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30-Minute Tuscan Tortellini with Sausage and Spinach

This one-skillet Tuscan Tortellini Recipe is exactly what you’ve been looking for on those busy weeknights. Ready in less than 30 minutes, it’s not only quick and easy but also features a savory, flavorful, robust sauce for one of the best tortellini recipes!

Overhead shot of Tuscan tortellini with sausage and spinach in a tomato based sauce.
This one-pan Tuscan tortellini recipe is incredibly easy to make and takes only 30 minutes from scratch!

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Why This Recipe Stands Out

If you’re a fan of easy tortellini recipes, you’re going to love this Tuscan tortellini recipe. It is packed with flavor, easy to make, and perfect for those nights when you want something hearty and satisfying but without a lot of fuss. Here’s why this recipe stands out:

Reasons why this is the best tortellini recipe:

  • Quick: This recipe only takes less than thirty minutes to prepare, perfect for busy weeknights.
  • Easy: With only one pan needed, this recipe is a breeze to make and even easier to clean up. It’s one of the best easy one-pan recipes.
  • Flavorful: The combination of Italian sausage, garlic, onions, and tomatoes creates a robust and savory sauce that perfectly complements the cheesy tortellini.
  • Satisfying: With hearty ingredients like sausage and tortellini, this dish is sure to fill you up and leave you satisfied like our Tuscan-style beef stew.
  • Versatile: This recipe is flexible enough to accommodate your favorite ingredients. Want to add more veggies or switch up the protein? Go for it!
  • Freezer-Friendly: The ingredients for this recipe, like ground sausage and frozen tortellini, can be stocked in your freezer for a quick and easy meal anytime.

Key Recipe Ingredients

  • Italian Sausage – The bulk Italian sausage, without casings, adds a robust, meaty flavor to this tortellini recipe.
  • Tomato-Based Pasta Sauce and Diced Tomatoes – These two ingredients combine to create a rich, tomatoey sauce that the tortellini is cooked in, soaking up all the flavors.
  • Frozen Cheese Tortellini – These little bites of cheesy goodness are the star of the dish, and they cook right in the sauce to absorb all the flavors.
  • Baby Spinach Leaves – Adding a pop of color and a boost of nutrition, the spinach leaves are torn to bite size and wilted into the sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly shaved or shredded, Parmesan cheese adds a salty, nutty finish to the dish.
Closeup shot of Tuscan tortellini garnished with Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped herbs.

Substitutions And Variations

The best part about this recipe with tortellini is how versatile it is. You can easily tweak the ingredients to suit your taste or dietary needs. Here are some ideas for substitutions and variations that we think you will love:

  • Sausage: If you’re not a fan of Italian sausage, feel free to substitute it with ground beef, chicken, or even turkey. Vegetarians could use a plant-based meat substitute or simply add more veggies for a hearty, meat-free option.
  • Cream: If you want a lighter version of this dish, try swapping the half & half creamer or heavy cream with milk. You could also use a dairy-free alternative such as almond or coconut milk for a vegan version.
  • Spinach: Not a fan of spinach? No problem. You can substitute it with other leafy greens like kale or Swiss chard. Even broccoli or zucchini would work well in this recipe.
  • Cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a wonderful flavor to this dish, but feel free to experiment with other cheeses. Mozzarella, cheddar, or even a blend of Italian cheeses would be great alternatives.
  • Herbs: While this recipe suggests using freshly chopped basil or parsley for garnish, you could also try oregano, thyme, or rosemary for a different flavor profile.
  • Sauce: Fire-roasted tomatoes with juices are a great alternative to Italian diced tomatoes, and will add a smoky flavor to the sauce, like they do in our Lentil Soup and One-Pan Chicken Fajita Pasta.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add onion and stir for about half a minute. Incorporate garlic into the skillet and stir for an additional two minutes until the mixture is aromatic and tender.
  2. Move the onion and garlic mixture to the edges of the skillet and add sausage in the center, breaking it up as it cooks. When half-cooked, combine it with the onion mixture and continue cooking until browned.
  1. To the skillet, add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with their juices, broth, and half and half. Stir the mixture and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add frozen tortellini to the boiling mixture, making sure they are submerged in the sauce. Bring the mixture back to a boil, cover the skillet, and reduce the heat to let it simmer until the tortellini is tender, approximately eight minutes.
  1. After the tortellini is cooked, remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in spinach until it wilts and season the dish with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  2. Serve the dish immediately, garnishing with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped herbs if desired.

