Recipe: Tortellini with Butter-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

updated Jan 29, 2020

Roast halved cherry tomatoes with garlic-infused butter and they're transformed into a light and juicy sauce for cheese tortellini.


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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If you need more proof that butter truly makes everything better, cancel tonight’s dinner plans and make this tortellini instead. Roast halved cherry tomatoes in garlic-infused melted butter, and they’ll drink up some of that rich flavor as they soften and caramelize while the rest of the butter browns and becomes nutty.

The result is a quick tomato sauce that’s surprisingly sophisticated for so few ingredients and such minimal effort. Toss it with cheese tortellini and you’ve got an easy dinner that’s worth celebrating.

(Image credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Design: Kath Nash)

A Simple Dinner the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Since the cherry tomato sauce for this pasta requires so little of you, it’s the perfect solution for family-friendly pasta nights. While the kids may want their tortellini plain, tossed in a little butter, you can make a buttered tortellini version 2.0 for the adults without sweating that you’re making two entirely separate dinners. The sauce is quite kid-friendly, though, so don’t be surprised if your kids want some too.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Pasta Dinner Playbook

You know that feeling of nailing dinner? Despite the busy schedule, even when you feel like the fridge is empty, and especially on those nights when you really don’t want to cook? Us too, and that’s because we’ve got a bunch of smart ideas up our sleeves that help us meet any dinner challenge.

In this series, we’re showing you what dinner plays to use when pasta’s on the menu. You’ll find quick, one-pot meals, fast & fancy ravioli dinners, and game-changing grocery store shortcuts to make dinner an easy win.

Tortellini with Butter-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Roast halved cherry tomatoes with garlic-infused butter and they're transformed into a light and juicy sauce for cheese tortellini.


Nutritional Info


  • Oil or butter, for coating the baking dish

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 4

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 pints

    cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups total), halved

  • 2

    (9-ounce) packages fresh cheese tortellini

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup

    loosely packed chopped fresh basil leaves

  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Lightly coat a roasting pan with oil or butter.

  2. Melt the butter with the garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

  3. Place the halved tomatoes cut-side up in the roasting pan. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast until softened, caramelized, and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain well.

  4. Remove the roasted cherry tomatoes from the oven. Mash them gently with the back of a large spoon to release their juices. Add the cooked tortellini to the roasting pan and mix to evenly coat them in the sauce. Add the chopped basil and toss gently. Divide among shallow bowls, top with grated Parmesan, and serve.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.