This Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe is cozy and flavorful with soft puffs of cheese tortellini and bites of tender, flavorful chicken and fresh vegetables, all in a sunshiny lemon-spiked chicken broth. If there’s one soup that the whole family can agree on, this is it!

A spoon lifts a tortellini out of a bowl of lemon chicken tortellini soup.

Easy Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup

This Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe, with its flavorful lemony chicken broth, is loaded with tender chicken and colorful fresh veggies. But the thing that gets my family most excited about this one-pot meal? It’s definitely all about the cheese-filled tortellini! When this pasta cooks in the soup broth, it gets delightfully soft and puffy, and absolutely irresistible. This is a fun, delicious, family-friendly soup!

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Tortellini Soup Recipe

Our daughters aren’t super crazy about soup, but this lemon chicken tortellini soup always has them going back to fill their bowls. Here’s why you’ll love it too:

  • So cozy. This soup is the definition of comfort food. Each spoonful is like a big hug, with pillowy, cheesy pasta bites, tender chicken, and colorful veggies.
  • Not your basic chicken soup. I’m a huge fan of my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup. And this chicken tortellini soup recipe ticks it up a notch with the addition of cheese tortellini and fresh, bright lemon.
  • Highly adaptable. The veggies in this recipe (carrots, onion, garlic, peas) work very well together, adding pops of flavor, color, and texture. But you can definitely change it up. For example, toss in some spinach during the final minutes on the stovetop. Also feel free to swap out the dill for another herb.
The ingredients for lemon chicken tortellini soup are shown: chicken, carrots, broth, peas, olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, lemon, tortellini.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a glance at what you’ll need to make this lemon chicken tortellini soup. Find the exact ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Olive oil – To cook the chicken.
  • Chicken – I use skinless, boneless chicken thighs because they are more flavorful than chicken breasts. I’ve always been a dark meat fan when it comes to chicken, but if you prefer chicken breasts, that’s just fine.
  • Salt & pepper To season the chicken.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted butter is fine.
  • Veggies – I like the combination of fresh carrots, onion, and garlic. Each vegetable adds its own unique flavor to the soup.
  • Chicken broth – I always use low-sodium chicken broth. If you use regular chicken broth, you’ll likely want to add less salt than the recipe calls for.
  • Lemon juice and zest – Use fresh lemons to infuse this soup with the brightest, freshest lemon flavor.
  • Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base – This is optional but will add even more depth of flavor. This is the chicken base that I use.
  • Cheese tortellini – Pick up a package of fresh cheese tortellini, found in the refrigerated section at the store, for the softest texture and most delicious cheese flavor. I do not recommend dried tortellini for this recipe.
  • Frozen peas I love adding peas to this soup. They’re little green pops of earthy sweetness! Omit them if you absolutely must.
  • Fresh dill – You can add more dill if you love dill (I always add more!). On the other hand, if you don’t care for it, feel free to swap it out for another herb – see my suggestions in the Tips & Variations section below.
  • Parmesan – This is optional, yet highly recommended. My family likes to freshly grate a block of Parmesan over their soup bowl. It’s not only fun (let everyone grate to their heart’s content), but also adds delicious flavor!
A bowl of lemon chicken tortellini soup on a table surrounded by more bowls of soup, peas, and lemons.

How to Make Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup

You’ll find it very easy to make this lemon chicken tortellini soup recipe. Here’s an overview of how to do it. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.

  • Cook the chicken. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, cook it on both sides, then remove it from the pan.
  • Cook the vegetables. Melt the butter into the drippings and cook the carrots, onion, and garlic.
  • Add chicken broth. Stir in the chicken broth. Bring just to a boil, then immediately lower the heat.
  • Add chicken, let simmer. Stir in the chicken and then simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Add the lemon juice and zest, and chicken bouillon if using. Then stir in the tortellini, peas, and finally, the dill.
A bowl of lemon chicken tortellini soup showing peas, carrots, and torellini.

Tips & Variations

I’ve outlined a few tips below to help you make a perfect pot of lemon chicken tortellini soup!

