This Easy Tortellini Dinner is my absolute favorite go-to emergency meal because it’s not only fast and easy, it’s also easy to dress up for company. Even better, it’s a meal that everyone in the family loves so I can serve it without worrying about complaints (hurray for pasta dishes!).
Some nights in our family are pure chaos. Between practices and lessons, we might have a 30 minute window to squeeze in dinner together as a family.
If I’ve planned well, we have a slow cooker meal ready to eat when we get home from picking everyone up from the first round of activities so that we have plenty of time to eat and clean up before dashing out for the second round of activities.
About half the time I forget to start the crock pot in the morning and thus, end up scrambling to get a home cooked meal on the table. Luckily, I have a few go-to meals, whose ingredients I almost always have on hand.
This tortellini recipe is one of those. I also rely on this recipe for impromptu dinner guests (who show up a lot thanks to my husband’s habit of inviting anyone and everyone to join us for dinner when he runs into them on the way home).
It’s quick, easy, versatile, and delicious. Plus, it’s easy to keep all of the main ingredients on hand so that you can make it any night on a moment’s notice.
The Importance of Go-To Family Meals
Our family dinner conversations are the highlight of my days. This is the one time during the day when we are all in one place and paying attention to one another.
As a military family, the only stability we’ve had is our connection to one another. We’ve lived in different cities with different climates, had different friends and neighbors, and attended different schools.
Our bond to one another is our version of planting roots and our family dinners together are an integral part of that foundation. Whether your family is military or not, I firmly believe that sitting down to enjoy dinner as a family is the single best thing you can do to strengthen your parent/child relationship.
The simple act of eating together sends an important message — that each member is making family a priority at least once a day. It’s also an opportunity to teach and enforce other values.
We don’t get the same face-to-face experience if we’re cramming down fast food in the car. That’s why it’s really important to me to have fast and convenient go-to family meals like this easy tortellini dinner.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
How to Make an Easy Tortellini Dinner
There aren’t many ingredients in this recipe, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. You’ll need:
- Frozen Cheese Tortellini
- Italian Sausage (I use Italian turkey sausage)
- Mezzetta Marinara Sauce (I used Italian Plum Tomato)
Since there are only 3 ingredients, choose them wisely. I’ve specified Mezzetta Marinara sauce because it is the closest thing to homemade sauce in my opinion.
In fact, it’s far better than any homemade sauce I’ve ever created. A quick glance at the ingredient list is like reading the start of a recipe: Italian plum tomatoes from Italy’s San Marzano region, extra virgin olive oil, fresh onions, sea salt, fresh garlic, black pepper, spices, fresh basil.
Plus, with delicious varieties like Caramelized Onion & Butter and Truffle, Porcini & Cream, you are bound to find a flavor that delights your family’s taste buds. The Whole Garlic & Sweet Basil is out of this world and actually contains whole cloves of garlic and whole basil leaves.
I use the Italian Plum Tomato in this recipe because I like to keep the flavor profile simple, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
Optional ingredients you can add:
- Artichoke Hearts
- Mushroom Slices
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Parmesan Cheese
- Crushed Red Peppers
- Fresh Basil
Preparing the dinner is as easy as 1-2-3.
1. Broil or Grill the Italian Sausage: Grill or broil in the oven for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. Then, slice into 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Boil the Tortellini: Cook the tortellini according to instructions on package.
3. Heat the Sauce: Heat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in any of the optional ingredients you want to include.
Voila! This delicious weeknight dinner is on the table in 20 minutes. If you have the time, you can round out the meal with a salad and some bread.
Do you want to simplify this recipe even more? Skip the Italian sausage and buy Italian sausage stuffed tortellini!
Are you a vegetarian? Use spinach tortellini or mushroom tortellini and omit the Italian sausage.
Easy Tortellini Dinner Recipe
Here is the recipe card if you prefer to print the recipe or want detailed measurements.
- 1 20 oz pkg frozen tortellini
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 16.25 oz jar of Mezzetta marinara sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- artichoke hearts
- sliced mushrooms
- roasted red pepper slices
- sun dried tomatoes
- grated parmesan
- crushed red pepper
- fresh basil
Grill or broil sausage for 12 minutes, flipping over halfway through cook time. Let cool slightly, then slice into 1/2-inch pieces.
Prepare tortellini according to package directions. Drain tortellini and return to pot. Drizzle olive oil over tortellini and stir to coat.
Pour sauce and any optional ingredients into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Spoon tortellini into bowls and top with a generous portion of sauce.
Serve immediately. Top with parmesan, crushed red pepper and basil if desired.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
If you liked this recipe, you might enjoy some of these other easy dinner recipes that are popular with my family:
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Sausage, Onion and Potato Sheet Pan Dinner
- Baked Pork Chops and Apples with Brown Sugar Glaze