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3 Way Tortellini, Soup-Stew-Pasta

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 7 hrs
Course Main Course, slow cooker, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6


  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1/2 T butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 jars 25 oz. each, Marinara or Tomato Sauce or 6 cups homemade sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 6-10 ounces dry packaged cheese filled tortellini*
  • red wine beef broth or water to taste
  • ricotta cheese optional
  • Sprig of basil for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish


  • In a 12” skillet over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil and saute the onion until transparent and starting to brown. Add sausage and brown, stirring and breaking apart with wooden spoon. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • While the meat is cooking, pour the marinara sauce into the slow cooker. Add sugar and seasonings. Stir in the cooked sausage with onions and garlic. Add 1/2 cup liquid of choice. Set the slow cooker on high, and cook for 3-4 hours or low for 5-7 hours.
  • About 30-45 minutes before you are ready to serve, pour the dry packaged tortellini into the soup. Use 4-6 oz. for soup, 6-8 oz. for a thicker stew, and 8-10 oz. for a pasta dish more like baked pasta than soup.
  • Turn the slow cooker up to high (or leave it if it was already on high) and let the tortellini cook for 15-20 minutes. Add additional liquid as desired. Turn slow cooker back down and serve within 30 minutes. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.


*if you use refrigerated tortellini, add it almost at the very end since it requires very little cooking time. It also won’t expand as much or absorb quite as much flavor do to the shorter time in the slow cooker.
Keyword Italian stew, tomato tortellini soup