Slow Cooker Sausage and Tortellini Stew

This sausage stew reminds me so much of home. Every winter, my dad would make this stew and it’s become one of my cold-weather favorites. It’s one of those dishes that warms you to your core. Cue thoughts of your coziest blankets. Are you snuggled on the couch yet?

Slow Cooker Sausage and Tortellini Stew

When we were brainstorming fall recipes this stew immediately came to mind. The Test Kitchen took my dad’s recipe and altered it for the slow cooker. It tastes just like the original but can be made in larger batches in the slow cooker, either leaving you with leftovers or allowing you to feed a crowd or large family.

Slow Cooker Sausage and Tortellini Stew

Sausage and tortellini stew combines some of my favorite ingredients – hot Italian sausage (you can substitute sweet), squash, corn (use canned or frozen if you have it on hand or fresh in the summer months), red wine (any excuse to open a bottle of wine is a good excuse), and of course, pasta. The tortellini in this stew make the dish in my opinion. Not only does the pasta make this that much more of a stick-to-your-bones dish, the cheesy filling pairs well with the heat of the sausage and the rich broth.

Slow Cooker Sausage and Tortellini Stew

What’s great about this dish is that somehow it only gets better. My favorite way to eat this stew is actually the next day (don’t tell my dad). The flavors marry overnight and the heat of the sausage and the depth of broth are only heightened the second time around.

Slow Cooker Sausage and Tortellini Stew

If you are looking for a go-to stew as the leaves begin to fall and the weather cools, do my dad a solid and make this stew. It’s simple and flavorful and would work well as either a fall family dinner or as an addition to a potluck. Pour yourself a little of that pre-opened red wine and from my family to yours, enjoy.

Slow Cooker Sausage and Tortellini Stew
Serves 10
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  1. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  2. 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  3. 4 ribs celery, sliced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 large onion, chopped
  6. 1 pound hot Italian sausage, cooked, coarsely chopped
  7. 1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
  8. 1 cup corn kernels
  9. 1 container (32 ounces) chicken broth
  10. 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) stewed tomatoes with Italian seasoning,
  11. 1 cup dry red wine
  12. 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  13. 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  14. 1 teaspoon salt
  15. 1 bag (19 ounces) frozen cheese tortellini, defrosted
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and onion. Stirring occasionally cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add vegetable mixture to slow cooker crock. Stir sausage, zucchini, corn, broth, tomatoes, wine, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper.
  2. Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW 5 to 6 hours or until carrots are crisp-tender.
  3. Stir in tortellini. Cover slow cooker, turn to WARM and let stand for 10 minutes.
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Simplicity 6 Quart Slow CookerThe Simplicity 6 Quart Slow Cooker is the perfect size for a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast


  1. Avatar

    I made this last night for dinner. I actually doubled the recipe because I fix dinner for 6 people every night. Plus I also like to have leftovers especially if it’s really good. I knew it was going to be. Im a huge fan of soups and stews. And Im an even bigger fan of tortellini. So how could I go wrong? Lol. Well I thought it turned out great!! My family liked it as well. And you are right! It does even taste better the next day.!! I’ll definitely make again!!

  2. Avatar
    bernie crane

    This dish sounds like a wonderful recipe. You might try one change in the cooking . This is the way I was taught to prepare Italian sausage. Put links in fry pan and add water half way up the sausage and gently simmer for about 8 minutes, cover the pan, turn meat over to simmer both sides. After eight minutes approx., pour off the scummy residue and excess fat. Add a little olive oil about 1-2 tablespoons to the pan and saute the sausage for about seven minutes until nicely colored. The sausage is succulent, great flavor and recipe ready.

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