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Baked tortellini is an easy dinner recipe that’s bursting with flavor! Throw the pasta and sauce in the pan and bake.

Baked Tortellini
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Looking for a cozy, easy dinner idea where you barely have to think? Try this Baked Tortellini recipe! This one is so simple, you don’t even have to boil the pasta. That’s right: throw the refrigerated tortellini into a dish with a tomato pasta sauce and top with melty cheese. It comes out bubbly and warm, with perfectly tender pasta pillows. This one was so simple, we’ve been making it on repeat. Here’s how to put it together!

What you need for baked tortellini

This baked tortellini recipe is one of those coveted pasta bakes where you don’t have to boil the pasta first. This makes it much quicker and simpler to put together! The key? Refrigerated tortellini or tortelloni pasta, which is fresh pasta that can cook during the bake time. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Refrigerated cheese tortelloni pasta (or tortellini)
  • Crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes)
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Garlic powder, dried oregano, and kosher salt
  • Water
  • Spinach (optional)
  • Whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Italian panko (optional)
Baked Tortellini

Use refrigerated tortelloni (or tortellini)

This recipe is called “baked tortellini,” but the best pasta to use here is actually tortelloni! We prefer tortelloni since it’s larger, more tender, and more satisfying flavor-wise. The most important part when shopping for this recipe? Make sure it’s refrigerated, which means it’s fresh pasta (and will cook during the bake time). Don’t use dried pasta! Here’s the difference between tortellini vs tortelloni:

  • Tortelloni is a pasta shape that is larger than tortellini with a filled center. Tortellini is smaller and ring shaped, with a hole in the middle. In traditional Italian cooking, tortelloni filling is vegetarian whereas tortellini often has meat. Tortellini is also often served in broth, whereas tortelloni is served with creamy sauces.
  • Where to find it? Tortelloni is easy to find the refrigerated section at your local grocery. It’s usually not available dried or frozen (though you can find tortellini dried and frozen).
  • How to tell the difference quickly? Tortellini has a hole in the middle, whereas tortelloni has a solid center that encloses the filling.
  • Either way: don’t use dried pasta! You can make this recipe with refrigerated tortellini if you can find it! Just don’t substitute dried tortellini here because the weights are different.

Use fire roasted tomatoes if possible

The best way to pack flavor into the sauce in this recipe? Fire roasted tomatoes! This type of tomato is roasted over an open flame before canning, which makes a sweet and smoky flavor right out of the can.

Can’t find fire roasted tomatoes? Substitute the best quality crushed tomatoes you can find. If desired, you can also use a high quality marinara sauce instead! If you do, we suggest still adding the balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and dried oregano called for in the recipe: it makes for the best homemade, fresh flavor.

Spinach is optional

You can add a little green to this tortellini bake if you like! Throw in some chopped spinach to the bottom of the baking dish, and it’s a tasty way to add additional leafy greens. However, it’s definitely not necessary for the flavor or texture of this dish. Even better, serve it with a side salad!

Baked Tortellini

Ways to serve baked tortellini

This baked tortellini recipe works as both a vegetarian dinner recipe and as a side dish! If you’re serving it as a side, it pairs well with chicken, fish, or seafood. Here are a few ideas on how to serve it if you’re serving it as a main dish:

More easy dinner recipes

Looking for more easy dinner recipes? Here are a few quick and easy ideas:

This baked tortellini recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Baked Tortellini

Baked Tortellini


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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Description

Baked tortellini is an easy dinner recipe that’s bursting with flavor! Throw the pasta and sauce in the pan and bake.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes*)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup water
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 18 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini or tortelloni (not dried pasta)
  • 2 cups chopped spinach (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Italian panko

Instructions

  1. Preheat 400°F.
  2. In large bowl, mix the crushed fire roasted tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, dried oregano, kosher salt , water, tortellini, and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  3. If using spinach, place it in the bottom of a baking dish. Pour the sauce and tortellini on top. Top with the shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the aluminum foil and top with the panko. Bake 10 more minutes until browned. Serve immediately.

Notes

*If desired, you can also use a high quality marinara sauce: we suggest still adding the balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and dried oregano.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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5 Comments

  1. Kristen S says:

    This was delicious!! We used the spinach. I would add an extra cup next time because I could only find bagged spinach leaves, not chopped and not much for into 2 cups. I used diced tomato and a 1/2 tsp pepper and an extra tablespoon of panko crumbs. There was no mention of what size casserole to use, but a 9×13 lasagna dish worked well. It served my family of 5 and we all had a small second helping. Thank you. It was just what I was looking for and easy too!






  2. Marcia Hunter says:

    Hi!
    I’ve enjoyed so many of your recipes! Thank you.
    For this one with the tortellini, how far ahead can this be assembled prior to baking? Would one full day in advance be too long?
    Kind regards,
    Marcia
    Atlanta

  3. Emi says:

    Made this tonight and was a little dubious to be honest but it turned out great. The tortellini was perfectly cooked. Super easy; will definitely make again.






  4. Catherine says:

    It’s delicious and easy recipes like this that seriously keep me from getting fast food on busy weeknights. So doable – even with busy schedules. Love it!!! My kids devoured it.






  5. Maria says:

    what a quick and comforting recipe, love it!