This recipe for spinach tomato tortellini features a tangy, creamy sauce packed with tender ground meat. Your new favorite quick and easy weeknight pasta dish!
This creamy spinach tomato tortellini is right on the money with the perfect balance flavors. The little stuffed pasta shells explode in your mouth and serve as a wonderful complement to the rich, creamy tomato sauce. What’s better? This dish comes together super quickly, making it a great weeknight dinner option or last-minute meal for unexpected guests.
Big thanks to my former coworker Charlie for this great recipe! The only thing I tweaked from his original version is swapping in ground beef for spicy Italian sausage. If that sounds more like your style, go for it! I can attest that it was super delicious.
Hot Tip: Trader Joe’s has amazing tortellini in the refrigerated aisle. I use it all the time!
How to Make Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini
Making this tortellini dish only requires a handful of ingredients and one pot to make. Hello, fewer dishes! Below, find a quick hitter overview of the recipe before you dive in.
- Prep the Veggies: To make the cooking process more streamlined, chop the garlic, onions, and spinach first.
- Brown the Ground Beef: In a deep skillet or pan over medium heat, brown the ground beef until it’s fully cooked. Add the garlic and onions and cook them until softened.
- Add the Sauce and Cream: Pour the pasta sauce into the skillet. Once it comes to a simmer, pour in the heavy whipping cream and stir until well-combined.
- Add the Tortellini and Spices: Add the tortellini and bring to a simmer. Next, season with salt and dried parsley.
- Finish with Spinach and Parmesan: Add in the chopped spinach and grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Below, find a handful of helpful tips and tricks to help you make the best possible creamy spinach tomato tortellini.
- Don’t pre-boil the tortellini. The tortellini will cook as it simmers in the sauce and there’s no need to pre-boil it before adding it in. If you do, it will likely turn mushy and stray away from that perfect al dente texture.
- Use a high-quality marinara sauce or make your own. For the freshest tomato flavor, use a high-quality jarred marinara sauce or whip up your own.
- Experiment with different stuffed tortellini. Tortellini come with so many different fillings and this recipe will work with nearly any store-bought variety. Some are stuffed with cheese and others contain a rich meaty filling. Pick the tortellini that speaks to you! You can’t go wrong.
What Can You Eat with Tortellini?
You can serve creamy spinach tomato tortellini as a meal all on its own or serve it alongside a fresh salad or bread for a more well-rounded meal. A homemade caesar salad is a natural option but you can’t go wrong with a classic garden salad either. If you’re wanting to indulge in some carbs, make a fresh baguette to sop up the creamy sauce with.
Storing Leftover Tortellini Pasta
Store leftover creamy pasta in an airtight container in the fridge. It should keep fresh for up to five days. Refrain from freezing cooked pasta, as it will turn to mush when you reheat it.
Reheating Tip: Reheat your creamy pasta in the microwave or in a skillet over low heat until warmed through.
Is there anything inside tortellini?
Tortellini typically comes filled with a three-cheese mixture or a minced meat mixture of pork, veal, or beef.
What kind of cheese is typically inside three-cheese tortellini?
The typical three-cheese mixture inside tortellini is parmesan, romano, and ricotta.
How do you properly cook tortellini?
Refrigerated raw tortellini only takes 2-3 minutes to cook through when added to simmering pasta sauce. On the other hand, frozen tortellini takes about around 5 minutes and dried tortellini takes about 10 minutes.
Can I use a different pasta besides tortellini?
Yes, you can use a different pasta besides tortellini for this dish. Paccheri (tubular pasta) or fusilli work best, but you can also use fettuccine or spaghetti.
How long will my tortellini pasta last in the fridge?
Tortellini will last for up to five days in the fridge when tossed with the pasta ingredients. If you’re using store-bought tortellini, you’ll want to use it within 3 days of opening it.
Other Creamy Pasta Recipes
- Chicken Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo – White sauce with chicken and mushroom pasta
- Creamy Cheesy Baked Gnocchi – Just 6 ingredients, vegetarian, and ready in half an hour.
