Quick and easy weeknight meals are a necessity in my house and nothing makes that more do about than a one pot meal. This Creamy Tortellini Sausage Pasta hits all the marks for simplicity, family-friendly, comforting, and utterly delicious. You’ll love that this meal cooks up in just 25 minutes!
Whether it’s the middle of winter or the middle of summer, easy weeknight meals are my jam. Now that I’m a mom – for 5 1/2 years! – gone are the days of longer cooking meals after returning home from work after a long commute and day in the office.
And regardless of the fact that I’m a work-from-home-business-owner mom, I still find making dinner on the weeknights a challenge. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things, am I right?
Add to that, as I’m a solo parent after Kyle passed away in February 2022, I’m split in more directions than I thought humanly possible. I’ve been in survival mode over the past year, which has included more take out than I care to admit.
And there were also nights where peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with a side of yogurt and fruit have reigned supreme.
As I’ve felt the fog of my grief and shock start to lift over the past two months, I’ve been trying to focus a bit more on cooking dinner. I never thought this piece of home life would be so easy to neglect but grief does funny things.
I mean, there were weeks where I had to force myself into the kitchen to cook a solid meal for Riley and me.
This skillet one pot meal of tortellini, sausage, cheese, and marinara sauce was a huge accomplishment for me a few months ago. It happened on a night where I stuck my hand into the fridge and pulled out a few random things. I had no idea what the end product would be.
This was one of those nights that I just had no desire to cook but I really wanted some good, hearty comfort food.
It’s such a basic one pot meal that I considered not even sharing it here. But it turned out so great and it was so easy to make that I knew I had to make it official.
The ingredient list for this meal is super short. There’s no chopping of onions, mincing of garlic, or boiling the tortellini in a separate pot. Here’s the shopping list of what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post to find the ingredient amounts.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sweet or hot Italian sausage
- Marinara sauce
- Tortellini – Fresh from your store’s deli area is easiest but thawed frozen tortellini work fine too.
- Parmesan cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Fresh basil (optional)
Make it Your Own
Seeing as I left the door open for lots of add-ins and swaps to make this sausage tortellini your own, here are just some of the many customizing possibilities:
Want to add veggies?
- Mix in a couple handfuls of baby kale or baby spinach before you add the ricotta cheese on top.
- Sauté some chopped carrots or mushrooms with the sausage.
- Drop a cup of frozen peas into the sauce before you dollop the ricotta on.
Italian pork sausage not your thing?
- Swap out the Italian sausage for Italian-flavored chicken sausage or vegetarian sausage.
- Use ground chicken, turkey, or beef in place of the sausage. Add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning to boost the flavor of the flavorless meat.
Like a cheesy one pot meal?
- Mix in 4 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese after the tortellini is fully cooked.
It’s a Keeper!
Recipes like this one are part of the reason why I started food blogging in 2007. Back then, I wanted to digitally document my family’s favorite recipes – the “keepers” – in case I ever lost the paper copies.
And even now, almost 16 years later, I’m still doing the same thing. Riley and I absolutely loved this creamy tortellini sausage pasta meal!
It was as hearty and comforting as I needed it to be that night I first made it. And it was incredibly simple to make – all in one pot, making clean up a cinch.
Because the tortellini cooks in the sauce, it soaks up all of that delicious Italian flavor. It’s my favorite way to cook pasta!
This is one of those meals I’ll keep coming back to for many years. I hope you love it as much as we do!
More Easy One Pot Meals You’ll Love
- One Pot Creamy Sausage Pasta
- One Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta
- One Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- One Pot Taco Mac
- One Pan Mexican Chicken and Rice
- One Pan Shrimp and Grits
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz sweet Italian sausage, loose or links with skins removed
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
- 1 ½ cups water
- 10 oz tortellini, fresh or thawed
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- Small handful of fresh basil, chopped
- Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and break it up into small chunks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the marinara sauce. Turn up the heat to high to bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Mix the tortellini into the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
- Stir the parmesan cheese and dollop the ricotta cheese over the top. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes to allow the ricotta cheese to warm. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese and fresh basil before serving.