How To Prep Ahead

This quick and easy tortellini recipe is the perfect meal for busy weeknights, but we have some additional tips to make it even more convenient. Take a look at our best prep-ahead tips for our favorite Italian recipe:

  • Chop the Veggies: You can chop the onion and garlic ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. This will save you some time when you’re ready to cook.
  • Pre-cook the Sausage: The bulk Italian sausage can be cooked in advance. Once it’s browned, let it cool, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. When you’re ready to cook, just add it to the skillet with the onion and garlic.
  • Stock Up: Keep your pantry stocked with broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato-based pasta sauce. These ingredients are not only useful for this tortellini recipe, but also for other dishes. Simultaneously, have frozen tortellini and sausage stored in the freezer for when you need it.
  • Be Ready: This recipe comes together in less than thirty minutes. To make things go smoothly, we recommend having all ingredients measured and ready to go before you start the process.

What To Serve With Tortellini

Vegetables

Bread

Soups

Commonly Asked Questions

What type of tortellini is best for this recipe?

For this Tuscan Tortellini recipe, we recommend using frozen cheese tortellini. However, if you prefer, you can use fresh cheese tortellini, but remember to lessen the cook time to prevent overcooking.

Can I use a different type of sausage?

Absolutely! While we use bulk Italian sausage in this recipe, you can substitute it with your favorite cooked sausage links, diced or sliced. The choice is yours!

What can I use if half & half creamer isn’t available?

If you can’t find half & half creamer, you can make your own by mixing equal parts of milk and heavy cream. This will give you a similar consistency and flavor.

Can I use a different type of broth?

Yes, you can. While we use chicken broth in this recipe, you can also use beef or vegetable broth. Whichever you choose, just make sure that it is full strength to maintain the robust flavors of the dish.

How can I make the sauce more creamy?

If you prefer a creamier sauce, you can add a bit more cream to the recipe. If the leftover sauce becomes too thick, add a bit more broth to loosen it up.

What can I do with the extra sauce?

This recipe creates extra sauce to guarantee that the tortellini cooks through. You can serve the extra sauce with crusty bread to soak up all that delicious flavor!

How do I adjust the recipe if I prefer less liquid?

If you’d prefer less liquid, you can use just 1 cup of pasta sauce, but be sure the tortellini has enough liquid to fully submerge/cook in.

How long does tortellini keep?

Cooked tortellini can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat, simply microwave or warm on the stove, adding a bit of broth if needed to loosen the sauce.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Tuscan Tortellini with Sausage and Spinach

30-Minute Tortellini with Sausage and Spinach

4.82 from 316 ratings
Just 30 minutes and one skillet is all you'll need to get this delicious Tortellini Recipe on the table. Everything, including the tortellini, gets cooked up in one big pan. Busy weeknights, here we come.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, bulk, no casings
  • 2 cups pasta sauce, tomato based
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, Italian seasoned, with juices
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup half and half creamer, or heavy cream
  • 19 oz cheese tortellini, frozen, do not thaw
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, excess moisture removed, torn to bite size
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly shaved/shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: freshly chopped herbs, such as basil or parsley, for garnish.

