This Tortellini Alfredo is a simple yet flavorful dinner that's ready in under 20 minutes! Add shrimp, chicken or veggies and serve with garlic bread for a filling and delicious meal.
Alfredo sauce and cheese-filled tortellini is a dish that anyone can make. It's quick, filling and you can add other ingredients to make variations. The pasta cooks while the sauce simmers and the whole dish is done in under 20 minutes. Alfredo sauce is one of the easiest you can make with basic pantry staples. I like to use half and half with cornstarch but milk with flour or just heavy cream can be used as well. Don't forget fresh garlic and real Parmesan cheese. They both add the signature flavor to this dish!
- tortellini: I used cheese-filled tortellini, but any bite-sized pasta can be used
- half and half: milk or heavy cream can be substituted
- cornstarch: necessary for thickening the sauce; skip if using heavy cream
- olive oil and butter: my favorite combo for sauteing and creating a rich base for a creamy sauce
- garlic: fresh, minced
- Parmesan cheese: use freshly-grated, not the stuff from a green bottle
- salt and pepper: add to taste
How to make Tortellini Alfredo?
- Start by cooking tortellini pasta in a pot with water.
- Reserve at least 1/2 cup of pasta water, before you drain.
- Melt butter with oil in a pan.
- Add garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Mix half and half with cornstarch. Add to garlic in pan. Stir and cook until the sauce thickens.
- Add Parmesan cheese to sauce and stir to melt.
- Add cooked pasta and stir to coat.
Variations of Tortellini Alfredo:
- chicken: use chicken breast and cut into bite-size pieces; cook chicken with garlic in oil and butter.
- sausage: use ground Italian sausage and cook it with garlic in oil.
- shrimp: use medium or jumbo shrimp, cook it in a pan first, remove and then make the Alfredo sauce (if you leave the shrimp in, it may overcook).
- vegetarian: add peas, broccoli, spinach, etc.
Storing and reheating leftovers:
As with any pasta dish made with creamy sauce, leftovers are best stored in the fridge, in a container with a lid. The pasta will absorb a lot of sauce while it chills. Reheat it in a pan or pot and add chicken, vegetable stock, milk, half and half, or simply water to make the sauce creamy again.
More pasta recipes:
For more recipes like this one, feel free to browse our Pasta category.
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- 8 oz tortellini pasta I used cheese-filled
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add tortellini and cook until al dente. Once done, resereve ½ to ¾ cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl or a glass measuring cup, mix half and half with cornstarch.
- In a large pan, melt one tablespoon of butter with olive oil.
- Add minced garlic and stir. Saute until fragrant and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Whisk the half and half mixture once more and add slowly to the garlic. Stir and simmer until the sauce thickens.
- Add pasta water, ¼ cup at a time, to the sauce until it reaches desired consistency.
- Add Parmesan cheese and stir to melt.
- Add cooked pasta to pan and stir to coat.
- Serve garnished with more Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
- You can add chicken, shrimp or Italian sausage to this dish. Cook it with garlic first, then make the sauce.
- Add peas, broccoli, spinach, corn, etc to the dish for a veggie-packed version.
- Reheat it in a pan or pot and add chicken, vegetable stock, milk, half and half, or simply water to make the sauce creamy again.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.