Tortellini in Brodo Soup Recipe (Italian)

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Tortellini in Brodo Soup Recipe (Italian). Tortellini en brodo “in broth” is a traditional first course for our Italian Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch. An easy and delicious meal that takes little time to prepare. I love the size and shape of the tortellini you can get a perfect bite in every spoonful.

This simple peasant dish is a little piece of my heart. A taste of Italy to your holiday table. Simply serve with a side salad or appetizer (like this easy and delicious bruschetta with mozzarella) and a loaf of your favorite variety of Italian bread.

soup-tortellini-cheese in a bowl with bread.
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Traditional Italian Tortellini in Broth Soup

We eat this humble and traditional dish to celebrate the true and simple meaning of Christmas. Before the fancy main meal, desserts, and Christmas presents, in Italy, we start out Christmas Eve dinner with a heartwarming soup that takes us back to how the Christmas story began in a humble manger.

This warm and cozy soup is also a great way to make a quick meal and use up that extra chicken stock (or any other variety) you have in your freezer. It is the perfecct soup for a cold winte day and a simple vegeterain dish.

After you heat the broth, you will cook the tortellini in it and add fresh Parmigiano on top, if desired. So easy and delicious!

You will also love Italian Pastina Soup Recipe (with Chicken broth).

Simple Ingredients

This tortellini soup calls for only a few ingredients, so make sure they are of the highest quality, especially the chicken stock. I prefer to make mine homemade.

  • Cheese filled Tortellini

Homemade Chicken Broth (or good quality store-bought chicken stock or broth) Homemade chicken broth:

  • Whole Chicken
  • Yellow Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Sea Salt

For Serving

  • Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (or parmsean cheese)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Good Italian-style bread

See the recipe card for qualities.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth for Tortellini in Brodo Soup

Making your homemade chicken broth for tortellini en brodo soup is easy! You dump the ingredients in a stock pot, let it boil, then strain the broth. The extra time is worth the effort to make a rich hot broth for the pasta soup.

Here is how to make this simple broth for this classic Italian soup. It is a simple bone broth made with leftover chicken bones. I used leftover my chicken carcass after making Perfect Roast Chicken with Citrus and Fennel.

  1. Place all chicken broth ingredients in a large pot, soup kettle, or Dutch oven. Cover with water just enough so all ingredients are submerged. Bring to a boil on high heat.
filling pot with water and ingredients to make chicken broth.

2. Let boil for a few minutes, then reduce heat until it is just at a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 hours, skimming foam from the top as necessary.

pastina soup process of making the chicken broth.

3. Strain broth through a colander or fine mesh strainer. Discard the vegetables and herbs.

4. After making your homemade broth or stock (you can also use vegetable stock) you will boil the pasta according to the package directions.

5. In a small stockpot, bring the stock to a boil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in tortellini. Cook pasta according to package instructions (it should float to the top when finished). Remove from heat, and serve hot.

Variations

Try different types of tortellini to mix it up, if you desire. This soup makes the most simple and comforting meal. Buon appetito!

  • Prociutto and cheese tortellini
  • Beef tortellini
  • Spinach tortellini

I love using tortellini for this nostalgic recipe, but other stuffed pasta work just as well. Try making homemade ravioli!

You can try tortelloni, ravioli, or cappelletti. Or, make your own homemade pasta dough. The pasta doesn’t have to be stuffed, you can use your favorite pasta shape.

More tortellini recipes to try.

Tortellini Soup with Spinach and Lemon, Easy Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe , and Tortellini Alla Panna Recipe with Peas.

tortellini en brodo soup in a bowl

Italian Christmas Tortellini in Brodo Soup

You will find this simple tortellini soup for a primo (first course) at every Christmas Eve dinner, or Christmas Day lunch across Italy. It is as common in Northern Italy as in Southern Italy. Usually, spaghetti, or other pasta is the first course, but not on Christmas.

We eat this humble dish to remember the true meaning of Christmas. This tortellini en brodo meal is rich, comforting, and absolutely underrated for how delicious it is.

