If you follow any food bloggers, you’ve probably seen some version of the crockpot sausage and tortellini soup floating around on social media. What’s not to love? Sausage, cheese, pasta? Yummmmm!
Although it’s a hearty dish, perfect for a cold winter’s night, it probably isn’t the healthiest mid week meal. I have lightened up my version to make it something that can be added to any weeknight family menu.
Mine turns out to be less like soup and more like pasta in a rich sauce, which makes it even more appealing to my family – namely, my husband, who isn’t a huge soup fan.
So let’s get started…here are the main ingredients. My recipe uses kale, but I included spinach in the photo in case you prefer it to kale.
I use Jennie-O Hot Italian Sausage, however, if you’re not a fan of spicy food, they also make a sweet version that you can use. Begin by removing the casing from the sausage. This can be done by holding each sausage in one hand and splitting it open with a knife. Then gently peel back the casing and discard.
Place the peeled sausages in a nonstick pan with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and brown. Make sure to break up the meat into small crumbles.
Once the turkey is cooked, place in the bottom of your crock pot along with the kale. I used a fresh bunch of kale that I cleaned and trimmed, but you could easily use a 5-6 oz package that can be found by the bagged lettuce. I highly recommend you give the kale a try, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can use spinach.
Next add in a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, 5 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of Chicken Better than Bouillon (affiliate link) – I LOVE this stuff!
Mix together, cover and set on low for 3.5 hours.
After 3.5 hours it will look like this….
Now I will be honest, I actually really like to eat it just like this – a comforting bowl of tomato soup with sausage and kale. In fact, I often scoop some out for myself before adding in the other ingredients – shhhh!
Next add in 1 pound of cheese tortellini or any other pasta of your choice. If you’d like to add in unfilled pasta, like macaroni or penne, that is is totally fine. Also, add in 8 oz of 1/3 less fat cream cheese. If you’d like your sauce to be a little more or less creamy you can adjust the amount of cream cheese accordingly. Make sure to break the cream cheese into small pieces so it melts more easily into the sauce. Cover and set the crock pot on low for an additional 30 minutes. Sorry for the weird angle on the picture – oops!
When the timer goes off stir the melted cream cheese into the sauce, it may look a little chunky, but that is just from the large pieces of cheese breaking up into the sauce – I promise, it is still totally delicious. Your meal can be made a few hours ahead of time and will keep warm in the crokpot until ready to serve.
This is a crowd pleaser at my house, even my kids, who can be super picky at times, love the tortellini. I’m still working towards them loving the kale, but for now, I’ll take it as a win that they like most of this easy weeknight dinner.
I hope you try our my recipe and let me know what you think. Until next time, happy cooking!