This Tomato Basil Creamy Tortellini is the ultimate comfort food with cheesy tortellini pasta smothered in a rich butter garlic sauce topped with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. Best of all you can get it on the table in about 15 minutes!
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If you’re looking for a meatless meal option for Meatless Mondays this Tomato Basil Creamy Tortellini is perfect. Cheese filled tortellini in a fresh tomato and cream sauce topped with Parmesan and fresh basil will have everyone at the table asking for seconds.
Ideal for a busy weeknight, quick weekend meal or a great crowd pleaser for a potluck. You can easily double the recipe if you are feeding a big group or if you want to have leftovers the next day.
Why This Recipe Works
- Ready in about 15 minutes – tortellini cooks up super quickly so you can get it into hungry mouths fast.
- Family-friendly – who doesn’t love pasta in cream sauce?
- Perfect for meatless meal – we all need a few meatless options to add to our repertoire.
- Easily modified – change up the tomatoes, switch up the cheese, use a different kind of pasta.
- Make ahead – if you’ve got a busy day you can prepare this pasta the night before you want to serve it.
Ingredients To Make Tortellini With Tomatoes
- Cheese tortellini – Refrigerated tortellini are great as they cook up really fast.
- Tomatoes – Fresh whole tomatoes, quartered, add a pop of color and a burst of flavor but you can also use grape tomatoes, halved.
- Basil – Fresh basil adds the best flavor so try not to use dried.
- Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil is ideal but any kind of oil will work.
- Garlic – Fresh minced garlic adds the best flavor but jarred will also work.
- Shallot – Shallots add a delicate flavor with a touch of sweetness.
- Butter – Unsalted butter adds a velvety texture to the sauce. Salted butter works too, just adjust your salt accordingly.
- Heavy cream – Heavy cream make this sauce nice and rich.
- Parmesan cheese -Freshly shaved Parmesan adds saltiness. Make sure not to use shelf stable Parmesan cheese.
- Sea salt and black pepper – Add salt and pepper to taste.
How To Cook Tortellini Tomato Cream Sauce
Step 1: Follow the instructions on the tortellini package but cook for around 1-2 minutes less so they don’t get soggy and fall apart. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Drain tortellini and set a side.
Step 2: While the pasta cooks, heat oil in a large casserole. Once the oil is hot add in the garlic and shallots and sauté until they become fragrant. This should take 1-2 minutes.
Step 3: Once the kitchen starts to smell like garlic and shallots, add the tomatoes and cook until they start to break down. This should take about 2 minutes or so but will depend on how big your tomatoes are. Next add in the butter and cream and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
Step 4: Gently stir in the tortellini so it doesn’t break or fall apart and add the basil and the reserved pasta water. Top with the freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and serve.
Tips and Variations For The Best Tortellini Sauce Recipe
- Change up the kind of tortellini and use meat-filled, cheese and spinach, or even some of the fancy pumpkin or mushroom-filled ones. Ravioli and gnocchi will also work well.
- Lighten up the sauce and use half and half instead of heavy cream.
- Use red bell peppers instead of tomatoes for a pop of color. Or a combination of red, yellow and orange would look nice too.
- Mix in some sundried tomatoes for a more intense tomato flavor.
- Try frozen tortellini if you can’t find fresh.
- Substitute Grand Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano or Asiago for the Parmesan.
- Mix in fresh greens like spinach or kale to add more color and increase the nutritional value.
- Stir in other fresh herbs like oregano and parsley for an elevated flavor profile.
- Add some protein and mix in chopped bacon or white beans.
Are Tortellini and Ravioli The Same Thing?
No, tortellini and ravioli are not the same thing. The key difference between the two is their shape. Ravioli are usually square shaped whereas tortellini are ring shaped. Both can be filled with cheese, meat or veggies and most often you can substitute one for the other.
If you aren’t quite sure what to serve with filled tortellini you can’t go wrong with a salad. Choose a light salad to balance the richness of the cream sauce like this Strawberry Arugula Salad or this Quinoa Beet and Arugula Salad.
Italians typically eat meat filled tortellini in broth but they do eat tortellini with cheese sauce, cream sauce, pesto or tomato sauce.
Make Ahead and Storage
You can make this tortellini with tomato cream sauce a few days ahead of when you want to serve it and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep for 3-4 days.
You can also freeze this tortellini though it may loose it’s firm texture.
If you make this Tomato Basil Creamy Tortellini recipe, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to all your comments. Also, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram for a special shutout and/or a chance of being featured in my newsletter!
Looking for more pasta recipes:
- Classic Chicken Broccoli Pasta
- Garlicky Kale and Mushroom Pasta
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta
- Classic Pasta Salad
Tomato Basil Creamy Tortellini
- 9 oz refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 2 whole tomatoes quartered or 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp shaved parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package instructions **(1-2 minutes shorter)**. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water. Drain tortellini and set aside.
- Meanwhile heat oil in large casserole. Add garlic and shallots, sauté until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes start to soften 2 minutes). Add butter and cream, stir. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Now add the tortellini, basil and the reserved pasta water. Briefly fold to combine. Top with shaved parmesan cheese and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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