This Cheesy Baked Tortellini is a delicious and comforting dish that combines delicious Tortellini pasta with melted Mozzarella, creamy white sauce, and a garlicky tomato sauce, topped with a Parmesan crust. This mouthwatering baked casserole is the ultimate comfort food, perfect for satisfying cravings and pleasing the whole family.
This Cheesy Baked Tortellini is a delicious pasta bake that takes the concept of a casserole to a whole new level of deliciousness. It's essentially a tortellini lasagna, where tender and cheesy tortellini noodles are layered with white sauce, garlicky tomato sauce, and melted Mozzarella cheese. Whether you're hosting a dinner party or simply craving a comforting homemade meal, this cheesy baked tortellini is a go-to option that will leave everyone asking for seconds.
You can also use frozen tortellini or use a different sauce, such as a hearty meat sauce like Bolognese sauce. To achieve the perfect cheesy goodness, generously sprinkle mozzarella cheese over each layer of tortellini and sauce. The Parmesan cheese also melts into a golden crust topping as it bakes in the oven.
- Tortellini: I used dried tortellini with the classic meat filling. You can also use cheese tortellini or spinach tortellini to make this a vegetarian dish. You can also use fresh (refrigerated) or frozen tortellini.
- Tomato Sauce: Good quality plain tomato purèe (passata) is then cooked with aromatics to make a delicious tomato sauce. If you want to cut out time, you can use your favorite ready-made jarred marinara sauce.
- White Sauce: Also called Béchamel sauce or Besciamella, you should be able to find it easily ready-made in jars or packages. You can also use this recipe to easily make the Béchamel Sauce from scratch.
- Mozzarella: Fresh good quality Mozzarella will work best, but you can also use the grated or already sliced mozzarella which is a bit drier but will still melt nicely. if you want, you can also add extra cheese like Provolone.
- Parmigiano cheese: Parmesan will add a savory note and will make a delicious golden crust (my favorite part). Best to use real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
See the recipe card for full quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
You can customize this recipe in many ways to get more flavorful variations.
- Meaty: You can use a delicious Bolognese Ragù, Tuscan Ragù, or a Sausage Tomato Sauce instead of the marinara sauce to make a meatier tortellini bake, more similar to a tortellini lasagna.
- White: Skip the tomato sauce entirely and double the white sauce and cheese to make delicious white cheesy baked tortellini.
- Spicy: Add some chili pepper flakes to the tomato sauce to give it a nice spicy kick.
- Full of veggies: Sautè in olive oil some chopped zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and any other veggie you like. Then add them to the tomato sauce and cook until tender.
- Cheesier: How much cheese is too much cheese? Add some provolone, scamorza, taleggio, gouda, and whatever cheese you love, to make it extra cheesy.
Instructions with photos
Step 1. In a saucepan, add some olive oil and cook the minced garlic and onion for a couple of minutes.
Step 2. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh basil.
Step 3. Cook the tortellini for half the cooking time, then mix them with the tomato sauce.
Step 4. In a baking dish, layer the tortellini with tomato sauce, white sauce, shredded mozzarella, and Parmesan.
Step 5. Repeat the layers and finish with the remaining white sauce and sprinkle abundant Parmesan cheese on top.
Step 6. Bake in the preheated oven at 400°F/200°C for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes.
Make ahead & Storage
You can prepare the whole recipe up to 2 days in advance and then keep the baking dish covered with wrap in the fridge. Take it out of the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before baking it in the oven.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can reheat it in the microwave for the best result (the oven would dry it out at this point).
💭 Recipe FAQs
You can use dried, fresh (refrigerated), or frozen tortellini for this recipe. Only the dried ones need to be boiled for a few minutes, while the fresh and frozen ones can be added directly to the baking dish since they have a shorter cooking time.
You can use your favorite jarred marinara sauce for this recipe, cutting the cooking time and making it even easier.
Yes, if you use cheese tortellini this recipe is completely vegetarian.
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Cheesy Baked Tortellini
- In a saucepan, drizzle the olive oil and add the minced onion and garlic. Cook for a minute, then add the tomato puree.
- Bring to a simmer and turn down the heat. Season with salt, and black pepper and add a handful of basil leaves. Simmer for at least 15 minutes. It will turn even better if you can simmer it for 30-40 minutes.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the tortellini for half the time than what's recommended on the package. If you use fresh or frozen tortellini, you can skip this step and add them directly into the baking dish with the sauce.
- In a baking dish, spread a thin layer of white sauce at the bottom, then add some tomato sauce, half of the tortellini, the mozzarella cut into slices or shredded with your hands, and some grated Parmigiano.
- Repeat again the layers with tomato sauce, white sauce, and the remaining tortellini. Finish with the remaining tomato sauce and white sauce on top, covering well the tortellini so they don't dry out. If you want, you can mix the tortellini with the sauces with a spoon.
- Sprinkle abundant grated Parmigiano on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 400°F/200°C for about 15-20 minutes. Turn on the broiler for the last 3-4 minutes to get a nice golden crust on top.
- Tortellini: You can use dried, fresh (refrigerated), or frozen tortellini for this recipe. Only the dried ones need to be boiled for a few minutes, while the fresh and frozen ones can be added directly to the baking dish since they have a shorter cooking time.
- Béchamel Sauce: Also called Besciamella or White Sauce. You can find it already made in jars or packages or make your own using this recipe to make Béchamel Sauce.
- Tomato Sauce: You can also use store-bought marinara sauce to make this recipe in a shorter time.
- You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.