Instructions

  • In a very large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion, stir constantly 30 seconds. Add garlic and stir another 2 minutes or until aromatic and tender.
  • Push onion mixture to the edges of pan and add sausage into the center of pan. Cook and break up sausage; once it’s half-cooked, stir together with the onion mixture and continue cooking until browned.
  • Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juices, broth, and half/half. Stir and bring to a boil. Add frozen tortellini, stirring to submerge tortellini in the sauce. Bring back to a boil, cover, and reduce to simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Gently stir in spinach just until wilted. Add 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste. Serve immediately with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped herbs, if desired.

Notes

  • Always heat the olive oil over medium heat before adding the onions. This ensures that the onions are cooked evenly and release their full flavor.
  • When adding the garlic, make sure to stir it constantly for about 2 minutes. This will help to release its aroma and prevent it from burning, which can give your dish a bitter taste.
  • Don’t forget to break up the sausage as it cooks. This will ensure that it cooks evenly and mixes well with the other ingredients.
  • When adding the tortellini, make sure they are fully submerged in the sauce. This will ensure they cook evenly and absorb all the delicious flavors.
  • Always add the spinach last and stir it gently until it wilts. This will keep it fresh and vibrant, adding a nice color contrast to your dish.
  • Don’t skimp on the freshly ground black pepper and freshly shredded Parmesan cheese. These ingredients add a burst of flavor that really elevates the dish.
  • If you’re using fresh tortellini, reduce the cooking time to prevent overcooking. Overcooked tortellini can become mushy and lose their shape.
  • This recipe creates extra sauce to ensure the tortellini cooks through; serve with crusty bread to soak up that delicious sauce! We also love having it with some Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread or Olive Garden breadsticks.
  • If you’d prefer less liquid, you can use just 1 cup of pasta sauce, but be sure the tortellini has enough liquid to fully submerge/cook in.
  • If you prefer the sauce to be more creamy, add a bit more cream. If the leftover sauce becomes too thick, add a bit more broth to loosen it.
  • If you tried this recipe and loved it, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you! 

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 553kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 806mg | Potassium: 701mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1910IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: American Italian, Italian
Method: Skillet, Stovetop

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30-Minute Spaghetti Carbonara: If you’ve been looking for an easy Spaghetti Carbonara recipe that’s creamy, rich, and deliciously smoky, then this is the one for you. It’s perfect for busy weeknights or fancy dinner parties!

30-Minute Healthy Taco Casserole: This simple yet delicious Taco Casserole is one of the best dishes for weeknights when you’re looking for something the whole family will love but is easy to make. Plus, it’s healthy too!

20-Minute One Pan Gnocchi with Sausage and Spinach: All you need is one pan, 20 minutes, and some pantry staples to whip up with delicious one-pan weeknight dinner meal!

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Recipe Rating




147 comments

    • BM
    • 5 stars

    This recipe is my GO TO recipe for when we have guests over! My entire family loves it too. Always make it with garlic bread. I double the veggies and dump the entire jar of pasta sauce since we all like it with a lot of sauce.

      • chewoutloud

      That’s fantastic! 🙂

    • Keoska
    • 5 stars

    I’m gluten free and found fresh gluten free tortellini and had NO IDEA what to do with it, but I was so excited. I had everything required laying around and before I even took a bite, I knew this recipe was going to be fantastic! I didn’t measure anything, but I never do. I will be making this again and again! Thank you!

    • Mia
    • 5 stars

    Easy to make and was so yummy! I followed the instructions as directed but did not add as much parmesan. Just a difference in preference but it turned out so great!

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome, Mia!

    • Nicole Bonsignore
    • 5 stars

    Tried this as a last minute meals since I had all the ingredients in the house. It was soooo good. Thank you for sharing!!!

      • chewoutloud

      So great that your household enjoyed this dish, Nicole! 🙂 🙂

    • Weezer
    • 5 stars

    Delicious! I used Italian Turkey sausage and crushed tomatoes, adding basil and Italian seasoning in lieu of prepared sauce. To use up the 1/2. Bag of frozen spinach I thawed it, slightly warmed it in the microwave and it worked beautifully!
    My daughter won’t eat pork sausage or jarred pasta sauce and loved this. It took very little extra time to use the crushed tomatoes. Wonderful! Thank you!

