If you're a fan of easy and flavorful recipes that come together in a snap, then this Creamy Crockpot Tortellini is for you! Made with frozen tortellini and cooked to perfection in a velvety sauce, this creamy pasta dish is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone asking for seconds!
Tortellini is a small ring-shaped Italian pasta that is typically filled with cheese or meat. They are a staple in Italian cuisine and are the perfect ingredient for a quick and easy meal. In this recipe, we'll be using frozen tortellini, which is not only convenient but also ensures that the pasta is perfectly cooked and saves you a bunch of time in the kitchen.
This easy pasta dish is cooked in a simple creamy sauce. Made with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and cream cheese, this sauce is packed with flavor and creates the perfect creamy base for the tortellini. The addition of mild Italian sausage and spinach adds a hint of spice and a pop of garden fresh greens to the dish, making it both hearty and healthy. The final touch of mozzarella cheese on top adds a deliciously gooey finish.
This recipe is perfect for those busy weeknights when you just don't have the energy to cook an elaborate meal. Simply brown the sausage and onion, add all the ingredients to the crock pot, mix well, and let it cook on low for a few hours. The end result is a creamy, delicious, and comforting meal where the slow cooker does most of the work!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This creamy pasta recipe is perfect for those who love a rich and indulgent pasta dish but don't have the time or energy to cook an over-the-top meal.
- With the convenience of using a crock pot and frozen tortellini, you can throw all the ingredients in and let it cook to perfection.
- Mild Italian sausage adds a deliciously savory flavor to the dish, while the spinach adds a pop of color and a boost of nutrition.
- This slow cooker pasta is made with simple and inexpensive ingredients you can find at any grocery store.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Mild Italian Sausage - Brings a deliciously savory flavor, protein, and a hint of spice to the dish.
- Yellow Onion & Minced Garlic - Adds a sweet and slightly pungent flavor to the dish and also helps to add texture.
- Frozen Spinach - Provides a pop of greenery and also adds a nutritional boost of fiber and nutrients.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes & Tomato Paste - These two ingredients are key components in creating the deliciously creamy tomato sauce for the dish. The diced tomatoes provide a chunky texture, while the tomato paste adds a deep tomato flavor.
- Cream Cheese - This ingredient is the secret to creating a creamy, rich sauce for the dish. It adds a tangy, slightly sweet flavor and helps to thicken the sauce.
- Seasonings - The combination of dried thyme and Italian seasoning brings a burst of herbal flavor, complimenting the Italian flavors.
- Frozen Tortellini - A perfect pasta choice for the dish, as it adds a deliciously chewy texture and pairs well with the creamy sauce. You can use cheese filled or meat filled tortellini.
- Chicken Broth - Adds a savory, salty flavor to the dish and also helps to thin out the sauce and create a perfect consistency.
- Mozzarella Cheese - The finishing touch to the dish, adding a deliciously gooey and melty texture on top.
How To Make Creamy Tortellini In The Crock Pot
Brown the sausage: Add the ground Italian sausage to a skillet. Break up with a spatula and cook over medium-high heat with the onions until browned. Drain any excess oil and place the cooked sausage at the bottom of your crock pot.
Assemble the dish: To the sausage, add the spinach, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cream cheese, Italian seasoning, thyme, garlic, tortellini, and chicken broth. Mix until well combined.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and slow cook on LOW for 2½ - 3½ hours.
Add cheese: Once the tortellini is fully cooked, add the mozzarella cheese and gently stir. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Serve hot, and enjoy!
- Fully brown the Italian sausage and onions before adding them to the crock pot, as this will add a deeper flavor to the dish.
- When adding the frozen tortellini to the crock pot, make sure they are fully submerged in the sauce to ensure they cook evenly and to prevent them from sticking together.
- For a richer and creamier sauce, use full-fat cream cheese instead of low-fat or fat-free alternatives.
- If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add more chicken broth or water to the crock pot to thin it out.
- If you cant find ground Italian sausage, buy a package of sausage links and remove the meat from the casings.
- Only cook on low until the tortellini is tender. Overcooking will result in soggy pasta.
- For a vegetarian version of the dish, omit the Italian sausage and replace it with sliced mushrooms. You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for an extra vegetable flavor.
- Add red pepper flakes to the crock pot or use hot Italian sausage instead of mild. Use a spicy marinara sauce instead of the canned diced tomatoes for an extra kick.
- Add more vegetables to the dish including diced bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant. This will add more color, flavor, and nutrition to the dish.
- Use cheese-filled tortellini or a combination of meat and cheese-filled tortellini depending on your personal taste and preference.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Transfer the cooled creamy tortellini to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply place the desired amount in a microwave-safe dish and heat until warm.
Freezing: To freeze, transfer the cooled creamy tortellini to a freezer-safe container or a zip-top bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw the tortellini in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add a splash of chicken broth or water if the sauce has thickened too much during freezing.
For best results, cook this slow cooker pasta dish on low, as this will the tortellini cooks evenly and doesn't become too mushy.
Frozen tortellini is usually sold in the frozen pasta section at your local grocery store. Look for packages of cheese or meat-filled tortellini.
Creamy Crockpot Tortellini
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage
- 1 cup yellow onion (diced)
- 6 oz frozen spinach
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes (Do not drain)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 8 oz cream cheese (cubed)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 3 tsp garlic (minced)
- 16 oz frozen tortellini
- 3 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage and onion. Cook until no pink remains. Drain excess fat and add to a 6-quart Crock Pot.
- Add spinach, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cream cheese, Italian seasoning, thyme, garlic, tortellini, and chicken broth. Mix until well combined.
- Cover and cook on low for 2½ - 3½ hours. Add parmesan cheese and gently. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve while hot, and enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.