Cheese Tortellini

Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce

Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce stars pasta that has double duty – it’s a vehicle for a hardy meat sauce and it encompasses a combination of Parmesan and Ricotta cheeses. This recipe easily feeds 4 with enough for leftovers, and the leftovers are usually better the next day…


For whatever reason, there are recipes that I’ve made for years that I just haven’t shared.

I really have no excuse at all. This one is a recipe I’ve made for a very long time, and I have made it many different ways. I’ve used chopped grilled chicken, ground turkey, I’ve made it meatless, with a garlic butter sauce, and I think I tried it with a pumpkin sage sauce.

I honestly think I could make this with my eyes closed.

Let’s Make Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce

This is convenient refrigerated tortellini, my meat sauce and a shit ton of cheese. There are certain things that make my sauce a bit better than most; one of those being balsamic vinegar.

Don’t be afraid of it.

Don’t skip the wine, either.

It gives your sauce depth, and depth is good.

Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce

*Before I get into this; keep in mind that there’s a shortcut version in the recipe box.

As far as time; I put an hour or more in the instructions because you could simmer it for 30 minutes and it be ok, but the longer – the better. I usually have mine simmering for about 4 hours. 

When people in your household start asking you when it’s going to be ready and asking why it’s taking so long (∗ahem∗…like my ex-husband used to do me), tell them to calm the fuck down and go play a video game or something. 

Better yet, tell them to take your car to get washed, remind them that it’s time to get the oil changed, oh – and they need to go to the store and pick up the 2 16 things you forgot when you went earlier.

When they argue with you simmer that shit for an hour longer than what you planned. Reach over and crank that timer up right in front of them.

They’ll get the hint.

Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce

The sauce for this recipe is a from-scratch version. If you need to save time, omit the ingredients for the sauce and substitute two jars of your favorite pasta sauce. It won’t be quite as good, but should be good enough.

When it comes to cheese, I’m a huge fan of Muenster, and I like to combine that with Mozzarella, and Provolone would work just as well. Make sure to have some fresh Parmesan on hand to grate over the finished dish.

Serve this with crusty bread like this Rosemary Focaccia and good wine, and you’ll be set.

And, you’ll have your oil changed.  ????

Here’s your printable-

Cheese Tortellini

Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cheesy filled tortellini covered with a hearty Italian sausage and beef meat sauce, topped with more cheese. Perfect for Sunday dinner.


  • 20 oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 8 tbsp salted butter, divided in half
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dried basil (or a handful of chiffonade basil)
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce, divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I used Shiraz)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Muenster cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil tortellini according to package directions, drain and set aside.
Melt 4 tbsp. butter over medium heat and add onion and garlic, stirring until fragrant.
Add beef and sausage, combine and brown.
Add remaining butter, tomato paste through pepper, combine and bring to a low boil; reduce heat to low and cover. Stir intermittently, simmer for an hour (or longer!).
Combine pasta and sauce in a large dish, top with cheeses and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.


*For an easier and quicker version, substitute two jars of your favorite pasta sauce for tomato paste through seasoned salt.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1182Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 35gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 238mgSodium: 3892mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 11gSugar: 21gProtein: 65g

The provided nutrition calculated may not always be accurate.

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Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce

Want more Tortellini inspiration?

Cheesy Meatballs from Cooking with Mary and Friends

Pesto Chicken and Pasta from Southern Plate

Best Vegan Lasagna Recipe from Jessica in the Kitchen


  • Shea

    Shea Goldstein is a writer and the voice behind Dixie Chik Cooks. She's also a recipe developer and brand ambassador. She has been published in several media platforms such as Redbook, Parade, Food Blogger Magazine and more. She has been developing recipes and writing since 2009. Shea is a Southern Belle Who's Thinking About What's For Dinner While Eating Lunch

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Michele @ Bacon Fatte

    You had me at “a shit ton of cheese”… My gawd, woman, this is one of the swoon-worthiest dishes I’ve seen in a long time! Go ahead and crank up that timer. I’ll bring plenty of wine to help pass the time! 😉

  2. Christine @ Christine's Pantry


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