This baked tortellini recipe is cheese tortellini in a hearty meat sauce, all topped with cheese and baked to perfection. A super easy dinner that the whole family will love!

Baked pasta is classic comfort food that’s always a crowd pleaser. This version uses tortellini in a homemade meat sauce and can easily be doubled to serve a large group. It’s one of my favorite baked pastas along with baked ziti, baked spaghetti and pasta al forno.

A pan of cheesy baked tortellini with a spoon lifting up a portion.

I’ve been adding some new dinner options to our menu rotation lately, and this baked tortellini definitely fits the bill! It’s cheesy, hearty, kid pleasing, and so very easy to make. All you need is a handful of ingredients and about 15 minutes of prep time to have this comfort food classic on your table.

This baked pasta is delicious with a veggie side dish like grilled broccoli, roasted parsnips or asparagus salad. You could even serve an appetizer like garlic knots for a real feast!

Baked Tortellini Ingredients

When you make this delicious baked tortellini you will need tortellini, marinara sauce, olive oil, white onion, ground beef, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.

How Do You Make Baked Tortellini?

Start this baked tortellini recipe by bringing a pot of water to boil. While the water is heating sauté diced onion and ground beef in a large pan with a little salt and pepper. Cook the tortellini in the boiling water. Add marinara sauce to the beef mixture. When the tortellini is done, drain the water and pour the meat and marinara mixture over the pasta. Spoon the tortellini and sauce into baking dish or casserole dish and top it with shredded mozzarella. Bake it until the cheese is melted and bubbly then serve it with a sprinkle of parsley!

A dish of cheese tortellini tossed in meat sauce.

Tips For The Perfect Baked Tortellini

  • You can use your favorite jarred marinara sauce or you can make your own homemade marinara sauce.
  • Use 90% lean ground beef which has a lot of flavor but is not overly greasy.
  • Do your best to cover the tortellini with sauce or cheese before it goes in the oven.
  • You can make the meat sauce up to two days in advance if you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This can save time when you make the pasta.

Quick Tip

Shred your own mozzarella cheese. The store bought bags of shredded cheese often have anti-caking agents which prevent the cheese from melting well.

A pan of baked tortellini in a meat sauce, all covered with cheese.

Recipe FAQs

How long to cook store bought tortellini?

Fresh store bought tortellini takes about 3-4 minutes to cook and frozen store bought tortellini takes 5-7 minutes to cook. I typically make this dish with fresh tortellini, but you can also use frozen tortellini with excellent results.

Do tortellini need to be cooked?

Most tortellini require the pasta be cooked either in boiling water or with another method. Fortunately, most tortellini cook in a matter of minutes!

Can you cook tortellini without water?

You can cook tortellini without water. You can cook it in marinara sauce. However, it will usually take longer to cook in marinara sauce than boiling water. This recipe is for boiled tortellini that is baked with sauce and cheese.

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Baked Tortellini Variations

This recipe is quick, easy and delicious as-is; however, you can change it to suit your taste:

  • Veggies: Try adding some spinach leaves to the sauce or sauté some diced zucchini, carrot or chopped mushrooms with the onion.
  • Cheese: You can add some fontina or ricotta cheese to the dish before baking it. You can also grate some parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta after you remove it from the oven.
  • Meat: Instead of ground beef you can use ground turkey or Italian sausage.
  • Stovetop: If you don’t want to heat your oven, try my stovetop cheese tortellini in meat sauce.

My whole family loves this baked tortellini, and I love how easy it is to make. It’s the perfect meal for a busy weeknight, or you can make a double batch and serve it up at a potluck! Regardless of how you serve it, it’s sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike. If you want more pasta, check out some of my favorite slow cooker pasta recipes.

More Pasta Dishes You’ll Love

Baked Tortellini Video


Love This Recipe?

Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

4.78 from 44 votes

Baked Tortellini with Meat Sauce

AuthorSara Welch
A pan of cheesy baked tortellini with a spoon lifting up a portion.
This baked tortellini recipe is cheese tortellini in a hearty meat sauce, all topped with cheese and baked to perfection. A super easy dinner that the whole family will love!
Time
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 18 ounces cheese tortellini (2 10-ounce packages or 1 family size 20-ounce package)
  • 1 15-ounce container marinara sauce
  • cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 pound ground beef I use 90% lean
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 6 cup or larger baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to package directions.
  • While you wait for the water to boil and tortellini to cook, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the ground beef to the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until done, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  • Pour the marinara sauce into the pan with the beef and heat until warmed through.
  • Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat.
  • Spoon the pasta into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Notes

  1. You can use your favorite jarred marinara sauce or you can make your own homemade marinara sauce.
  2. Use 90% lean ground beef which has a lot of flavor but is not overly greasy.
  3. Do your best to cover the tortellini with sauce or cheese before it goes in the oven.
  4. Shred your own mozzarella cheese. The store-bought bags of shredded cheese often have anti-caking agents which prevent the cheese from melting well.

Nutrition

Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 653mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Calcium: 318mg | Iron: 4mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Quick, easy, and delicious! I did decide to try not boiling the pasta first (anything to save washing a pot!). I added about 1/4 cup water to the sauce and another 5 minutes to the bake time. I used Classico sauce which is a thinner sauce, so take that into consideration. Turned out great (with fewer dishes!) Thank you!

    1. You could try it that way but I think you’d need to cook them longer and possibly add more liquid since the tortellini will need to absorb liquid to get tender.

  2. I just put this together for a meal tonight. Smelling awesome and hoping it tastes as good as it smells. I will have to limit this as I am diabetic but it looks worth it!

  3. 5 stars
    I don’t usually post reviews on recipes, but I had to make an exception here. I have made this recipe for my family countless times now! I use ground turkey instead of beef and I probably add a little more mozzarella. It’s my kids favorite meal! They will fight over the leftovers on the rare occasion we have anything left over!