Tortellini in Tomato Cream Sauce is an easy and flavorful homemade dinner ready in less than 20 minutes! Made with simple ingredients, little preparation and quick cooking time, this creamy tortellini dish is an excellent choice for busy weeknights.
Tortellini in tomato cream sauce is a simple dinner that's great for busy or lazy nights. It's made with a few fresh and wholesome ingredients plus a couple fridge and pantry staples. It can be served as a main vegetarian pasta dinner or a flavorful and filling side dish to accompany fish, chicken, steak, and more.
This creamy tortellini sauce is just as delicious as my 10-minute white pasta cream sauce, except it's given a nutrient boost with fresh spinach leaves and died tomatoes. They are both must trys if you love pasta in rich and flavorful creamy sauces!
Why You'll Love It
- This recipe is super fast- ready in less than 20 minutes!
- There is virtually no prep, aside from grating cheese and mincing garlic.
- Tortellini in cream sauce tastes amazing and looks like a totally fancy dinner that you can serve to impress guests (don't let them in on the secret!)
- It can easily be made vegan, too!
To make this tasty tortellini with tomato spinach cream sauce, you need:
- Tortellini: any type, fresh or frozen. Mixed cheese tortellini are my favorite!
- Tomatoes: canned diced tomatoes are what I use, but you can use stewed canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes also. The juices from the can are also used.
- Spinach: fresh spinach is best, baby spinach or traditional.
- Basil: fresh or dried. Use 3 times more fresh basil than dried basil.
- Parmesan cheese: freshly grated parmesan cheese is ideal. Parmesan and Romano cheese works too!
- Milk: you can use low fat, reduced fat or whole milk (the higher the fat content, the richer the sauce). Heavy cream can be used in place of milk.
How To Make It
This recipe is made in 4 simple steps:
STEP 1: While preparing the tomato cream sauce, cook the tortellini according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
STEP 2: To a large pan add the diced tomato can and it's juices, spinach, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat until the juices begin to boil, about 3 minutes. If you're using fresh tomatoes, simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the tomatoes to break down.
STEP 3: Slowly pour in the milk and stir. Add the butter and flour and stir continuously until the flour disintegrates into the liquid. Add the cheese and stir well. Simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes to thicken the sauce.
STEP 4: Toss the cooked tortellini with the cream sauce. Serve topped with additional fresh basil leaves and shredded parmesan cheese if desired.
How To Serve Creamy Tortellini
How To Store
Tortellini in cream sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days for optimal quality. Pasta is typically not freezer friendly, so I don't recommend storing this recipe in the freezer.
- Shred a block of cheese. Freshly shredded parmesan cheese will melt smoother into the sauce than a bag of pre-shredded cheese or a can of grated parmesan cheese will.
- Use fresh basil. I actually prefer fresh basil, especially during the summer season when it's in full bloom. For this recipe you'll need 6 teaspoons of fresh basil.
- Use heavy cream instead of milk for a thicker sauce. Heavy cream can be used instead of milk in a 1:1 ratio. Don't use butter or flour if using heavy cream.
- Chop the spinach into small pieces for picky eaters. Otherwise, you can leave the spinach whole or roughly tear it into pieces.
- Make it vegan. Use oat milk instead of dairy milk, plant-based butter and vegan parmesan cheese. Also make sure to use a vegan tortellini brand.
Yes, you can most definitely use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones. Use ripe, juicy tomatoes such as beefsteak, garden tomatoes or roma tomatoes.
You can use frozen spinach for this recipe, but squeeze out as much liquid as possible before adding it to the pan. If the sauce is too thin at the end, add more cheese a few tablespoons at a time.
Sure! Any pasta works great with this tomato cream sauce. Other stuffed pasta like ravioli would work really well. Gnocchi and short pasta cuts like rigatoni and ziti are my other favorites.
Tortellini in Tomato Cream Sauce
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to package instructions, drain and set aside. While tortellini cook, prepare the sauce as instructed below.
- To a large pan add the diced tomato can and it's juices, spinach, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat until the juices begin to boil, about 3 minutes. If you're using fresh tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes to allow the tomatoes to break down.
- Slowly pour in the milk and stir. Add the butter and flour and stir continuously until the flour disintegrates into the liquid. Add the parmesan cheese and stir well. Simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes to thicken the sauce.
- Toss the cooked tortellini with the cream sauce. Serve topped with additional fresh basil leaves and shredded parmesan cheese if desired.