This tortellini with sausage is one of our favorite quick dinner night dinners. It features cheesy tortellini, flavorful Italian sausage all in a delicious red sauce.
Today, we're making a One Pan Tortellini with Italian Sausage recipe. This dish is a celebration of simple ingredients coming together to create an extraordinary meal.
The Italian sausage offers a juicy, flavorful base, enhanced by the creamy and cheesy tortellini.
With each forkful, you'll savor the harmony of marinara sauce and fresh basil, punctuated by the subtle sharpness of Parmesan. It's a special recipe for its ability to turn everyday ingredients into a gourmet experience, all in the ease of one pan.
It's all about bringing together simple ingredients to create something yummy. Plus, the best part? Only one pan to clean up!
This tortellini skillet recipe is a go-to for busy weeknights, relaxed weekends, or even special gatherings. It's not tied to any specific holiday but fits perfectly into any casual dining setting. Its ease and flavor have made it a favorite in many households.
And if you have leftover Italian sausage, you should whip up some of our to-die for Hot Italian sausage dip.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Simple Cleanup: Just one pan to wash!
- Flavorful: Every ingredient adds a burst of taste.
- Quick to Make: Ready in just 25 minutes.
- Versatile: Great for any casual meal.
Ground Italian Sausage: These sausages are the stars! They add a burst of flavor and heartiness. You can choose a mild or a hot Italian sausage depending on your taste.
Cherry Tomatoes: These little guys add a pop of sweetness and color. They cook down to create a lovely texture.
Marinara Sauce: This is your sauce base. A good quality marinara makes a big difference.
Beef Broth: Adds more depth to your sauce. The low sodium option gives you control over the saltiness. You could also use chicken broth.
Frozen Tortellini: This pasta makes the dish. Frozen is easy and cooks perfectly in the sauce. You can use any type of tortellini, but I highly suggest a cheese tortellini.
Baby Spinach: For a touch of green and nutrition. It wilts nicely into the sauce. Choose fresh spinach for this recipe, as frozen spinach may add to much moisture.
Heavy Cream: Brings everything together with a creamy, rich texture.
Parmesan Cheese: Adds a nutty, cheesy element. Freshly grated is best for melting.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is our cooking oil. It adds a nice flavor and helps cook our onions and garlic.
Onion: Adds a sweet and savory depth. Any type of onion works, but yellow onions are a great choice.
Garlic: Just a couple of cloves for that punchy, aromatic kick.
Fresh Basil: This herb elevates the dish with freshness and aroma.
Salt & Pepper: Essential seasonings to enhance all the flavors.
- Large Skillet: Where the magic happens.
- Wooden Spoon: For stirring and breaking up the sausage.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: For precision.
- Cutting Board & Knife: To prep your veggies.
Start by warming the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Toss in the diced onion and minced garlic, stirring them for about 2-3 minutes. You're looking for them to soften and release a nice aroma. A pinch of salt and pepper goes in now, seasoning it just right.
Time for the Italian sausages. Crumble them into the skillet, using a wooden spoon to break them up. Cook them until they're nicely browned and almost fully cooked, which should take around 4-5 minutes. Keep stirring to ensure even cooking.
Now, add the halved cherry tomatoes, your chosen marinara sauce, and beef broth into the mix. This trio will form the base of your sauce.
Turn up the heat a bit to medium-high, bringing everything to a gentle boil. It's tortellini time! Add them in, straight from the freezer, no thawing needed.
Cover the skillet with a lid to trap the heat, then lower the heat back to medium. Check the tortellini package for the recommended cooking time for al dente - usually, it's about 6-8 minutes.
After the tortellini are cooked, remove the lid and fold in the baby spinach and heavy cream. The fresh spinach will wilt quickly, and the cream will add a luxurious richness to your dish.
Give it another minute or two of cooking - just until you see the spinach has wilted and blended in nicely. You'll end up with a creamy tomato sauce.
Take the skillet off the heat. Now's a good moment to taste your sauce. Add a bit more salt and pepper if it needs it, but remember, you're about to add Parmesan, which is also salty.
Stir in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and roughly chopped basil leaves. They'll melt and scatter their flavors throughout the dish.
Serve it hot, maybe with a side of a crisp garden salad and some warm breadsticks for a complete meal.
And there you have it, enjoy our favorite tortellini and sausage recipe!
Cooking the Tortellini: The key to perfect tortellini is to not overcook it. Keep a close eye on the cooking time mentioned on the package, aiming for the lower end of the recommended range. This ensures your tortellini remains delightfully al dente, offering a pleasing bite rather than turning mushy. Remember, they will continue to cook a bit even after you remove the pan from heat, especially as they sit in the hot sauce.
Watch the Salt: With a dish that includes both Parmesan cheese and beef broth, managing salt levels is crucial. Parmesan is naturally salty, so go easy on the salt when seasoning the initial stages of the dish. It's always better to start with less—you can add more later if needed. Taste the sauce after adding the Parmesan, then adjust the seasoning if necessary. This approach prevents an overly salty dish, ensuring a harmonious balance of flavors.
