Cheesy Baked Tortellini Casserole


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (turkey or sausage work well, too)
  • 1 package (20 oz) frozen or refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 jar (26 oz) tomato-based pasta sauce
  • 1 can (28 oz) plain diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tb onion powder
  • 1 tb white sugar
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups shredded (not powder) parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400f.

Cook ground meat with a pinch of salt and pepper (omit salt if using ground sausage) in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Continually stir and break up pieces until browned and cooked through. Drain excess grease, and turn heat to low.

Add red pasta sauce and diced tomatoes with juices to the pot. Add garlic, oregano, basil, onion powder, and sugar. Stir to incorporate. Remove from heat.

Spread one-third of the sauce mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 9×11 or similar sized baking dish. Arrange half of the frozen tortellini over the sauce. Sprinkle one-third of both the mozzarella and parmesan over the tortellini. Repeat layers. You should end with the last third of sauce on top, followed by the last third of cheeses.

Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with oil, and lay the oil-side down loosely over casserole. Bake 40 minutes for frozen tortellini; 30 minutes for refrigerated ones. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes, or until cheese turns bubbly and golden.

Note: casserole may be assembled the night before, covered tightly, and stored in fridge. The frozen tortellini will become defrosted, so reduce bake time to 30 minutes in this case.

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