I’ve really been digging cheese tortellini lately because it’s as easy as plain pasta, but it’s just a bit more hearty (thanks to that cheese filling), so it instantly makes any pasta dish feel more substantial, even without adding meat. Last week I made this super easy Spinach Tortellini Skillet, which is a riff on one of our most popular recipes, Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta. This tortellini version is a bit easier (no chopping onion!) and a little more filling. I hope you enjoy!
What’s in This Tortellini SKillet
This recipe is incredibly simple, which makes it the perfect easy weeknight dinner. It’s got cheesy tortellini that we toss in a homemade creamy tomato sauce, and a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach thrown in for color, texture, and nutrients. The only ingredients you need to make this delicious pasta skillet are:
- Herbs and spices: We kept the sauce pretty simple as far as seasonings go, with just some fresh garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, and freshly cracked pepper.
- Diced tomatoes: We opted for petite diced tomatoes here to keep the sauce from being too chunky. You could also use fire-roasted diced tomatoes for more flavor!
- Cream cheese: This instantly gives the tomato sauce a thick and creamy texture which coats the tortellini beautifully.
- Cheese tortellini: We used frozen cheese tortellini, which cooks quickly (about 3 min.), but you can use whatever flavor or type of tortellini you prefer.
- Parmesan cheese: A little Parmesan cheese at the end really helps boost the umami flavor in the skillet, and adds a little extra richness to the sauce.
- Fresh spinach: A few handfuls of fresh spinach thrown into the sauce gives this dish a beautiful dose of color and a little extra veggie power.
What Else Can I Add?
I think this dish is pretty hearty as-is, but if you want to add some meat you have several options. You could brown some Italian Sausage in the skillet before the garlic and incorporate it into the sauce, you could top the skillet with some sliced seared chicken breast, or you could even add some garlic butter shrimp!
If you like your food spicy, definitely add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper to the tomato sauce for a little kick. And if you want this to be EXTRA indulgent, try topping it with some mozzarella and baking it in the oven until melted! 😮
What to Serve with This Tortellini Skillet
GARLIC BREAD. This recipe is just begging for some buttery, crispy, homemade garlic bread! And if you’re like me, you already have some stashed in your freezer ready to bake on a moment’s notice. ;) And if you want some extra veggies with this meal, you can use any leftover spinach you might have to make a simple side salad. Or make some easy roasted broccoli to serve on the side!
How are the LEftovers?
Fan-freaking-tastic, IMHO! The sauce does get a little thick with time in the refrigerator, but that does not impede on the cozy, cheesy goodness of this dish. The microwave is going to be your best bet for reheating the leftovers as it will reheat quickly without losing too much moisture. Make sure to keep the dish partially covered to hold in the steam, and stir occasionally to help it reheat evenly.
Spinach Tortellini Skillet
- 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
- 1 28oz. can petite diced tomatoes ($1.69)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
- 4 oz. cream cheese ($1.10)
- 19 oz. frozen cheese tortellini ($4.79)
- 2 cups fresh spinach ($0.60)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.36)
- Mince the garlic and add it to a large skillet with the olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until it becomes fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), basil, oregano, and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine and continue to cook and stir until the tomatoes are hot.
- Cut the cream cheese into chunks, then add it to the hot tomato sauce in the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the cream cheese has melted into the tomatoes and created a smooth and creamy sauce (use a whisk, if needed).
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the tortellini. Once boiling, add the tortellini and continue to boil for about three minutes, or until they are all floating (make sure to check the package instructions for the recommended cook time). Drain the tortellini in a colander.
- While the tortellini is draining, roughly chop the spinach into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped spinach to the sauce in the skillet and stir to combine, allowing the heat to wilt the spinach.
- Add the drained tortellini to the skillet and stir to combine with the sauce.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan over top and stir to combine. Give the tortellini a taste and adjust any salt or seasonings to your liking. Serve hot and enjoy!
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How to Make Spinach Tortellini Skillet – Step by Step Photos
Mince four cloves of garlic, then add them to a large skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Add one 28oz. can of petite diced tomatoes to the skillet (with the juices), along with ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Stir the ingredients together and continue to heat over medium, stirring occasionally.
Once the tomatoes are hot, cut 4 oz. of cream cheese into chunks, then add it to the skillet.
Continue to cook and stir the sauce over medium heat until the cream cheese has melted in and created a smooth and creamy sauce. You can use a whisk, if needed, to help the cream cheese melt into the sauce well.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add 19oz. frozen cheese tortellini. Allow the tortellini to boil for about 3 minutes, or until it’s all floating (check the package directions for recommended cooking time). Drain the tortellini in a colander.
While the tortellini is draining, roughly chop about 2 cups of fresh spinach into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped spinach to the sauce in the skillet and stir it in, allowing the heat to wilt the spinach.
Add the drained tortellini to the skillet and stir to combine with the sauce.
Sprinkle about ¼ cup Grated or shredded Parmesan over top, then stir to combine.
Give the tortellini one final taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking! We found that between the canned tomatoes, cream cheese, and Parmesan, no additional salt was needed for our taste buds. A pinch or two of crushed red pepper would also be awesome!