Easy Tortellini Recipe

Anyone who is looking for a quick, one-pot dinner will turn to this Kristen Carli-created tortellini recipe again and again. Along with Mashed, Carli, a registered dietician and blogger at Mostly Green, has put together a meal that is sure to satisfy. But perhaps the best part about it is how simple cleanup will be, with Carli telling us about her tortellini, "I love that it requires only one pan."

As for when she likes to make this fast and flavorful meal, Carli told Mashed, "This recipe is a weeknight favorite!" In fact, as she shared, "I am serving this tonight with a side salad, but it is great to be served with any side veggie like broccoli or cauliflower."

We love how you can change up the recipe to suit your family's tastes. For instance, omit the sausage or turn up the heat. No matter how you serve up the versatile dish, it is sure to become a staple at your house.

Gather your ingredients for this tortellini recipe

For this simple and savory stew-like meal to materialize, you will need to shop for ground Italian sausage and frozen tortellini, as well as buy or unearth from your fridge and pantry the following: minced garlic — jarred is okay here to save time — chicken broth, crushed, canned tomatoes, heavy whipping cream, frozen spinach, and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Meanwhile, Carli's recipe also calls for a Dutch oven, but don't despair if you don't own this handy cooking tool. According to Carli, "If you do not have a Dutch oven, you can use a large pot." 

We also asked the healthy food expert about her choice of heavy whipping cream in this dish. As she shared, "Heavy whipping cream adds a nice creamy touch to the sauce to make it truly comforting." Carli also offered an alternative, telling us, "You can also use four ounces of cream cheese." 

Brown the sausage for your tortellini dish

After making sure you have all the ingredients needed to whip up your tortellini, you will first brown your sausage. Either in your large Dutch oven or pot, crumble the sausage over medium heat. Break up the chunks with a wooden spoon, being sure to stir the meat occasionally until it is browned completely.

Meanwhile, if you aren't a meat fan or are serving vegetarians, Carli assures home cooks, "This meal is great even when omitting the sausage." She recommends substituting chickpeas to amp up the plant protein factor, instructing, "Simply toss them into the dish at the very end and stir to heat through, about two minutes." Another type of bean might work well here, too, such as white beans. Or, you could try a plant-based meat substitute or tofu instead of sausage.

Either way, in all seriousness, you aren't far from serving up this scrumptious dish, with just a few steps until tasting time.

Add your other ingredients except the tortellini

At this stage, you are going to love the one-pot aspect of pulling Carli's tortellini recipe together. To the pot you used to brown your sausage, you simply add your minced garlic, the chicken broth, your can of tomatoes, the heavy whipping cream, and the frozen spinach. Stir all the ingredients together to combine.

Meanwhile, we asked Carli about pumping up the spiciness here if you enjoy a little fire with your meal. "For a little heat, feel free to add a quarter teaspoon of red chili flakes," she suggests, also recommending that another way to dial up the heat is to "substitute fire-roasted tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes." Or, hey, if your tongue can handle it, why not try both of these ideas? 

Of course, you can always add some red pepper flakes to individual bowls if you are serving some spice fans and others who are more in the mild camp.

Add the tortellini and then the cheese

The final step of preparing Carli's simple yet inviting dish is to go ahead and add your frozen tortellini. You will stir all of your ingredients to combine them and then bring the mixture to a boil before cooking it for ten minutes.

Once the pasta is cooked through, you can sprinkle the shredded Parmesan on top for an added nutty flavor. Then, serve up the tortellini into bowls, and give it a try, seasoning your serving to taste. As Carli recommends, you can pair the "mmm"-inducing meal with a side veggie or go ahead and keep things simple and enjoy the tortellini on its own — a bowl of yummy meat, cheese, and pasta is sure to be filling enough for a quick lunch or dinner. 

And how delish will leftovers be once the flavors combine for a few days? Our mouths are watering just thinking about it!

Easy Tortellini Recipe
4.8 from 6 ratings
No matter how you serve up this yummy and versatile tortellini dish, it is sure to become a staple at your house with kids and adults alike.
Prep Time
Cook Time
tortellini plated and ready to eat
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 16 ounces ground Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 19 ounces frozen cheese tortellini
  • 12 ounces frozen spinach
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large Dutch oven, crumble sausage over medium heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Stir occasionally until browned completely.
  2. Add the garlic, chicken broth, tomatoes, cream, and spinach to Dutch oven. Stir to combine.
  3. Add tortellini. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Add parmesan. Stir to combine.
Calories per Serving 773
Total Fat 45.0 g
Saturated Fat 20.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 140.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 57.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.5 g
Total Sugars 8.3 g
Sodium 1,613.8 mg
Protein 37.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe