Learn how to cook frozen tortellini with this easy cooking tutorial. Boil them, bake, cook in instant pot or microwave.
What is tortellini?
Tortellini is a a ring-shaped stuffed pasta variety from a historical region of northern Italy, Emilia.
A traditional tortellini filling often contains ground pork or veal, or a mixture of them. However, most kinds of meat or cheese – and combinations of these— are fine as well. For this reason, it’s pretty common to see ricotta, prosciutto, and mozzarella-filled tortellinis.
Traditionally, tortellini is served in broth, a dish typically called tortellini in brodo. In other words, the Italian for “tortellini in broth.” However, if you’re not in the mood for hot soup, you can also serve them with shredded cheese or your preferred tomato sauce or pesto after boiling and draining.
Although homemade tortellini is a dream come true, it’s also true few people have the time and patience required to make these delicately stuffed icons of Italian cuisine. Sometimes buying fresh tortellini from your local supermarket is equally unrealistic, unless you live near a deli. Fortunately, all your tortellini dreams can still come true. All you need is a packet of frozen tortellini. Yes, we know it’s not the same but they’re easy to keep for long periods of time and all you need to do to satisfy your tortellini-cravings is throw them into a pot of boiling water and then serve them!
If you’re going on a tortellini-making adventure anyway, make plenty of them and then freeze them! That way you can have homemade tortellini whenever! Because you can have your cake and eat it too.
What we love about frozen tortellini is that, despite it being an easy quick meal, we have lots of variety when it comes to serving them. We’re going to show you a couple of cooking methods for them and then we’ll let you choose one. It’s that easy!
There’s no need! Frozen tortellinis have a slightly longer cooking time than fresh ones but still, all you need to do is add them to some boiling water and you’ll have yourself a nice lunch or dinner within minutes.
This is by far the easiest and most conventional cooking method. No matter what kind of home cook you are, we’re pretty sure there’s no going wrong with boiling.
- Fill a pot with enough water until it’s two inches below the rim and bring it to a boil over high heat. Just make sure to measure how much water you put inside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt for every half gallon– or two liters— of water. Stir to combine.
- Carefully lower the tortellini into the boiling water, stirring occasionally to avoid them sticking.
- Cook according to package instructions but a good rule of thumb in case yours don’t come with any directions is ten to twelve minutes.
- Drain and remove one tortellini from the pot. Let it cool slightly and taste it. If it’s undercooked, add it back into the pot and let the tortellini cook for two to three more minutes.
- Remove all the tortellini from the pot and set them aside to cool.
- Serve with sauce, top with some cheese, and enjoy!
This isn’t a standard method and you’ll definitely need more than just a pot of water but we think it’s a perfect, fool-proof way to cook it too.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Mix a jar of your favorite sauce with one and a half cups of water for every 20-ounces | 550 grams of tortellini.
- Add shredded cheese (parmesan or mozzarella) to taste and stir to combine. Also, keep an eye out for the amount of salt as cheese tortellinis tend to be on the saltier side. If you season with salt and pepper to taste, make sure to add a little bit at a time to avoid over salting your pasta.
- Add the mixture into a baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil.
- Bake it for 35-40 minutes and then remove the foil.
- Sprinkle it with extra shredded cheese to taste and then continue baking for another 10 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!
Method 3: In an Instant Pot
This method isn’t for everyone. However, it’s certainly a hands-off approach.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot for every 19-ounces |540 grams of tortellini. Don’t eyeball it. Make sure the water is measured out.
- Set it to “High” pressure, lock it and let it cook for two minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally or use the quick pressure release function to speed things up.
- Drain any leftover water.
- Mix the tortellini with your preferred sauce, cheese, spinach or even fresh basil! Serve warm and enjoy!
This is definitely the most unconventional but most practical method for those lazy days!
- Place the tortellini in a large bowl. Make sure it’s microwave- friendly to avoid any accidents.
- Add a quarter cup of water and 2 tablespoons of your preferred tomato pasta sauce. If you prefer, skip the tomato sauce now and add it at the very end of the recipe.
- Cover it with a microwave-friendly lid, not locking it in. In fact, it should have a way to release steam.
- Set the temperature to “High” and microwave it for two minutes.
- Drain if there’s any leftover water. Add your preferred tomato sauce now if you haven’t.
- Let it cool for 3-4 minutes and enjoy!
Just because they’re frozen food, it doesn’t mean it can’t be amazing! It all depends on how you choose to dress it up (or down!)
Here are some extra tips to take your tortellini to the next level:
Instead of boiling tortellini in water, why not do it in tomato soup? You’ll love the added flavor and will be happy to know that tortellini boils beautifully in any liquid. Make your own or use your favorite canned version to speed things up again, boil it, toss them in and you’re done!
You can even try to boil it in broth for a tortellini in brodo dish! If you’re feeling a little extra, add some veggies too. It’s as comforting as chicken soup!
This is our most fun tip because you literally get to poke at your food! Pierce cooked tortellini down the center with a wooden skewer and add your favorite ingredients like mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and even give them a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar!
These skewers also happen to be perfect appetizers for parties and even children. Have you ever met a child who doesn’t like food served on a stick? We haven’t. There’s just no losing with them!
Again, unconventional but extremely delicious. All you need to do is toss your cooked tortellini with cooked vegetables and stir-fry them! If you want to make things extra easy on yourself, use a frozen veggie mix.
Tortellini Recipes To Try
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