- Different Sausages: Feel free to swap Italian sausage with other varieties like spicy pork or turkey sausage for a lighter touch.
- Alternative Creams: If heavy cream is too rich, half-and-half or light cream are good substitutes for a lighter sauce.
- Cheese Options: No Parmesan? Try Asiago or Pecorino Romano for a similar salty, nutty flavor.
The great thing about this tortellini with sausage recipe is you can customize it to your tastes. Here are some of our favorite suggestions:
- Spicy Twist: Add red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for those who love a little heat. Pair it with a spicy Italian sausage for even more heat.
- Herb Mix: Change up the flavor by adding oregano, thyme, or rosemary. Or use italian seasoning.
- Veggie Boost: Enhance the dish with additional veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini.
Fridge: Store any leftover tortellini in a sealed container for up to 3 days. The flavors often meld and improve over time.
Freezer: Freeze individual portions for a quick future meal. It's best consumed within a month.
Reheat: Warm it over low heat on the stove, adding a little broth or water to loosen the sauce.
Serving Suggestion: If serving the next day, you might want to add a sprinkle of fresh basil or cheese to refresh the flavors.
Dive into the rich and savory flavors of Italian sausage perfectly blended with creamy tortellini, all nestled in a robust marinara sauce. This One Pan Tortellini with Sausage is a symphony of tastes, combining sweet cherry tomatoes, aromatic garlic, and onion, with a luxurious touch of heavy cream. It's a special dish that brings the warmth of Italian cooking to your table, all with the convenience of using just one pan.
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, diced
- 2 Medium Garlic Cloves, minced
- ½ pound Italian Sausages, casings removed
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 3 cups Marinara Sauce
- 1 cup Beef Broth, preferably low sodium
- 12 ounces Frozen Tortellini, not thawed
- 3 cups Baby Spinach
- ¼ cup Heavy Cream
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil Leaves, roughly chopped (plus more for garnish)
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add diced onion and minced garlic; sauté for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add Italian sausage, breaking it apart. Cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in halved cherry tomatoes, marinara sauce, and beef broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Add frozen tortellini, cover, and cook on medium heat for the lowest al dente time on the package, usually 6-8 minutes.
- Uncover, add baby spinach and heavy cream. Cook for 1-2 minutes until spinach wilts.
- Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in grated Parmesan and fresh basil.
- Serve hot, garnished with additional basil leaves, alongside salad and breadsticks.
Avoid overcooking the tortellini. Stick to the lower end of the cooking time recommended on the package to ensure they're perfectly al dente. This keeps the texture of the dish just right. Enjoy your cooking adventure!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 754Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 2181mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 7gSugar: 15gProtein: 32g
What to Serve With
Creating a well-rounded meal is all about balancing flavors and textures. When serving this sausage and tortellini, consider these complementary sides that will elevate your meal to the next level:
1. Garden Fresh Salad: A crisp, fresh salad is a perfect counterpoint to the rich and hearty tortellini dish. Opt for a mix of greens like arugula, spinach, and romaine. Add some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette to keep it refreshing and light.
2. Garlic Bread or Breadsticks: Garlic bread or warm breadsticks are great for soaking up any leftover sauce. Their crispy texture and buttery flavor make them an irresistible addition to your pasta meal.
3. Roasted Vegetables: Consider serving roasted vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini. Their natural sweetness and slight char add a wonderful depth of flavor that complements the pasta dish.
4. Steamed Broccoli or Green Beans: For a simpler side, steamed broccoli or green beans work well. They add a pop of color and provide a crunchy texture that contrasts nicely with the soft tortellini.
Yes, you can use fresh tortellini. Keep in mind that fresh pasta cooks much faster than frozen, so you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Start checking for doneness after about 2-3 minutes of adding them to the boiling sauce. The goal is to have them tender but still firm to the bite.
No heavy cream? No problem! You can substitute with half-and-half or a lighter cream for a less rich but still creamy texture. If you're in a pinch, a mixture of milk with a bit of butter can also work. The sauce won't be as thick, but it'll still have a nice creaminess.
Certainly! Adding vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini can increase the nutritional value and add new flavors. Add them when you sauté the onions to ensure they are cooked through. This not only adds color and variety but also personalizes the dish to your taste preferences.
Using low sodium beef broth is recommended to better control the overall saltiness of the dish, especially since Parmesan cheese also adds salt. However, if you don’t have low sodium broth, you can use regular broth and adjust the added salt accordingly. Just taste as you go and remember you can always add more salt, but you can't take it out once it's in.
The tortellini is perfectly cooked when it’s tender but still has a bit of a bite to it, known as 'al dente'. It shouldn’t be too hard in the center or too soft and mushy. As a general guideline, follow the lower end of the cooking time suggested on the package and then test a piece. Remember, they will continue to cook a little in the hot sauce even after you remove the pan from the heat.