Cheesy Tortellini Bake

Make this Cheesy Tortellini Bake for an easy weeknight dinner or a Sunday comfort food meal. Layers of seasoned ground beef with cheese tortellini covered with sauce and tons of cheese. Make it ahead of time and bake it right before dinner!

spoon dipped into a casserole with tortellini, ground beef and cheese

Why You’ll Love This Tortellini Bake

When we’re looking for comfort food, we often turn to pasta recipes like this Cheesy Tortellini Bake. Just a few simple ingredients and this dinner will be on the table in no time! Hearty, beefy, cheesy and oh so delicious.

  • Easy To Make: All you need is 15 minutes to get this tortellini bake into the oven.
  • Make Ahead: Besides how easy this casserole is to make, it can be completely made ahead of time and baked off when you need it.
  • Versatile: You can switch up the ingredients in this tortellini bake to your liking. Add vegetables, take out the beef, use different flavors or tortellini, anything you can think of.
  • Feeds A Crowd: This pasta bake will feed at least 6 people because it’s so hearty and filling. A simple side of vegetables or a salad will balance the meal out.
cheesy tortellini bake on a white plate with fork

Ingredients You’ll Need

Like we mentioned before, these ingredients can be swapped out with others to your liking. These are the staples that we use at our house, so that’s what we tend to stick to.

Don’t be afraid to buy what’s on sale or what you prefer, brands are not important, but we do really love the ones that we have pictured here.

  • Marinara Sauce: Any brand of sauce will do, but do make sure it’s a good quality sauce.
  • Cheese Tortellini: Refrigerated, not frozen, store bought tortellini. No need to cook it ahead of time, it goes right into the casserole.
  • Ground Beef: Use at least an 85% lean ground beef, draining off the drippings after it cooks.
  • Onions & Garlic: Yellow onions and a couple of cloves of garlic add great flavor to this casserole.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: But a block of whole milk mozzarella cheese and grate it yourself for best results.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Again, buy a good quality, nutty parmesan cheese. Not the stuff in the can.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, salt and pepper.
ingredients for making tortellini casserole

How To Make This Tortellini Bake

Just a few steps and about 10 minutes is all you need to get this pasta bake into the oven! You can make this entire dish ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until dinner time, or prep and bake right away.

  • STEP 1 – COOK THE GROUND BEEF AND AROMATICS: Brown the ground beef in a large skillet along with chopped onions. Cook until the onions are softened and the ground beef if cooked through. Drain the drippings and then add the garlic, cooking for another minute.
  • STEP 2 – ASSEMBLE AND LAYER: Add the ground beef and onions to the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish, followed by the cheese tortellini.
  • STEP 3- ADD THE SAUCE AND CHEESE: Pour in a jar of marinara sauce and toss together. Top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • STEP 4 – BAKE: Bake the tortellini casserole at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the top.

Variations

Besides the ingredients that we have in this recipe, there are many ways that you can customize this casserole and make it your own. You can even leave out the ground beef altogether to make this a vegetarian meal.

  • Different Tortellini Flavors: Anything you like, meat, spinach, sun dried tomato, any kind of tortellini you choose will work.
  • Different Protein: Instead of ground beef, try using ground pork, Italian sausage or even ground turkey.
  • Add Vegetables: Fresh spinach or frozen, chopped broccoli, peas or mushrooms are all good options. Add them into the ground beef step, cooking as needed.
  • Different Sauce: Make it a pink sauce by adding cream, or grabbing a jar. Or you can use half Alfredo sauce and half marinara sauce.
serving spoon in a casserole dish with tortellini and cheese

Can This Tortellini Bake Be Made Ahead Of Time?

Yes. This entire recipe can be made ahead of time, refrigerated and baked off when you need it. Often for parties, we’ll make two of these casseroles for a larger crowd and then pop them into the oven just about 30 minutes before dinner.

Two of these casseroles will feed at least 10-12 people because it’s such a rich dish. A large spoonful of this cheesy tortellini and a side or two will be plenty.

cheese tortellini with ground beef and cheese on a plate with fork

What Sides Go Well With Tortellini?

Pretty much any side dish that you serve with pasta will go perfectly with this recipe. One of our favorites is a Homemade Caesar Salad, which we often serve at family gatherings. Another classic side dish for pasta is our homemade Garlic Bread – which is WAY better than store bought.

For vegetable side options, we like making Garlic Roasted Broccoli or this super easy Air Fryer Asparagus. You can even go for a refrigerated vegetable side like this Roasted Artichoke Salad.

forkful of tortellini bake on white plate

Can I Use Frozen Tortellini?

If all you have is frozen tortellini, go ahead and use it to make this pasta bake. Defrost the tortellini ahead of time and then add it to the casserole dish. Take the frozen tortellini out of the freezer the night before, or even just an hour or two before and it’ll work fine.

Also to note, you don’t just have to use tortellini! Rigatoni and penne will also work, more like a baked ziti recipe without ricotta cheese, but delicious nonetheless.

Looking For More Pasta Recipes?

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cheese tortellini with ground beef and cheese on a plate with fork

Cheesy Tortellini Bake

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Make this Cheesy Tortellini Bake for an easy weeknight dinner or a comfort food meal on the weekend. Layers of seasoned ground beef with cheese tortellini and tons of mozzarella cheese.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 20 ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh, chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground beef, breaking up as it cooks until almost cooked through. Drain the grease from the pan and then add the onions to the skillet along with the salt, garlic powder and pepper. Cook until the onions are softened and the ground beef is cooked through. Add the garlic, stir and cook for one minute longer.
  3. Add the ground beef mixture to a 9″ x 13″ inch casserole dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Add the tortellini and marinara sauce and toss to combine.
  4. Add the mozzarella and parmesan cheese to the top of the casserole and place into the oven for 25 minutes. OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED: Place the casserole under the broiler for 5 minutes to lightly brown the top before serving.

Recipe Notes

Store: Store the leftover casserole covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheat: Reheat the casserole in the microwave or oven until warmed through. 

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top / Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: mantitlement, tortellini bake, baked tortellini, pasta casserole, easy recipes, kid approved recipes, ground beef casserole

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