    • Sharon
    • 5 stars

    Very Yummy! I can’t have a lot of dairy so I added more tomato sauce and broth for more liquid. Thanks for sharing!

    • Shayla

    We have been making this for a couple of years now and it’s one of my family’s favorites!

      • chewoutloud

      So happy to hear that, Shayla!

    • Reiney
    • 5 stars

    Super delicious. I throw in a little Mrs Dash Italian while everything’s simmering, just because we like the extra flavor, but this dish is really delicious!

    • Liz
    • 5 stars

    5 stars

    • Rose

    Totally enjoyed this recipe! Will definitely make again.

    • Jenna
    • 5 stars

    This was so good! I get weary of trying new recipes but OMG this was amazing

    • BoyleFam
    • 5 stars

    Wonderful! We are half vegetarians around here, so I browned the sausage separately and mixed in with half the pasta mixture right before serving…it was still amazing. A new family staple for sure. Thank you!

      • chewoutloud

      You’re so welcome, and great idea 🙂

    • Liz
    • 5 stars

    Whole family loved it!

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome, Liz!

    • Michelle

    Can I use ground beef instead of sausage? Not a huge sausage fan

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, Michelle, that would work nicely! Enjoy and hope you love it 🙂

        • Heather

        I just made this for dinner. It was delicious! My husband had three helpings and said it was a homerun meal. Thanks for the recipe!!

          • chewoutloud

          Heather, that’s awesome! So happy you guys liked this dish. Thanks for being here today 🙂

      • Alyssa
      • 5 stars

      This was awesome! My husband reminded me over and over again to make sure I wrote it down in our personal favorites recipe book! Definitely a keeper! And the fact that it was sooo easy and quick to make made it even better!

        • chewoutloud

        Awww, that is so fantastic, Alyssa 🙂 🙂 🙂 So happy to hear you and hubby loved this dish! Thanks for letting us know 🙂

    • Portia

    Just made this I am eating it as I write this. Absollutely delicious!!! I added a fresh jalapeno & cremini mushrooms I wanted to use them up. Makes a huge pan full. Lots of left overs. YAY! 5 stars for sure. Thanks for a great recipe.

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome, Portia! SO happy to hear you guys really liked this. Thanks for coming over and have a great remaining summer 🙂

    • Hailey Kim

    Made this dish today for dinner and it turned out to be good and delicious! Even my children approved it .

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, so happy to hear it, Hailey!! Happy rest-of-summer 🙂

    • Samantha

    Hi this looks amazing! Is there anyway regular pasta can be used to make this, instead of frozen tortellini? Thanks so much!

    www.shadowandgloss.com

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, you can definitely try regular pasta. Enjoy and happy fall!

        • Beatrice

        How do know how much fresh baby spinach to buy for your Tuscan Tortellini recipe? I have not cooked with fresh spinach before and was not knowing if it is measured from fresh or not? Thank you Beatrice

          • chewoutloud

          Sorry for the late reply, Beatrice; I just use fresh spinach and measure roughly while fresh (leaves only) – it’s pretty forgiving, so your spinach doesn’t have to be too precise. Enjoy! 🙂

    • April

    This was absolutely delicious, thank you!! Definitely going into my recipe book.

      • chewoutloud

      Sure, April! So glad you guys liked it 🙂

    • Heather

    Is there anything that can be used other than half and half? We never use it for anything, so I’m worried about having to buy a carton of it just for one recipe. Please let me know, would love to try this!

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, Heather, you can sub it with heavy cream with good results. Otherwise, whole milk can be used, but it will on the less-creamy side. Hope that helps! Thanks for coming over to COL today! 🙂

      • Crystal

      I used a single serving plain Greek yogurt with great results.

    • Marla

    This looks wonderful!

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