A package of frozen tortellini is one of my favorite staples to stash in the freezer because it's cheap, lasts for months, and can be used in a ton of different ways. Sure, you could toss it with a jar of marinara and call it a day, but that back-pocket dinner barely scratches the surface of what this frozen pasta can do.
Frozen tortellini is a blank slate for versatile family-friendly dinners. Here are 10 inspiring ways to add it to your meal plan.
1. Make a 2-ingredient pasta salad.
A bag of frozen tortellini and jar of pesto (or that homemade stuff you have stashed in the freezer) are the secrets to the easiest pasta salad you'll make. Want to amp it up a little more? Halved cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella are a great place to start.
Get started: Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
2. Toss into soup.
A pot of soup and bag of frozen tortellini are one of the most perfect pairings for a quick weeknight dinner. The pasta cooks in a flash (like five minutes!) right in the soup, where it soaks up all the flavors of the broth and other ingredients.
3. Skewer into kid-friendly kebabs.
There's something about eating with your hands that just makes food more fun — especially for little ones. Thread a few pieces of boiled or stir-fried tortellini onto a skewer with whatever cooked or raw veggies, meat, or cheese you have on hand, plus some warm marinara or dressing for dipping.
Try it: Tortellini Skewers
4. Top with buttery roasted tomatoes.
Toss a bunch of cherry tomatoes with butter and garlic, roast them in a hot oven, and you've got an earthy topping for your tortellini that's a guaranteed hit with everyone around the table.
Get a recipe: Tortellini with Butter-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
5. Turn a simple salad into dinner.
Any meal-worthy salad needs an ingredient that takes it up a notch to make it hearty and filling. Cooked tortellini is just the ticket!
6. Make a quick skillet dinner.
Sauté up some chicken sausage and toss in some greens, tortellini, and a sprinkling of Parm and you've got a one-skillet weeknight wonder that comes together in record time with little effort.
Get a Recipe
7. Partner with roasted vegetables.
For those nights you want nothing more than roasted veggies, but know dinner needs a little more substance, a bag of frozen tortellini is the answer. Your meal instantly becomes more filling, keeps all those veggies at the center of the plate, and can partner with any kind of sauce.
8. Stir-fry it.
Boiling it is not the only way to cook tortellini! Treat these tiny, cheese-filled pasta wonders like potstickers and toss them in a hot, oil-slicked wok or sauté pan. You'll still get that tender, cheesy center, but the outside picks up a wonderful crackly texture.
9. Turn it into a pasta bake.
Cover the tortellini with plenty of sauce, top it with a blanket of grated cheese, and bake everything for a quick pasta dinner.
10. Toss with an assortment of ingredients from your grocery store antipasti bar.
We've said it before, and I'll say it again: Your grocery store antipasti bar is a total gem when it comes to making a quick weeknight dinner. Pick items like roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, beans, olives, cured meats, or cubes of cheese, then toss it with cooked tortellini and you've got a flavor-packed tortellini pasta salad.
Get inspired: Antipasto Tortellini Salad