Cheesy baked tortellini is the perfect recipe when you're craving the flavors of lasagna, but need a quick weeknight dinner that's ready in 30 minutes.
I'm a pasta lover, so I always like to try out different variations of my favorite recipes. In the past, I have really only ever had tortellini in soups or pasta salads, but its equally as delicious baked with a crispy layer of cheese on top. This recipe is similar to lasagna but way quicker and easier to make.
This recipe is also super family-friendly as it has all the classic lasagna flavors, but I find tortellini easier and more fun for kids to eat. Once you try it, baked tortellini will quickly become a regular weeknight recipe.
Can I Skip the Ground Meat?
Absolutely! If you want to make this dish vegetarian, simply omit the ground meat or substitute it with a plant-based meat substitute. Alternatively, you can use diced-up mushrooms in place of the ground beef. Also consider throwing in some chopped veggies such as spinach, bell peppers, carrots, onions, and zucchini.
If you don’t have ground beef, you could also make do with ground chicken or turkey- just keep in mind that the cooking time will differ.
Tips for Making Cheesy Baked Tortellini
Think you’re ready to give the recipe a try? Consider these additional tips to help you nail the recipe!
- Pre-shredded cheese doesn't melt as well because of the starch coating that keeps it from sticking together in the bag. It takes just a few extra minutes to shred up some fresh mozzarella that will make all the difference in this recipe.
- This recipe calls for frozen tortellini because I think that it tastes better and fresher. If you can't find it you can also use dried tortellini found in the pasta aisle or any other pasta of your liking.
- You can easily assemble this dish ahead of time and leave it covered in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. When you are ready to eat, top it with the cheese, and bake it as stated in the recipe. Keep in mind it may take a few minutes longer if the pasta is cold. With that being said, I wouldn't recommend making it any further than a day in advance so that the pasta doesn't soak up the sauce and dry out.
Serving Ideas and Suggestions
So you've made the tortellini, and now you need a whip up a quick side dish.
I'll never be opposed to a pasta dish served with a classic green salad or a side of garlic bread, but if you want to mix it up, pair this recipe with my Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Skewers.
Another favorite of mine is roasted vegetables. Green beans, broccoli, zucchini, and eggplant are a few of my favorites. You could also cook the vegetables and add them to the sauce.
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Cheesy Baked Tortellini
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 - 24oz jar pasta sauce
- 1 - 19oz bag cheese tortellini frozen
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 c mozzarella cheese
- ½ c parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the ground beef to a large skillet, and season with the garlic and Italian seasoning. Brown over medium heat.
- While the ground is cooking, cook the pasta a la dente according to the package directions; drain and set aside.
- Once the ground beef is cooked, drain the excess grease.
- Add the pasta sauce and ricotta cheese to the skillet, stir well, and allow it to melt.
- Add the cooked tortellini into the skillet, and lightly toss.
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish and pour the mixture in.
- Top with layers of shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes.
- Turn the broiler on high, and bake for an additional 3 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and serve hot.