KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Culinarian Lauren Lane joined FOX4 to whip up an easy weeknight family meal, perfect for chilly fall nights.


  • 1 lb frozen fully cooked frozen meatballs (mini work best but regular will do)
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cartons (32 ounces each) chicken stock
  • parmesan rind (optional but worth it)
  • 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini (about 8 ounces)
  • 3 ounces of kale or fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped if large leaves (about 4 cups) note: Kale keeps better in the soup if not eating it right away.
  • Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  1. Add the first 7 ingredients to a large pot; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
  3. Return to a boil. Add tortellini; cook, uncovered, until meatballs are heated through and tortellini are tender, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach until wilted. Serve immediately. If desired, top with parmesan cheese.


  • Since there are so few ingredients, use the highest quality meatballs you can.
  • The recipe can be halved.
  • Add the spinach (if using)at the last minute to retain it’s color.
  • Plan on serving the soup soon after adding the tortellini and spinach for the best texture.
  • If you have extra time, saute one small onion and 2 cloves of garlic before step number one. You could also add chopped carrot.
  • Add a splash of cream if desired
  • I like adding some red pepper to mine for some heat.
  • Sub homemade meatballs and homemade marinara for store-bought if desired.
  • Fully cooked Italian sausage, cut into half-moon slices, can be substituted for meatballs.