This Baked Tortellini Alfredo Casserole is cheesy, delicious and full of flavor. The tortellini is tossed with Italian sausage, spinach and garlic, then it's coated in creamy alfredo sauce, topped with cheese and baked to perfection. This is the definition of comfort food and super easy to make. Ready in less than an hour!
Tortellini is one of my favorite pastas. It's stuffed with cheese, so how could you go wrong? The only thing that makes it even better, is adding in Italian sausage with Alfredo Sauce. This dish will absolutely cure those cold weather blues in the Fall and Winter months.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- It only takes about 20 minutes of prep time
- This dish is absolutely decadent
- The recipe combines meat, veggies, and pasta, so you don't need to serve it with anything else
- Great for those cold Fall and Winter nights
Tortellini-The star of this recipe for its pillowy cheese stuffed goodness. I suggest using a plain cheese version, since we are combining the pasta with lots of other flavors in this recipe. The only boil for 3 minutes, to keep an al dente texture, since they are baked after as well.
Italian Sausage-Brings in the most fantastic flavors and allows us to really skip on seasonings and spices in the recipe. I recommend a sweet Italian sausage or mild version to keep everyone happy. If you are making this for people who love spicy sausage, go for it. Ground Italian Sausage is easier to work with in this recipe, but if you use links, just make sure to remove and toss out the casings. It only takes a few minutes of extra work.
Heavy Cream, Butter and Parmesan Cheese- Come together to form a really simple and delicious white sauce. For the best taste, use Parmigiano-Reggiano and shred it yourself from the block. Do not use a bagged cheese for the Parmesan. They include anti-caking agents and do not melt as well.
Spinach-For added taste and to get those veggies in. I love spinach for this recipe, because it wilts down effortlessly in just a few minutes and you don't have to worry about chopping anything extra.
*Full recipe ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations:
Need a vegetarian version? Leave out the Italian sausage and cook the onion until softened, then add garlic and spinach as noted in the recipe below.
Don't want it baked? Cook the tortellini according to package directions (usually about 6 minutes) then toss with cooked sausage mixture (grease removed) and cover with Alfredo sauce and serve. Leave the mozzarella cheese out of the recipe, since you won't be baking it.
Want more veggies? Broccoli and/or peppadew peppers would be so yummy in this. Chop 1 cup of broccoli really fine and add in with the onions. The peppadews can be chopped into smaller pieces and added in with the spinach for a little sweet and spicy addition.
How to Make Baked Tortellini Alfredo Casserole:
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Here are the Step by Step Instructions for Tortellini Alfredo.
Step 1: Heat a dutch oven or large pot to medium heat on the stovetop. Add in olive oil and allow it to heat up. Toss in the onion and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Stir and add in the Italian sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cooking until no longer pink.
Step 2: Toss in the garlic and spinach and stir to combine. Cover the pot with lid and cook for 2 minutes. Stir well and turn off the heat. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the tortellini and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 3: While the water is coming to a boil for the pasta, prepare a large skillet for the Alfredo sauce. Heat to medium low. Add the butter and allow it to melt and begin to sizzle, but not brown. Pour in the heavy cream and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent boiling. If it starts to boil, turn down the heat to low.
Step 4: Once the water is boiling rapidly, add in the tortellini and boil for 3 minutes, stirring once half way though. Then, strain and set aside.
Step 5: Reduce the heat to low for the Alfredo Sauce and pour in the parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and thicken. Allow the sauce to become thick enough to when you stir, you can see the bottom of the skillet for a moment.
Step 6: Add the tortellini to a casserole dish. Add the sausage mixture, using a slotted spoon to avoid grease in the casserole. Pour over the Alfredo Sauce. Note: If you made double the sauce, save half in the pan for serving and keep on low, stirring often. Toss to combine ingredients.
Step 7: Cover the tortellini Alfredo with mozzarella cheese, additional ¼ cup parmesan and parsley. Bake for 10 minutes. Optional: broil on high for an extra 3-5 minutes for a crispy top.
Step 8: Allow the casserole to cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
- You only need to boil the tortellini for 3 minutes because it will continue to cook while baking.
- Make sure to cook the Italian sausage until no longer pink in the dutch oven or pot, because it isn't going to bake for a long period of time in the oven.
- The Parmesan Cheese needs to be shredded fine from a block to get the best texture and thickness for Alfredo sauce.
- Don't over bake the tortellini casserole because the Alfredo sauce will start to absorb into the pasta.
- If you are really big on the Alfredo Sauce, double the Alfredo Sauce ingredients of butter, heavy cream and parmesan and save half of it for serving.
For the mozzarella topping on the casserole, yes. For the parmesan cheese in the Alfredo Sauce, no. It doesn't melt as well and you won't get the correct texture for Alfredo Sauce.
Yes, but just a warning, the Alfredo sauce will separate a bit. It gets pretty oily from the butter, but it still tastes amazing! If you want the Alfredo sauce white and saucy, serve it fresh.
Store the leftovers in the casserole dish covered with plastic wrap or a better option would be in a sealed container. Keep it in the fridge and eat within 3 days.
To reheat, simply place the pasta in an oven safe dish and bake for 10-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. For microwaving, cook in a microwave safe dish 1 minute at a time until hot, stirring in between minutes. The sauce will be more like butter when reheating, but it is still really delicious.
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