Skip the restaurant and whip up this creamy Spinach Alfredo Tortellini in just 15 minutes. A pantry staple is the unexpected secret to the easiest Alfredo sauce.
Why this recipe works
- Tortellini - I love using fresh, refrigerated cheese tortellini. You can substitute any variety of tortellini that you love. If you use frozen, allow a few extra minutes of cooking time.
- Evaporated milk is my secret ingredient for easy, delicious alfredo sauce. It's a versatile pantry staple to keep on hand.
- Parmesan cheese - I always recommend buying a wedge and grating it yourself. Freshly grated cheese melts beautifully, especially into sauces like this.
See the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Cook the tortellini in well-salted water according to package directions. Drain.
- Meanwhile, add the butter and evaporated milk to a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened.
- Add the grated Parmesan in batches, whisking until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Image 1)
- Add the spinach and stir until wilted. (Image 2)
- Add the tortellini and fold to incorporate. (Images 3 and 4)
- Garnish with Parmesan shavings and extra pepper.
Note: This alfredo sauce is not as thick and heavy as traditional alfredo. It's lighter and beautifully coats the pasta.
Storing and reheating
To store, cool completely and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.
To reheat, microwave until warm. Alternatively, reheat slowly in a double boiler until warm.
Turn this easy skillet dish into three new recipes by swapping or adding in other ingredients.
- Broccoli alfredo - Swap broccoli for the spinach. Roasted broccoli will add wonderful flavor to this dish.
- Chicken alfredo - Add sliced cooked chicken breast. This creates a hearty all-in-one meal.
- Carbonara-inspired - Add in crisped, browned bacon or pancetta for carbonara-like vibes.
Pasta pairs well with so many things. If serving as a main dish, serve with a green salad, roasted vegetables, and/or garlic bread. If serving tortellini as a side dish, pair it with beef, pork, or chicken.
Tortellini needs to be cooked just like any pasta. Fresh tortellini cooks in 2-3 minutes, frozen takes 3-5 minutes and dried tortellini cooks in 9-11 minutes.
Spinach Alfredo Tortellini
- 9 ounces fresh cheese tortellini (or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 3-4 ounces Parmesan cheese (freshly grated (Note 1))
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (plus more to taste)
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- 4 cups baby spinach (lightly packed)
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. (Note 2) Drain.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the evaporated milk and season with pepper.
- Bring the milk to a gentle simmer and reduce for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly add the cheese, whisking to combine as the cheese melts.
- Once the cheese is incorporated, season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Add the spinach and stir to combine until wilted. Add the tortellini and stir together.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with extra Parmesan.
- Freshly grated cheese is the most fresh tasting and melts beautifully.
- Add 2 teaspoons salt to the pasta water before adding the pasta. This will season the pasta itself.
- To reheat: heat in the microwave until warmed through. Alternatively, heat in a double boiler until warm.
- This alfredo sauce is not as thick and heavy as traditional alfredo. It's lighter and beautifully coats the pasta.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.