Creamy Tortellini with Italian Sausage

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This recipe for creamy tortellini with Italian sausage is incredibly tasty & satisfying. It’s a great comfort food that takes minimal effort to make.

In fact, you can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes! So, this yummy tortellini recipe makes an excellent weeknight dish.

Packed with flavor and easy to make, oh yes!

creamy tortellini in white bowls with black forks resting on top

This post has been updated from its original publish date of December 9, 2019. It has been updated to provide better photos, additional helpful information and step by step instructions.

How to make this creamy tortellini recipe

We love this recipe because it is such an easy recipe to put together during the weeknight. It’s incredibly flavorful and makes such a perfect comfort food dish.

And it’s a recipe that even the children enjoy!

skillet of the finished tortellini with a blue and white plaid tea towel to the side and forks stacked on bowls

Ingredients

This recipe is fairly simple and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Here’s a quick glance of what you will need:

  • frozen cheese tortellini
  • ground mild Italian sausage – you could opt for hot Italian sausage if desired. But I just like the addition of crushed red peppers at the end so the children don’t get theirs too spicy.
  • yellow onion
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic cloves
  • salt
  • heavy cream
  • fresh baby spinach – can also substitute for kale if preferred
  • fresh shredded parmesan cheese – fresh is always best!
ingredients for the tortellini in small glass bowls

Instructions

Making this creamy tortellini recipe is super easy. Here how to make it:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the frozen cheese tortellini according to package instructions.

Using a large skillet, cook the ground Italian sausage with the diced onions, salt & olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté until cooked through. Drain any excess grease, and add the minced garlic.

large skillet with italian sausage and onion
pouring the heavy cream into the skillet with the cooked sausage
parmesan cheese with the heavy cream and italian sausage

Once the sausage is cooked through, you will then stir in the parmesan cheese and heavy cream. Keep stirring as the cheese melts and the cream is incorporated well.

Simmer the cream sauce for a few minutes to thicken up slightly and then add the baby spinach.

creamy sauce with the Italian sausage in a skillet, two bowls of the tortellini and baby spinach
adding the baby spinach to the skillet with the cream sauce
the spinach is wilted in the sauce with the sausage

Note: If the sauce seems too thin still, simmer on low for a few more minutes.

Stir in the baby spinach and combine until it has wilted and is cooked. Add in the cooked tortellini to the cream sauce.

adding the tortellini to the italian cream sauce
skillet with the combined ingredients
closeup of a bowl of creamy tortellini

Combine well, but gently so they don’t break open.

Serve immediately & enjoy! For a little extra heat, top with red pepper flakes.

two bowls of creamy tortellini with salt and pepper shakers

How to store and reheat leftovers

Ideally, I don’t recommend storing leftover pasta as the texture becomes mushy. But…if you have leftovers, store them in a glass bowl with an airtight lid for up to one week.

To reheat: add to a large pan or skillet on low until warmed through. The addition of a little bit of heavy cream or small amount of chicken broth will help thin the sauce when reheating as it may thicken during storage.  

FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Can I use kale instead of spinach?

Yes, you could substitute for kale in this recipe. Or use half and half of each if you’d like!

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Generally, I don’t recommend cooking pasta ahead of time as the texture of the pasta doesn’t typically hold and becomes mushy. This recipe comes together really quickly so it doesn’t take much effort to make on a weeknight.

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skillet pan with the creamy tortellini and italian sausage

Creamy Tortellini with Italian Sausage

Creamy Tortellini with Italian Sausage is a hearty Italian pasta dinner that is rich in flavor and a snap to make in one pot.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Mary Woita
Servings 6 people
Calories: 864kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the frozen cheese tortellini according to package instructions.
  • Using a large skillet, you will cook the ground Italian sausage with the diced onions, salt & olive oil over medium heat until cooked through. Drain any excess grease and add the minced garlic to the skillet.
  • Once the sausage is cooked through, you will then stir in the parmesan cheese and heavy cream. Keep stirring as the cheese melts and the cream is incorporated well.
  • Simmer the cream sauce for a few minutes to thicken up slightly and then add the baby spinach.
  • Stir in the baby spinach and combine until it has wilted and is cooked. Add in the cooked and drained tortellini to the cream sauce. Combine well, but gently so they don’t break open.
  • Serve & enjoy. Salt & pepper to taste or add crushed red pepper flakes for a mild heat.

Notes

If the sauce seems too thin still, simmer on low for a few more minutes.
This recipe is best when served immediately. If you have leftovers, reheat them in a large pan or skillet on low until warmed through. The addition of a little bit of heavy cream will help the sauce when reheating. 

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for some friends and heard nothing but complements! It was so easy to throw together fast and so flavorful! 10/10 making this again!

  2. 5 stars
    Howdy from Montana! Saw this recipe on Foxnews.com (that’s pretty cool, right!) & had to give it a try for my family. Super easy like a decadent Alfredo, the sausage & spinach were a wonderful addition. The whole family enjoyed, especially the teen kids. I see myself putting this recipe on repeat especially on busy sports nights/school, making it ahead of time, keeping the pasta & sauce separate until ready to serve. Delicious, thank you.