Cheese Tortellini in Cream Sauce

This is my quick "go to" meal.  

If I have fresh tortellini or ravioli on hand, I have a meal.  

I just keep certain staples in my kitchen.  I generally always have the ingredients on hand for this recipe.
(generally always??  grammar?)

We really shouldn't have this much cream in once sitting...ah...what the heck.  This is fast and fabulous.

You will need heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, white wine and fresh cheese tortellini.

I better have a word about the white wine.  If you will notice, I am using a white wine that has the alcohol removed.  So, my dear sweet sisters, don't gasp.   If you live in Utah, you can buy this product at your local grocery store.

If you are confused and are wondering what all the fuss is, click here

 Utah has funky liquor laws.  Grocery stores in Utah do not sell liquor.  One has to go to a special liquor store in order to purchase alcohol.  I don't drink alcohol so I am content using "Fre" brand.

 You can use a good quality white wine that has the alcohol.  It's your preference.

Enough said.

For the red sauce you will need  14 oz. tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, and a bit of butter.

Last year I had an abundance of tomatoes in my garden, so I bottled a bunch.
I'm so glad I did.  I have LOVED having them on my shelf.  I'll be so sad when they are gone.

You don't have to use homemade bottled tomatoes.  Just grab a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes.  Your choice.

To make the cream sauce:

To a medium size sauce pan, add the chicken broth.

and the white wine (shhhh)

Place over medium heat.

Bring to a simmer.

Reduce the liquid to 1/4 cup.

Notice how the color has darkened.  Reducing the broth and wine concentrates the flavors.  The flavors are more intense.

Now add the heavy cream.

Stir the mixture together and heat just until steaming.  Set aside.

Oops.  Almost forgot.  Add a pinch of salt or to taste.

In another sauce pan, add about 1 tablespoon of  good flavored olive oil.

Before I add the tomatoes, I'm going to blend them a bit.  The tomatoes are just a bit chunky for the sauce.

You can do the same to the can.  I just stick my hand blender right in the can and pulse it a few times.

You can leave the tomatoes chunky if you want.  Remember your choice.

Add the tomatoes to the olive oil.  Bring to a simmer.

Finely chop or mince the clove of garlic.  Add to the sauce.

Taste the sauce and season with salt to your liking.

Add a few grinds of pepper as well.

Add the Italian seasoning.

Stir.  Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes.  

Add the butter and set aside until ready to serve.

To cook the tortellini you will need a pot of boiling water that has been salted.

Really salted.

When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the cheese tortellini.

Remember if you are using fresh tortellini, it cooks within just a few minutes.  Don't over cook your pasta.

Drain the tortellini.

Add to the cream sauce that you have set aside.

Barely bring to a simmer and let the tortellini cook for about 5 minutes.

You can garnish with chopped basil and shaved Parmesan cheese.

I like to serve the tortellini in shallow wide rimmed bowls.

Top the cream sauce and tortellini with a ladle full of the red sauce.

Add some shaved Parmesan.

Don't hold back on the basil.  

Fresh is best.  I wouldn't sprinkle my tortellini with the dried stuff, but that's me.

Serve hot with a spoon.

I can seriously have this dish made in 20 minutes.  

Cheese Tortellini in Cream Sauce

1/2cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups heavy cream
salt to taste
2 cups fresh cheese Tortellini

Red Sauce:
1 14.5 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil
Parmesan Cheese

In a medium sauce pan simmer chicken broth and white wine.  Reduce liquid to 1/4 cup.  Add the heavy cream.  Season with salt to taste.  Set aside. 

For the red sauce:  heat olive oil in a saucepan until barely warm.  Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until beginning to thicken.  Add garlic, Italian seasonings, and salt and pepper. 

Cook tortellini according to package directions.  Drain. 

Add the cooked tortellini to the cream sauce and bring to a low simmer for about 5 minutes.   Serve in shallow bowls.  Top tortellini with the red sauce and garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.   Makes 4 servings.


  1. Yummm!! I am really going to make this one.. fast and pasta. Just my thing Janet!

  2. This pasta dish looks amazing! I've made a sauce similar to yours but mixed them together to (accidentally) make a pink-looking sauce atop cooked shrimp and homemade pasta. The way you separated the sauces looks much better. I, too, use Fré wine because I don't drink alcohol. I was disappointed to find out that there is still some alcohol in the bottle, but it is still a better alternative to the real stuff. I'll be making this dish soon. Lovely!

    P.S. Do only women visit your blog? I notice your wrote "my dear sweet sisters".

  3. Hi Memoria, Thank you for your kind comments. "my dear sweet sisters" is kind of an inside joke between me and some friends. I think I do have some male followers. I get a comment every now and then from one.

