The Cozy Cook

Tortellini Sauce

This Creamy Tortellini Sauce has an Asiago and Parmesan cream sauce with browned butter, garlic, and the best blend of herbs and seasonings. Make this with frozen or refrigerated tortellini for a quick, gourmet-style meal.

A white plate with tortellini in a cream sauce with herbs.

Tortellini Sauce

Now that we’ve nailed down the perfect ravioli sauce recipe, I think it’s time we make room for this incredible Tortellini Sauce. This sauce is speedy enough to be an easy weeknight meal, but it’s also fancy and indulgent enough for date night!

What Makes It Different

Browned butter adds a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that perfectly offsets the savory Parmesan and Asiago cheese. Smashed garlic cloves infuse the sauce with just the right amount of garlicky flavor and the simple blend of herbs and seasonings takes this sauce to the next level.

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Smash the garlic cloves and add them to a deep, 12-inch skillet along with the butter. Melt the butter over medium heat  and cook for about 5 minutes, swirl the pan often while it cooks for even coloring. Once it turns brown, add a splash of olive oil to prevent it from burning. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken broth in splashes and stir continuously.

Making a roux for creamy tortellini sauce.

Slowly stir in the half and half, then the seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Boil tortellini in a separate pot of salted water according to package instructions. Drain.

Reduce heat of the sauce to low and stir in the shredded Asiago and Parmesan cheese.

Adding seasonings and cheese to make creamy tortellini sauce.

Add the drained tortellini to the skillet and stir to combine. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Adding tortellini to a pot of creamy tortellini sauce.

Pro Tips

  • Browning the butter is optional, the flavor is very subtle but it does add a touch of gourmet. There is a fine line between browned butter and burnt butter. A splash of olive oil is added to mitigate burning it, but feel free to simply melt some butter and let it start to foam without browning it. 
  • Shred the cheese from a block, it will melt and tastes much better than packaged shredded cheese. Belgioioso is my brand of choice for the Parmesan and Asiago.
  • All Parmesan cheese can be used or a combination of Parmesan and Romano if you don’t have Asiago.
  • I use Rana 5-cheese tortellini for this recipe but a variety of options work well!
  • Heavy cream may be used instead of half and half, the sauce will be thicker. A splash of milk can be used to thin it out slightly if desired.
  • Sautéed mushrooms can be prepared in a separated skillet and mixed into the sauce at the end.
  • 20 oz. ravioli can be used with this recipe as well. 

Storage

  • The flour in this sauce helps it to maintain it’s consistency when cooled and reheated.
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat it back to it’s original consistency, thaw it overnight and use a makeshift double boiler to reheat it on the stove top. I’ve found that to be the best way to reheat cream sauces.
  • If you expect leftovers, I recommend that you store the sauce separately and boil fresh pasta for serving if possible.

A white plate topped with Tortellini in a creamy sauce.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • This is the Le Creuset skillet I used in this recipe, (and in 90% of my recipes). It’s pricey, but it conducts heat really well and is oven safe. The size is perfect and the quality is great.
  • Box Cheese Grater– Lets you finely shred the cheese. (Always shred from a block instead of using packaged shredded cheese.)
  • Pasta Strainer– This is the one I use, it’s the perfect size.

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Tortellini Sauce

5 from 3 ratings
This Creamy Tortellini Sauce makes an easy 30 minute meal that you can use with refrigerated or frozen tortellini. Your family will love the Asiago and Parmesan cream sauce with browned butter, garlic, and the best blend of herbs and seasonings.

Ingredients

Seasonings

  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoons pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley

Sauce/Tortellini

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 splash olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, whole
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups half and half, half cream/half milk
  • ½ cup asiago cheese, finely shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste
  • 20 oz. tortellini, see notes
  • Fresh Parsley, to garnish

Instructions

  • Combine the seasonings and set aside. Measure out remaining ingredients before starting and begin boiling salted pasta water for the tortellini.
  • Crush the garlic: Lay a knife over each garlic clove and use the palm of your hand to push down the knife over the garlic to crush it. Transfer it to a deep, 12-inch skillet along with the butter.
  • Melt the butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Lift the pan and swirl it around frequently as it cooks for even coloring. When it starts to turn a brown, add a splash of olive oil. The light golden color of the butter will give it a subtle sweet, nutty flavor and the splash of olive oil will prevent the butter from burning.
  • Add the flour and use a silicone spatula to gently stir it around continuously for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  • Add the chicken broth in splashes, stirring continuously. Add the heavy cream in the same manner, followed by the seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let it simmer, uncovered, while you cook the tortellini according to package instructions. Drain once cooked.
  • Reduce the heat of the sauce to low. Slowly sprinkle in the Asiago and Parmesan cheese, stirring continuously.
  • Taste the sauce and season with salt/pepper as needed, start with 1/4 tsp. of each.
  • Add the drained tortellini and toss to combine. It will continue to thicken upon standing.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • Browning the butter is optional, the flavor is very subtle but it does add a touch of gourmet. There is a fine line between browned butter and burnt butter. A splash of olive oil is added to mitigate burning it, but feel free to simply melt some butter and let it start to foam without browning it. 
  • Shred the cheese from a block, it will melt and tastes much better than packaged shredded cheese. Belgioioso is my brand of choice for the Parmesan and Asiago.
  • All Parmesan cheese can be used or a combination of Parmesan and Romano if you don't have Asiago.
  • I use Rana 5-cheese tortellini for this recipe but a variety of options work well!
  • Heavy cream may be used instead of half and half, the sauce will be thicker. A splash of milk can be used to thin it out slightly if desired.
  • Sautéed mushrooms can be prepared in a separated skillet and mixed into the sauce at the end.
  • 20 oz. ravioli can be used with this recipe as well. 

Storage
  • The flour in this sauce helps it to maintain it’s consistency when cooled and reheated.
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat it back to it's original consistency, thaw it overnight and use a makeshift double boiler to reheat it on the stove top. I've found that to be the best way to reheat cream sauces.
  • If you expect leftovers, I recommend that you store the sauce separately and boil fresh pasta for serving if possible.

Nutrition

Calories: 523kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 862mg, Potassium: 131mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 683IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 407mg, Iron: 3mg

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6 comments on “Tortellini Sauce”

  1. We loved this! amazing for a cozy fall dinner, the sauce is thick and creamy and very filling.

  2. Like all your recipes I’ve tried, this is delicious. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. I made this last night and it was a huge hit with the family! I think the brown butter adds such a great flavor. I didn’t actually have Tortellini so I used Ravioli but it was just as delicious. Will definitely make again!

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