These small pieces of stuffed pasta heaven, are a staple of Italian cuisine and a favorite at holiday meals. One of my favorites is our Christmas tradition, to serve them in a hearty broth for the classic tortellini in brodo dish.

Tortellini in Brodo History (la cucina povera)

This is a heartwarming recipe from ‘La Cucina Povera’ or the Italian poor kitchen.

Source: La Cucina Italiana

The word tortellini comes from the Italian torta, cake. The basic shape of this stuffed pasta comes in various sizes—Tortellini, the smallest, to medium-sized Tortelli, to tortelloni, the largest. 

The soup was a peasant creation. The evolution started with the brodo, a rich broth favored by the ruling classes and made from boiled capon. By the time the broth was ready, all the flavor from the capon’s meat was gone.

The house staff in the kitchens throughout Emilia-Romagna didn’t dare throw away edible meat; instead, they peppered in crumbs of Parmesan cheese, then scraps of prosciutto or mortadella.

The mixture was then ground into a ripieno (filling for the tortellini) and smidges were placed on tortellini small enough to fit on a spoon.

Source: La Cucina Italiana

tortellini broth plate

Variations of Tortelini in brodo

Now you will see all different sizes and filling at Christmas tables across Italy. Some buy fresh tortellini at their local pasta shop while others still make them from scratch. Some make the broth some use pre-made.

However, it is made the importance of keeping the tradition alive is all that matters. This year I bought some from a local restaurant and will cook them at home.

bread- soup- pasta- plate

What to serve with Tortellini in Brodo Soup

This tasty warm soup is delicious on its own with a slice of Italian bread. Serve with a seafood appetizer for the holiday season, or a hearty pork and fennel dish.

More delicious recipes

How to Store

  • Wait until the soup is completely cool before transferring it to a sealed airtight container.
  • Keep it chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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bread- soup- pasta- plate

Tortellini en Brodo (in broth) Italian Recipe

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5 from 3 reviews

Tortellini in Brodo Soup Recipe (Italian). Tortellini en brodo “in broth” is a traditional first course for our Italian Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch. An easy and delicious meal that takes little time to prepare. I love the size and shape of the tortellini you can get a perfect bite in every spoonful.

  • Total Time: 2-3 hours + 10 min
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

Tortellini en Brodo Soup Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen tortellini, filled with cheese
  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock (vegetable broth or stock)
  • Freshly ground pepper (optional), for serving
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (optional), for serving)
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, for serving

Homemade Chicken Broth

  • 1 cooked whole chicken carcass, skin and meat removed
  • 1 whole onion, cut in half outer layer removed
  • 1 large carrot, whole or cut in half
  • 2 celery ribs with leaves, cut in half
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (add other favorite fresh herbs)
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt, or to taste
  • Water

Instructions

Homemade Chicken Broth

  1. Place all chicken broth ingredients in a large pot, soup kettle, or Dutch oven. Cover with water just enough so all ingredients are submerged. Bring to a boil on high heat. Let boil for a few minutes then reduce heat until it is just at a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 hours, skimming foam from top as necessary.
  2. Strain broth through a colander, or sieve. Discard the vegetables and herbs.

Tortellini en Brodo Soup 

  1. Bring 6 cups of homemade chicken broth to a boil.
  2. Add the tortellini pasta and boil for 3-4 minutes or until al dente (according to package instructions).
  3. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano cheese and freshly ground black pepper, and/or a good drizzle of olive oil if desired. Serve with Easy Soft Italian No Knead Bread

Notes

  • use homemade broth or stock is possible for an extra rich taste. 
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 2-3 hours (if making homemade stock)
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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6 Comments

  1. This soup will cure what ails you! It is a cozy, warm, and simple recipe that has become a new staple in our house.






  2. Delicious tasty soup. Very easy recipe to make. My grandmother wouldhave been proud. Reminded me of my Childhood Christmas.






    1. Hi Joe, thrilled you love the recipe. It is a homey and humble one that speaks love. Enjoy for years to come.

  3. My husband and I loved it! I already had homemade bone broth in the freezer and was able to pick up delicious organic tortellini… such a cozy meal!