Spinach Tortellini Skillet

$9.11 recipe / $2.78 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.41 from 15 votes
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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!

Overhead view of Spinach Tortellini in the skillet garnished with Grated Parmesan.

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.

Overhead view of a bowl full of spinach tortellini with a fork in the side.
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Spinach Tortellini Skillet

4.41 from 15 votes
Spinach Tortellini Skillet is an easy and hearty dinner recipe that comes together quickly and will make you want to come back for seconds!
Overhead view of a bowl full of spinach tortellini with a fork in the side.
Servings 4
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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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Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 648kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 28gFat: 27gSodium: 1057mgFiber: 9g
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Close up side view of spinach tortellini skillet with a wooden spoon.

How to Make Spinach Tortellini Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Minced garlic being sauteed in olive oil.

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.

Diced tomatoes and herbs added to the skillet.

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.

cream cheese added to the skillet in chunks.

Once the tomatoes are hot, cut 4 oz. of cream cheese into chunks, then add it to the skillet.

Thick and creamy tomato sauce in 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.

Cooked tortellini in a pot with a pasta fork lifting some.

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.

Fresh spinach added to the sauce in the skillet.

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.

Drained tortellini added to the skillet.

Add the drained tortellini to the skillet and stir to combine with the sauce.

Grated Parmesan being sprinkled over the skillet.

Sprinkle about ¼ cup Grated or shredded Parmesan over top, then stir to combine.

Finished spinach tortellini skillet.

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!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of Spinach Tortellini.
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Comments

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  1. Made ahead for my lunches this week and 10/10 would make again. So simple to make but hits the spot.

  2. Would this recipe freeze well. Was thinking of having 1/2 tonight and then freezing the other 1/2 for later. Thanks!

    1. As Beth mentions in the section, “HOW ARE THE LEFTOVERS?” this meal is great if refrigerated and then reheated as she outlines. It keeps for around 4 days. We haven’t tried freezing it but generally wouldn’t recommend it. ~ Marion :)

    1. Not much needs to be adjusted since we cook the tortellini separately from the rest of the dish. However, I would consult the package instructions to make sure you cook the brand of tortellini you are using long enough. It may need to boil slightly longer if cooking from dry. ~ Marion :)

  3. I this dish was good, and definitely quick and easy to make which is why it got 4 stars. When I have leftovers tomorrow I am going to add the crushed red pepper, I think it needs that little kick.

  4. We really liked this one! It’s going into the regular rotation. We had refrigerated tortellini and I took the suggestion of a previous reviewer and added it straight to the sauce to let it simmer until tender, keeping a little extra liquid on hand and stirring often to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Also, we had some heavy cream to use up, so I added about 3 Tbsp of that instead of using cream cheese, which was lovely.

  5. I just made this and I thought it was really good! Easy, quick, and tasty. It’s very tomato-y and they give it a nice bright taste, so if you don’t like the taste of diced tomatoes, you probably won’t like it. I, however, will definitely make it again! Maybe with some fresh basil next time.

  6. It looked and smelled really good. It seemed like it needed a little something at the end. My husband thought the sauce was a bit acidic so maybe I’ll add a little sugar next time. We put the leftovers in the freezer and plan to add mozzarella cheese and bake it to reheat and see how we like it that way. Thank you for such a pretty recipe.

  7. This was really tasty! I used fresh tortellini instead of frozen (they were out of frozen) and I didn’t even need to boil it in a separate pot. I just put it in the tomatoes/spices before adding the cream cheese and let it simmer for a few minutes, then continued with the recipe. Turned out great!