Cheesy Baked Tortellini
It seems unfathomable that Christmas was less than two months ago at this point; life has been jam packed since the calendar turned to January! Over the holidays, we had dinner with some members of my husband’s family and cheese tortellini in a pink sauce was on the menu. My husband and brother-in-law had talked about this pink sauce for years, and I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to try it. Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it! I asked my father-in-law’s cousin how she made it, and she said it was a simple combination of her marinara sauce and a béchamel. I tucked that information away for a rainy day, and less than a few weeks later I decided to recreate her meal, except I baked it as a casserole and added even more cheese because… why not?!
I used packages of refrigerated tortellini for this dish, but you could easily use fresh or even frozen (I would par-boil the frozen ones before baking). Feel free to play around with the different variations of tortellini as well – I love cheese, but you could use meat or spinach as well, whatever you prefer. I have such a soft spot for baked pasta dishes; they’re absolutely one of my ultimate comfort foods. I can’t think of a better way to wait out these last few frigid days of winter before spring arrives than to bake up a dish like this!
I served this along with some homemade garlic bread, which may have just been the most amazing garlic bread I’ve ever had. Stay tuned for that recipe tomorrow!
One year ago: Fluffernutter Milkshake
Three years ago: Date-Nut Snack Cake
Four years ago: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Popcorn [Poppy Chow]
Five years ago: Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cheesy Baked Tortellini
For the Béchamel Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (31.25 g) all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups (610 ml) milk
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (132 g) shredded provolone cheese
- ½ cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the rest:
- 3 pounds (1.36 kg) refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 3 cups (735 g) your favorite spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup (112 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup (50 g) shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the Béchamel Sauce: In a medium saucepan placed over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour turns light brown and emits a nutty aroma. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Once all of the milk has been incorporated, whisk in the nutmeg, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat, and add the shredded provolone a handful at a time, stirring until it melts. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper, then set aside and let cool to warm room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the béchamel sauce and the spaghetti sauce.
- In a very large bowl, combine the tortellini and three-quarters of the sauce mixture. Turn into a 9x13-inch casserole dish and spread into an even layer.
- Drizzle the remaining sauce over the top of the tortellini. Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses evenly over the top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so, until the cheese is browned and bubbling on top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Hi! Thoughts on prepping the night before and throwing in the oven the next day?
Could totally do that!
Does this freeze well?
Hi Carolyn, I’ve never frozen this exact dish, but baked pastas are usually great candidates for freezing, so my guess is that it would.
Made this last night for me and my honey and it was DELICIOUS!! We both loved it and took leftovers for work today. I cut it in half and it was still a lot for us. i couldn’t believe how great it turned out being that I’ve never made nor eaten béchamel sauce or tortellini! Thank you so much for this recipe, I’ll definitely be making this again!
This is a good recipe that’s pretty quick to put together but way too dry with only 3 cups of sauce. I at least double or even triple the sauce.
Thank you for the great recipe! I made it for a family birthday party this weekend and it was a huge success. Even my daughter, who is a rather fussy eater, loved it.
Can’t wait to try this out, it looks like pure comfort food. Perfect for a cold day :)
I made this last Saturday for dinner. Since there are only 2 of us, I used 1 pound of tortellini and I cut the sauce recipe in half. It was fabulous – very rich – served it with garlic bread and a salad, and we have enough left over for another night this week! You do NOT have to cook the tortellini ahead of time – just make sure it is fresh tortellini and you will be all set.
I love tortellini with creamy sauces. This looks amazing!
I made this last nite and it was DIVINE!!!! Even my toddler ate it! (she tends to not like tomatoes or tomato sauces) I made it with the only cheeses I had on hand (mozz and parm) and it came out fine. Since I only had 1.25 lbs of pasta in my fridge and didnt want to stop at the store for more, I have a lot of sauce left over (which is a good thing! haha!!) Now to think of ways to use it up! Thanks for the great recipes!! You never disappoint!
Baked tortellini is the best! Love how cheesy this is!
I just want to live in this cheesy dish from now until the end of winter.
Looks delicious! Does the tortellini need to be boiled (or cooked per the instructions on the package) before mixing with sauce and tossing it in the oven?
This looks terrific. I’ve pinned and can’t wait to make it.
Yowza, that’s a big bowl of comfort food right there. I love tortellini because it almost seems like a hearty head start to salads, soups and pasta dishes. I would pick this over a baked ziti any day!
Does the milk need to be at room temp before adding to the béchamel? Is it ok to use it straight out of the fridge? I’ve always struggled with sauce-making.
This sounds like complete comfort food! I bet my family will adore this. Thanks!! :D
That looks amazing! It’s so cheesy! Adding more cheese is always a good idea I think!
This looks insanely good. Pink cream sauces are my absolute fave, and pairing it with cheese tortellini? OMG. I’ll definitely be saving this one for later!
This looks so decadent and delicious!
This looks fantastic, I love cheese! I will have to make this soon :)
This looks amazing and perfect time for Friday’s during lent. Everything I have made from BEB has gotten nothing but rave reviews, I am sure this will be another.
Until I met my boyfriend, I never really had tortellini before. Now, we put it in soups and order it when we go out to dinner. This would be a perfect surprise dinner for a night in. Thank you for sharing. :)
Wow. That is making me so very hungry right now which is sad because I just at dinner. Also, I’m all for pink food:)
I’m not an addictive personality typically, but I have learned over the past few weeks just how often I visit your blog to relax and get some great recipes. Might as well face it, I’m addicted to BEB. You rock!
Right ON, Girlfriend! You said it! I can relate to your comment, Cynthia, and I’m sure it rings true for others.
Thanks for all the sharing of family times, BEB.
I agree with you! I check it every day on my lunch break :) It’s the best food blog I have ever visited and her recipes are flawless. The stories that accompany her recipes just make the whole experience of visiting this site a memorable one.
I was addicted, but my 12 step program has helped me check in every other day.I love cheesy recipe’s and this is going to be make me a happy man. :)