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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)!


Recipe Summary test

20 mins
55 mins
5 mins
1 hr 20 mins
1 9x13-inch baking dish


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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

441 calories; protein 24g; carbohydrates 31.7g; fat 24.2g; cholesterol 85.1mg; sodium 649.9mg. Full Nutrition