 cup water, the pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    3. Stir in the kale and cook 5 minutes, until wilted, stir in the tortellini. Cook 2-3 minutes, then add the cream and parmesan. Remove from the heat. Stir in the reserved bacon.
    4. Serve the soup topped with additional parmesan and fresh thyme, if desired.
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Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Perfect soup for a chilly Sunday! We did sub in spicy Italian sausage, but otherwise made the recipe as is and it was a perfect hearty meal. Can’t wait for leftovers!

    1. Hey Ava,
      I truly appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, love to hear that it was enjoyed!❄️ xx

  2. 5 stars
    Love this one!! I sub creamy oat milk for the heavy cream/milk to do less dairy, but would also be delish with just the chicken broth. Perfect for a chilly night!

    1. Hey Desiree,
      Happy Sunday!! I truly appreciate you giving this a try and sharing your feedback, so glad it was enjoyed:) xx

  3. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for Friday dinner which is usually my night off cooking and order out. I was craving this soup when I read the recipe and loved it. Hearty enough to be much more than a soup and not as heavy as a pasta. I make something similar but the pesto and bacon add more depth and more yum! I highly recommend this and forwarded it on to some family members for inspiration.

    1. Hey Lauren,
      This is such a super simple stove top recipe, I would just stick with that method:) Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  4. 5 stars
    My husband and I LOVE this meal. I found it a few months ago and ever since we’ve had it on regular rotation. Every time we make it we are amazed at the depth of flavors and textures. It’s just the two of us so we always have enough for 6 meals and we love it as leftovers almost as much as when it’s fresh. The only downside is that is requires a lot of more costly ingredients- it’s worth it though!

    1. Hey Carissa,
      Love it!!🤩 So glad to hear that this recipe is always a hit, thanks so much for making it so often! xx

  5. 5 stars
    This was so insanely delicious! I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch today! Hearty, healthy and soul fulfilling! Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Christie,
      Awesome!!🤩 I truly appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review and love to hear that it was a hit! xTieghan

    1. Hi Melissa,
      I would just skip the pesto:) I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

  6. 5 stars
    YUM!!!! We absolutely loved this soup. It was hearty and comforting without being heavy. It was spicy, but not too spicy…creamy, but not too rich. It was perfection. I recommend using fresh tortellini instead of frozen. Will definitely make again.

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Happy Monday!! I truly appreciate you trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad it was enjoyed! xx

  7. Made it and it was perfection! The tortellinis made it much more appealing to my toddler rather than just “soup”

    1. Hey Rachel,
      I really appreciate you giving this dish a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Hope you’re having a great Wednesday! xT