- Creamy One-Pot Pasta – Creamy red sauce with sausage pasta
- Easy One-Pan Meatball Pasta Recipe – Creamy meatball pasta
- Broccoli Mushroom Alfredo Pasta – Vegetarian white sauce pasta
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp garlic parsley salt
- 1 diced onion
- 2 diced garlic cloves
- 16 oz pasta sauce
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 lb packaged tortellini
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 cup parmesan
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- Gather the ingredients for the recipe and chop all the veggies.
- Preheat a deep skillet over medium heat and add the ground beef to it. Brown the beef, breaking it apart as you go. Add in the chopped onions and garlic and cook until they soften.
- Add the pasta sauce to the meat mixture. As soon as it simmers, pour in the whipping cream and stir it until it's evenly distributed.
- Add in the tortellini and bring the mixture to a simmer. Season it with garlic parsley salt and dried parsley.
- Add in the spinach and parmesan cheese, stirring until well-combined.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
If I don't have whipping cream could I use cream cheese?
Hi Angelina, the whipping cream is used to make the dish saucy, so I don't think cream cheese would substitute well here as it won't create the liquid/sauce we want to coat the tortellini. Instead, you could use half and half or even milk (or even milk + a bit of cream cheese), but your overall sauce may be a bit thinner. Flavor wise it should still taste good. I hope you enjoy it!
I accidentally used prepackaged tortellini before boiling them first. .. any way to save this?
Hey Camryn, you can cook them for a bit longer and it should work out well. Keep me posted if this helped.
This was so good! I was also surprised how quick it was to put together. I didn't change anything, only halved the recipe and it was perfect. Defintely a keeper!
Hi Heather! So glad to hear that! I appreciate your feedback, Enjoy!
What happened to the carrots?
Hey Robin, carrots was a typo. Thanks for catching that!
Hearty, delicious & so easy! Love the sauce! So good! This just made the monthly recipe rotation! Love it!!
Thank you, Betsy! Happy to hear you loved it!
My family loved this dinner! It was super easy to make, it's going on the regular menu!
Glad you found a new favorite recipe to add to your rotation, Wilhelmina! Thanks for commenting.
OMG this was amazing!! Making it again later this week, it's sooooo good.
Thank you, April- glad you enjoyed it so much!
Just made it. The best ever! So fast also. I did not have fresh spinach, i used frozen. Now i know what to do with all those spinach bricks in my freezer! How delicious! Beyond easy! Natalya, you are genius!
Thank you for sharing. That's a really good tip with a frozen spinach.
Made this dish. Here are some tips: 1 pound of Tortellini is PLENTY! Even if it's considered "fresh", it's better to boil & make sure that the Tortellini is thoroughly cooked before adding it to the meat mixture. 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese is plenty for this dish because the Tortellini already have cheese inside of them. Thank you @Mom'sDish!
Thanks for sharing all your ideas 😉
Do you have to cook the Tortellini separately and then add it in?
I used fresh, so no need to precook.
I love the addition of spinach! Thank you for posting 🙂 I'm assuming you used fresh tortellini? Do you think frozen would work just as well?
I use fresh, I would say precook frozen one.
wow. looks like quick recipie.
good for busy working mothers when kids homework on your to do list.
Have to try it...
I hope you will love it as much as we did 🙂 Keep me posted!
ok, I did it with a few adjustments.
# 1. I didn't have tortellini, so I used rotini instead.
# 2. I had basil tomato pasta sauce not traditional ragu sauce (from Aldi)
# 3. I didn't have spinach, so I didn't use it.
# 4. I did add cremini mushrooms to the sauce while I was sauteing garlic, onion, and minced meat.
# 5. I didn't use garlic salt, instead I used only salt & pepper.
Now guess what ?
- it turned out delicious
- my husband ate 2 plates of this pasta
- my husband isn't fan of pasta but he really like it and told it is delicious.
- and indeed it took 40 minutes to prepare this dish
- this dish is so creamy, and light. Not a fatty one.
- this dish is great for busy weekdays, especially for mom of 4 with full time work and homeworks with kids
thanks once again.
Oh so happy to hear that you guys loved it. I agree about it tasting light while creamy. I love that you shared all the adjustments you made because it gives others ideas as well 🙂