  4. Stumbled upon your blog and happen to be of the LDS persuasion. :) I tried this recipe last night and it was a big hit. Thank you so much. I did want to know where in the heck you found the Fre brand white wine though.

  5. If you are in Utah, you can purchase the Fre Brand at Harmon's and Pirate O's. I think Dan's Foods may have it. Not sure about Smith's because I hate them. If you are outside of Utah, try the liquor section of your grocery store.

  6. This sauce looks HEAVENLY! Will try it for dinner tonight, as I have Costco's tricolor, 5 cheese tortelloni :) . Thank you!

  7. that's a great idea. I think I'll make it for dinner tonight as well. I hope you enjoy.

  8. I follow your instructions & I must say I was pretty proud of my dinner tonight! Delicous!!!!!!

    1. Congratulations. It is a fabulous quick meal. Thank you for your comment.

  9. I am so excited about this receipe! My husband has requested tortellini every birthday of our 8 yrs together & I have NEVER made it for him! (I know, bad!) Today is our 2 yrs wedding anniversary, & I, too, have tort that we we're excited to find at Costco & had planned to serve with Alfredo-in-a-jar!(I know, I'm SO bad!) I will buy these simple ingred's on my lunch break, & when we get home from work this evening, we'll prep this awesome dish together (we love to be in the kitch togeth w/some music on) while drinking the "extra" wine (real deal!). My husband will be "WOW"-ed on our anniversay! It's gonna be a great day. Thank you!!!

    1. Happy Anniversary. I hope he loves the tortellini. This sauce is SO much better than anything from a jar...personal opinion.

  10. My sixteen yr.old daughter talked me into buying four cheese tortellini,& so I used your recipe for the sauce. The only thing I substituted, was the wine. I used Marsala cooking wine, because I already had it at home. I also added mushrooms to the chicken broth, and wine. I also added some chicken(fried in 2tbl.spoon of olive oil with some Ms.Dash,garlic salt,& pepper)then thinly sliced and added on top of the pasta.Then I spooned the red sauce across the top & sprinkled the parmesan. My husband, and three children loved it. My eleven yr.old son is very picky, and he loved it! My fifteen yr.old son said if he could pick his last meal on earth, this would be it. Thank you for the help. It's rare that everyone loves what I cook for dinner!

  11. Hi Janet,
    Marie (Lyon) Fitzgerald here, (we grew up in Pepperwood together) anyway, I am trying out a few copy cat recipes from noodles and co that also call for white wine. I see you use the Fre brand and I have 2 questions:
    1. What grocery store do you buy it at in Sandy? I live up here in Logan, UT and can't find it.
    2. Do you refrigerate wine after opening? I am so lost when it comes alcohol!! :)

    1. Hi Marie!! How are you? I buy the Fre brand from Harmon's. Hmmmm I'm not sure about the Logan area. You could just go to a state liquor store and buy a Chardonnay for about $5.99. That would work as well. Unless you are uncomfortable doing that. You could just ask your local grocer if they could get some in for you. I generally find it where they have drink mixes like pina colada, etc. Kind of by the soda isle. I hope this helps. So great to hear from you.

  12. This is delicious!!! We bought fresh tortillini from the German grocery store here but I didn't know what kind of sauce to use. I did a google search and found this. I'm going to pin this if that's ok. :) can't wait to check out the rest of your blog!

    1. Pin away! This is so quick and easy. Our family favorite. Let me know what you think.

    2. This was fantastic! I am sure it is not low cal but it was so good! Thanks!

  13. Looks delicious...looking for a sauce tonight...going to try this one. Thank you.

  14. Sounds wonderful. I am trying this one tonight.

  15. If you bring the wine to a boil, the alcohol will burn off so not worry!

  16. Thanks, it's all cooked, I am waiting for my fiancé to be here within minutes, I'm sure this will be great. Thanks for this simple delicious looking recipe!

  17. Made this for dinner last night. Not only did it taste great, but my 9yo son said, "Wow, this looks like something you'd get at a restaurant!" Even my persnickety 4yo ate every bite. I used heavy raw cream from a local farm, homemade stock, and organic everything else. Served it with a loaf of farmstead brown bread and homemade sweetcream butter. It was an amazing dinner - thank you so much for the idea!

  18. Do you have any recommendations for a lighter version (something to use instead of the heavy cream)... ? And, would the results be just as delicious? This sounds divine and I think my (somewhat picky) husband would actually like it too. Thank you.

    1. It's hard to get a thick creamy sauce with milk, which would be a lighter option. My daughter has tried using skim milk, 2%, and it's pretty thin. She made a white sauce using butter, flour and milk and realized that the addition of butter made it just as fattening as the cream. I haven't tried this on this recipe, but you could make a creamy sauce with soaked raw cashews. Here is a link for a soup that uses this method that is delicious: I should play around with this method more. It is fabulous.