Tortellini Bake

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Dinner, Main Course Italian
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 4-8
Prep Time: 40 Minutes Cooking Time: 40 Minutes Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

A hearty, deeply flavored meat sauce with ooey-gooey, crispy-topped mozzarella cheese, and perfectly cooked little tortellini dumplings.


  • Hearty Meat Sauce
  • 1 medium to large Yellow Onion, diced
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • 1.5-2 lbs Ground Beef
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • 1 28-oz. Can of diced Tomatoes and their juice
  • 1/2 cup Tomato Puree
  • 1 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 Garlic Cloves, minced or pressed
  • Several Sprigs Fresh Herbs (like Rosemary, thyme and Oregano)
  • Splash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
  • Tortellini Bake
  • ~30 oz. (3 10-oz. packages) Fresh Tortellini, such as Rana or Buitoni
  • 16 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, sliced and torn into smaller pieces
  • 3-4 oz. Low Moisture Mozzarella, grated or torn into chunks



Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Hearty Meat Sauce


Start by heating a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat and sauté your diced onion until the onion pieces are golden and translucent. Give the onions a pinch of Kosher salt.


Add the ground beef to the onions in the pan. Give the ground beef a few hefty pinches of Kosher salt. Stir occasionally until the beef is mostly browned.


Add the diced tomatoes and their juice, tomato puree and tomato paste to the meat and onions, along with minced garlic.


Tie the herb sprigs into a bundle and stir the bundle into the sauce.


Season again with another few big pinches of Kosher salt and about 2 teaspoons of fresh cracked black pepper.


Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste the sauce as it simmers and add more Kosher salt and pepper as needed.


After 30 minutes and the sauce is thickened, add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Give the sauce a stir and cook for another 10 minutes.


Fish out the herb bundle and remove the sauce from the heat. Give the sauce one more taste and adjust seasoning.

Tortellini Bake


In a 9x13 baking dish, ladle in enough of the meat sauce to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Top the sauce with half of the fresh tortellini.


Top the the tortellini with half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers, finishing with mozzarella cheese. Cover the baking dish and place the covered dish on a sheet tray and place in the oven.


Bake for 20 minutes. Then check to see if the sauce is bubbling; if it is, remove the cover and bake uncovered for 20 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and browning.


Remove from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes.