If you are live for simple and delicious recipes with minimal ingredients, you’re going to love this Baked Tortellini Casserole! You only need four simple ingredients and a few minutes of prep time to make this kid-friendly, crowd-pleasing dinner. With cheesy tortellini, hearty meat sauce, and lots of mozzarella, this is a meal that will go in your regular weeknight rotation!
Baked Tortellini- The EASY Way!
Do you ever look at the list of ingredients for a recipe and immediately think, “Nope, I’m out of here!”? Who has time to make a dinner with 25 different ingredients? That’s what makes this Baked Tortellini Casserole so special.
It’s big on flavor, hugely satisfying, but the ingredient list is shockingly small—just four ingredients is all you need for a weeknight dinner your whole family will love. (And because it only needs four ingredients, that also makes it pretty budget-friendly too!)
You’ll also be glad to know that this Baked Tortellini recipe is super fast and extra-super easy. Brown some ground beef, add marinara sauce and tortellini, top it with cheese, and bake it all together until the cheese is melty and the sauce is bubbling up around the edges. Perfection.
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Quick – With minimal prep and minimal cooking time, you can get this Baked Tortellini Casserole on the dinner table fast.
- Hearty – This is a dinner for big appetites! Meaty sauce, tortellini, and all that cheese make Baked Tortellini super satisfying.
- Kid-Friendly – No dinner time battles when you serve cheesy, beefy tortellini bake for dinner!
- Customizable – Want to add veggies? Swap the ground beef for turkey? There are endless options here!
What to Serve with Baked Tortellini Casserole
Since this dish has the classic flavors of an Italian pasta dinner, it will pair well with many of your favorite Italian side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower – Add some savory roasted cauliflower to round out your dinner.
- Sautéed Mushrooms With Brown Butter
- Oven-Roasted Green Beans
- Best-Ever Garlic Bread – Always a classic pairing with Italian-inspired dinners!
- Pesto-Roasted Veggies – These tender roasted vegetables are always a hit.
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This Baked Tortellini recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few ingredients and a few minutes for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Ground beef – You can use whatever blend you prefer. I generally use extra lean, since it is our preference. Ground turkey will work too.
- Marinara sauce – Use your favorite brand; you can also use another variety of pasta sauce, or make your own marinara sauce.
- Tortellini – Frozen or refrigerated both work, but not the shelf-stable dry kind.
- Mozzarella cheese – You can use the shredded kind, or grate a ball of fresh mozzarella; it’s a little more work, but it bakes up melty and gooey for some epic cheese pulls.
- Parsley – An optional garnish. Basil is also delicious on top!
- Use an oven-safe pan –Then, you can just pop it into the oven and you have one less dish to clean!
- Or use a casserole dish – If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, you’ll need to transfer the casserole to a baking dish. Add the tortellini and meat sauce mixture to the dish, then sprinkle the cheese over the top.
- Make it for a crowd – Use a larger or deeper skillet if you want to double the recipe.
- Choose a tortellini flavor that complements the other ingredients – I use cheese tortellini, but mushroom, spinach, and beef would work too. Try experimenting with different flavors and see what your favorite combination is!
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Start with meat sauce – You can skip browning the beef and just pour a jar of meat sauce over the tortellini.
- Meal prep smart – Brown two pounds of ground beef and make another recipe that calls for a pound; divide the beef in half and use one half for the other recipe and the other half for this Baked Tortellini Casserole.
- Skip the wait – If you use refrigerated tortellini, you can turn on the broiler and simply broil the casserole for a few minutes to melt the cheese instead of baking it. (Keep a close eye on it, though!)
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Baked Tortellini Alfredo – Use spinach or mushroom tortellini, skip the ground beef, and add a jar of Alfredo sauce (or my homemade alfredo sauce).
- Chicken Tortellini Bake – Skip the ground beef and add rotisserie chicken or leftover baked chicken to your Baked Tortellini Casserole.
- Pesto Tortellini Bake – Instead of marinara, stir a jar of pesto sauce and a cup of halved grape tomatoes into the tortellini.
- Sausage Tortellini Bake – Swap the ground beef with crumbled Italian sausage, or use half and half.
Freezer Meal Instructions
Making this Baked Tortellini recipe into a freezer meal is simple! Follow the steps below and you can store this recipe in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Prepare the recipe up until the baking.
- Transfer the tortellini and meat sauce to a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag.
- Let it thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, then add it to a baking dish and top with cheese before baking.
Baked Tortellini Casserole Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making Baked Tortellini Casserole, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
More Easy Ground Beef Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my beef recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- EASY Philly Cheesesteak Sliders (with Ground Beef)
- Korean Ground Beef Skillet
- Baked Crispy Ground Beef Tacos
- Beef Enchilada Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef
- 24 ounces marinara sauce, (1 jar)
- 19 ounces tortellini, (frozen)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- freshly chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- In a large, oven-safe skillet, brown the ground beef until cooked through. Break it apart as you are cooking. Once done, drain any excess grease and return to pan.
- Add the marinara sauce to the beef and bring to a simmer. Add the tortellini and toss in the sauce mixture to coat.
- Cover the top of the tortellini with mozzarella cheese, and transfer the skillet to the oven*. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.*If you do not have an oven safe skillet, transfer the tortellini to a casserole dish, then top with cheese and bake.
- Garnish with parsley if desired and serve hot!