Pan Fried Tortellini and Broccoli is a simple, yet incredibly delicious, one pan dinner that's ready in only 20 minutes. It's a simple family-friendly meatless Monday recipe great for busy parents and hungry kids! Tortellini is pan fried in butter and tossed with sauteed broccoli, garlic and red onions. Drizzle with olive oil and top with Parmesan cheese for a complete and nutritious five-star meal!
If your nightly mission is to end the evening with as few dirty dishes as possible, kids who actually ate their dinner, and a dinner that didn't take all day to make, fried tortellini is a meal that you'll love.
When we hear "fried" we often think crispy, deep-fried, breaded, and addictive. But this recipe isn't deep fried in oil— it's pan fried in butter and tossed with onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and broccoli.
Fried tortellini and broccoli is lightly crisp on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside.
And because it's sauteed in butter rather than breaded and submerged in oil, it's a healthier option.
Many pan-fried recipes consist of cooking ingredients in a single layer on a griddle or pan— often this means working in batches, lengthening cook times and turning 30 minute meals into 60 minute meals.
With this recipe, an entire bag of frozen tortellini is tossed in at the same time and fried until crispy golden brown— no batch work required!
And because of this, fried tortellini and broccoli is ready to serve in just 20 minutes.
Busy work week?
Pasta loving kids?
Want easy clean up?
If you answered yes to any of these, this recipe is perfect for you!
To make fried tortellini and broccoli you need:
- tortellini + butter for frying
- fresh broccoli + olive oil for sauteing
- mashed garlic
- diced red onions
- salt + pepper
I find pan fried tortellini to be best when cooked in butter, drizzled with olive oil, and then tossed with salt and pepper.
Of course, you can't forget to sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, because no pasta is complete without it. These light and simple ingredients really let the cheesy flavor of the tortellini shine.
First, saute the broccoli and red onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes, tossing a few times. I chop the broccoli on the small side so that it cooks faster.
While the broccoli cooks, mash the garlic with the salt and then add to the wok, cooking for another minute.
Remove the broccoli/onions/garlic to your serving dish and add butter to the wok.
Add the tortellini and cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing a few times so all sides become golden brown and crispy. It's okay if not all sides are golden.
Toss the tortellini with the broccoli mix and season with salt and pepper.
Once in individual bowls, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.
How To Make It Kid-Friendly
As hard as I try to get my kids to eat their vegetables every day, sometimes it just doesn't happen.
While fried tortellini and broccoli is already kid-friendly, I had to cut the broccoli into smaller pieces so before one of my children would eat it.
The onions and garlic are light enough that they likely won't be bothersome to kids. And the broccoli becomes tender enough for little mouths to handle chewing.
If your family isn't big on broccoli, you can easily substitute other vegetables they do love. Zucchini, green beans, peas, asparagus, spinach, winter squash, and cauliflower would all work great without changing cooking time.
And while you're thinking about ways to make this meal more kid-friendly, make sure to try veggie patties. Cheesy zucchini fritters and broccoli cheddar patties are sneaky ways to hide veggies in snacks and lunches.
How to Store
Fried tortellini and broccoli keeps well in the fridge for about a week. It reheats in the microwave well too, without causing the tortellini to lose much crispness.
Fried Tortellini and Broccoli
- 3 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large head of broccoli
- ¾ cup diced red onion
- 6 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tbsp butter
- 24 oz frozen tortellini
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- In a large wok or pan, saute broccoli and red onions in oil for 5 minutes, mixing a few times until broccoli is tender
- While broccoli and onions cook, crush garlic in salt. Add to wok and cook 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from wok. Add butter and melt.
- Add tortellini and fry for 5-7 minutes, tossing occasionally. Tortellini will be golden brown on most sides when done.
- Toss tortellini with broccoli mix. Add pepper and season with additional salt if desired.
- Once in individual serving bowls, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.