Cheesy Beef Tortellini Casserole with Basil

My kids love cheese tortellini but not in salad or cooked with just vegetables. This tortellini casserole recipe adds beef, tomato sauce, and cheese for a big dinnertime winner with the kids (and Dad)!

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
55 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
1 9x13-inch baking dish


  • cooking spray (such as Pam®)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can tomato sauce

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided

  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 ½ pounds frozen cheese tortellini, slightly thawed

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir ground beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove ground beef with a slotted spoon. Drain and discard the grease; wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Reduce heat to medium and add onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is just browning, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in cream and 2 tablespoons basil; cook until thick, about 2 minutes.

  4. While the sauce is cooking, combine ricotta cheese, olive oil, remaining basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

  5. Remove tomato sauce from the heat. Add ground beef and tortellini; stir to combine.

  6. Spread 1/2 of the beef-tortellini sauce mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer with the ricotta cheese mixture, the remaining sauce mixture, and the mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes:

Vegetable oil may be substituted for canola oil, if desired. Italian sausage may be used in place of ground beef.

You can use low-fat cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese; just pulse several times in a food processor until the cottage cheese is smooth.

You can save time by using marinara sauce from a jar. Just combine meat, sauce, and tortellini, skipping the onion and garlic. Also, if you're in a big hurry, omit the ricotta mixture, although I think it's worth the extra time to give it that more authentic Italian feel.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

441 Calories
24g Fat
32g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 441
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 650mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 298mg 23%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 248mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.