An easy, delicious recipe for Cheese Tortellini in a simple garlic butter sauce with basil. Keep it warm in a crockpot for a party appetizer, or serve up in a big bowl for a comforting weeknight meal in 15 minutes or less.

A bowl of cheese tortellini in garlic butter.

This recipe is absolutely delicious but you must season it properly. I love low-sodium chicken broth as much as the next person, but it doesn’t work well here. Use homemade chicken broth if you have it or mix up a batch from the “Better than Bouillon”.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Cheese Tortellini in Garlic Butter Sauce Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for cheese tortellini in garlic butter sauce.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken broth: Do not use low-sodium chicken broth or the sauce may be bland. Homemade chicken broth is fine or you could mix up a batch with Better than Bouillon chicken base (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link). For a vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth.
  • Cornstarch: All-purpose flour can be substituted for cornstarch. However, you may have to cook the sauce an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Cheese tortellini: The cooking times in this recipe are based on frozen cheese tortellini. To substitute fresh or refrigerated tortellini, cook it for 2 to 3 minutes (it should be floating). To substitute dried tortellini, follow the instructions on the package (should be about 10 to 11 minutes).
  • Butter: Do not substitute unsalted butter or your sauce may be bland.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Set aside 1 ½ cups of broth in a small bowl and whisk the cornstarch into it. Heat the remaining broth in a saucepan until boiling. Add tortellini and cook until the tortellini floats to the top of the water and the internal temperature of a tortellini is 165 degrees. Gently drain and set aside.
Cheese tortellini in a saucepan.
  1. In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until it foams. Add the garlic and dried basil and stir for 2 minutes to sauté the garlic.
Cooking garlic in melted butter in a pan.
  1. Then add the broth and cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the mixture thickens, only 1 or 2 minutes.
A garlic butter sauce in a skillet.
  1. Stir in the al dente tortellini and toss in the garlic butter mixture to coat every piece. Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
Cheese tortellini cooking in garlic butter sauce.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe will make 4 hearty main course servings. Or, feed 8 as an appetizer or first course. If serving as part of a buffet, keep warm in a slow cooker.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Tortelloni vs tortellini: Both types of stuffed pasta have the same basic shape. However, tortellini are smaller (generally about 2 grams each) and tortelloni are larger (generally about 5 grams each).
  • Tortellini cooking times: 2 to 3 minutes for refrigerated (soft) tortellini, 3 to 5 minutes for frozen tortellini, and 10 to 11 minutes for dried tortellini. Signs of doneness are when the pasta floats to the surface of the water, and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
A bowl of cheese tortellini in garlic butter.

How to Make Chicken Broth

For the best, most delicious homemade chicken broth, start with a whole raw chicken or chicken pieces and simple vegetables and herbs. At the end of it, you’ll have 4 cups of delicious cooked chicken and…

1 hour 40 minutes
View Recipe

More easy weeknight dinners

A bowl of cheese tortellini in garlic butter.

Cheese Tortellini in Garlic Butter Sauce

An easy, delicious recipe for Cheese Tortellini in a simple garlic butter sauce with basil. Keep it warm in a crockpot for a party appetizer, or serve up in a big bowl for a comforting weeknight meal in 15 minutes or less.
4.93 from 452 votes
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Calories 508

Ingredients 

  • 32 ounces chicken broth or vegetable broth, divided (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (see note 2)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen cheese tortellini (see note 3)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (see note 4)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • Fresh basil chiffonade, for garnish, optional

Instructions 

  • In a large pot, bring 2 ½ cups broth to a boil. Add cheese tortellini. Return to a boil and cook until the tortellini float to the top of the water, about 3 minutes. The internal temperature of a tortellini should be 165ºF. Drain completely.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 1 ½ cups broth with corn starch. In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Stir in garlic and basil and cook 2 minutes.
  • Add broth-cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil; simmer until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes longer. Add the cooked tortellini to the skillet and toss to coat.
  • Pour into a serving dish and garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Chicken broth: Do not use low-sodium chicken broth or the sauce may be bland. Homemade chicken broth is fine or you could mix up a batch with Better than Bouillon chicken base (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link). For a vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth.
  2. Cornstarch: All-purpose flour can be substituted for cornstarch. However, you may have to cook the sauce an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Cheese tortellini: The cooking times in this recipe are based on frozen cheese tortellini. To substitute fresh or refrigerated tortellini, cook it for 2 to 3 minutes (it should be floating). To substitute dried tortellini, follow the instructions on the package (should be about 10 to 11 minutes).
  4. Butter: Do not substitute unsalted butter or your sauce may be bland.
  5. Yield: This recipe will make 4 hearty main course servings. Or, feed 8 as an appetizer or first course. If serving as part of a buffet, keep warm in a slow cooker.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 508kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 21gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 1523mgPotassium: 195mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 399IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 265mgIron: 4mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!
Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

You May Also Like

Questions and Comments

Thank you for your comments! Please allow 1-2 business days for a reply. Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am PST to 5:00 pm PST, excluding holidays. Comments are moderated to prevent spam and profanity.

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. A bit surprised by all the negative reviews……. though I did need more broth/water for the tortellini boiling, I thought it tasted great! So easy to do, even with the added pressure of cooking for your MIL for the first time! Thanks :)5 stars

  2. My family and I really enjoyed this! I do wonder if the broth measurement is off for cooking the tortellini. 2.5 cups of broth barely covered 16 ounces of tortellini–I had to greatly increase the amount. But aside from that, this was delicious and my husband and stepson LOVED it from the first bite. Don’t believe the bad reviews. Just follow the directions (but I would say do 3x as much broth for cooking the tortellini) and you’ll have a winner on your hands. This was great because it was so easy to do & I got so many compliments.4 stars

  3. It is hard to rate this recipe, as you appear to have missed off the qualities for each ingredient. I know we all tweak recipes to suit our personal tastes but without a guide, there is nothing to start with. A photo of ingredients isn’t very helpful, especially for corn starch where the quantity is so important to get the correct thickness.

    1. Hi Jane, did you scroll down to the recipe card? All quantities are listed there. – Meggan

  4. Not sure how this got such good reviews. Gelatinous mess. It’s like it’s trying to be a cream sauce with no cream. Garlic butter it is not. Trash.1 star

    1. Hi Andy, I’m so sorry you didn’t like this dish. I think cream would be a wonderful addition to the tortellini. If it came out gelatinous, I wonder if some of the fillings of your tortellini escaped. I’m sorry about that. – Meggan

View all comments