  • Add tortellini depending on how much you will eat. If the soup sits for a long time on the stovetop, or if you have leftovers stored in the fridge, the tortellini pasta will continue to soak up more and more of the broth. If you plan to eat all the soup in one sitting, go ahead and add all of the tortellini to the pot in Step 6. But if you think you’ll have leftovers, I recommend only adding as much tortellini as you think you will eat with the first meal.
  • Or, add the pasta individually to bowls. Alternatively, you could cook the tortellini separately according to the package directions, drain, and reserve them – then add the cooked tortellini to individual bowls and ladle the hot soup over it right before serving. 
  • Use chicken breasts. If you’d rather use white chicken meat for this soup, go right ahead and use chicken breasts.
  • Or pick up a rotisserie chicken. If you’re short on time, you can buy a cooked rotisserie chicken at the store, shred it, and stir it into the soup.
  • Use different flavors of tortellini. If you like spinach and cheese tortellini, it’s a great option.
  • Stir in more vegetables. I often throw 2-3 cups of baby spinach into the pot a couple minutes after I add the tortellini.
  • Swap out the dill. Maybe you’re not a fan of dill? Then use thyme, basil, oregano, or parsley instead!
A bowl of lemon chicken tortellini soup on a table surrounded by more bowls of soup, peas, and lemons.

What To Serve With Tortellini Soup

Serve this soup as a one-bowl lunch or dinner – or add some sides. Here are some options for side dishes:

A bowl of lemon chicken tortellini soup showing peas, carrots, and torellini.

Proper Storage

I mentioned this already, but the tortellini will get mushy if left in the soup for an extended amount of time – especially if you are storing any leftovers. So this is what I recommend for storage:

  • Fridge – If the pasta and soup are already combined, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the tortellini and place it in a separate airtight container. Then place the remaining cooled soup in an airtight container. Store the tortellini and soup in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat – When you’re ready to reheat the soup, place the soup in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. If you think you’ll finish it all off, stir in the remaining tortellini and heat the soup until hot. Otherwise, you can heat individual portions of tortellini in the microwave in 30-second increments until warm, then add it the soup.

More Easy Soup Recipes

A bowl of lemon chicken tortellini soup on a table surrounded by more bowls of soup, peas, and lemons.

Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup

Yield: 6 servings
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 1 hour 5 minutes
total time: 1 hour 25 minutes
This Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe is cozy and flavorful with soft puffs of cheese tortellini and bites of tender, flavorful chicken and fresh vegetables, all in a sunshiny lemon-spiked chicken broth. If there's one soup that the whole family can agree on, this is it!
5 Stars (5 Reviews)
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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, with any large pieces of fat removed
  • kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups peeled, sliced carrots, cut crosswise ¼" thick
  • cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base (use more if needed)
  • 9 ounces tortellini pasta with cheese (use fresh/refrigerated, not dried)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (add more if you really like dill!)
  • freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Instructions

  • Drizzle whole chicken thighs with ½ tablespoon of the olive oil, and toss to coat evenly. Season fairly generously with salt & pepper on both sides.
  • Heat a large pot over medium to medium-high heat and add remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Once olive oil is hot, add seasoned whole chicken thighs. Cook chicken for 12 to 15 minutes total, turning periodically, until chicken is no longer pink in the middle – total time will depend on the size of the chicken pieces. Transfer chicken to a plate. Once chicken has cooled a bit, shred it on a cutting board, using two forks. Set aside.
  • While chicken is cooling, using the same large pot, turn heat down to slightly less than medium. Add butter to drippings in pot, and once melted, add carrots and onion. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cook until veggies have softened a bit, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  • Add chicken broth to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring mixture just to a boil. Then immediately turn the heat down to medium-low and toss in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and the shredded chicken. Cover the pot, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in lemon juice and zest. Then taste test, and add 1 tablespoon or more of chicken bouillon for richer chicken flavor, plus additional salt & pepper, if needed.
  • Add tortellini (see Notes below) and peas, and give a gentle stir to incorporate. Cook tortellini according to package directions, usually 4-8 minutes. If needed, turn heat up just a bit, to bring broth to a simmer. Do not boil rapidly.
  • Stir in dill, then serve immediately. We like to grate fresh Parmesan over the top of our bowls, but that's completely optional.

Notes

When adding the tortellini: If you are planning to eat all the soup in one sitting, add all of the tortellini to the pot in Step 6. If you will have leftovers, I recommend only adding as much tortellini as you think you will eat with the first meal. Alternatively, you could cook the tortellini separately according to the package directions, drain, and reserve them – then just add the cooked tortellini to individual bowls of hot soup right before serving. Otherwise, when storing leftover soup in the refrigerator, the noodles soak up the broth, get mushy, and break down.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 451kcal Carbohydrates: 30g Protein: 41g Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 7g Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 154mg Sodium: 1510mg Fiber: 5g Sugar: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

This post was first published in 2015, then updated in 2024.