Cheesy Tortellini with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

Experience the ultimate comfort with Cheesy Tortellini featuring crispy bacon and flavorful Brussels sprouts. Whether you’re seeking a quick weeknight dinner or planning a cozy gathering, this recipe delivers on taste and satisfaction. With minimal ingredients and straightforward instructions, you can relish a hearty meal that tantalizes your taste buds and leaves everyone asking for seconds.


  • 6 slices bacon, about 1/3 lb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¾ lb Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 16 ounces freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, about 3 cups
  • 24 ounces refrigerated cheese or spinach tortellini


1. Prepare the Bacon and Brussels Sprouts:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook the bacon in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the halved Brussels sprouts to the skillet with the bacon. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is cooked through and the Brussels sprouts have browned. Transfer to a plate.

2. Make the Sauce:

  • Leave about a tablespoon of bacon grease in the skillet and return it to medium-high heat.
  • Add minced garlic to the skillet and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Pour 1/2 cup of warm water into the skillet, scraping up the brown bits.
  • Add heavy cream, kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet. Stir to combine. Simmer the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes until it thickens slightly.

3. Cook the Tortellini:

  • Add refrigerated tortellini to the skillet and stir well to coat. Return bacon and Brussels sprouts to the pan and stir. Remove from heat.
  • Add half of the shredded mozzarella cheese to the skillet and stir. Top with the remaining cheese.

4. Bake and Serve:

  • Bake the skillet in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until the tortellini is soft and the cheese has melted.
  • Once baked, let the skillet cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired and serve hot. Enjoy this delicious cheesy tortellini dish!

Prep Time: 5 min | Cooking Time: 25 min | Total Time: 30 min | Servings: 8 | Calories: Approximately 410 kcal per serving

Serving and Storage Tips :

1. Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve the cheesy tortellini dish hot, straight from the oven, for the best flavor and texture.
  • Garnish each serving with freshly chopped herbs such as parsley or basil to add a pop of color and freshness.
  • Accompany the dish with crusty bread or garlic bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

2. Storage Instructions:

  • If you have leftovers, allow the dish to cool to room temperature before storing.
  • Transfer any remaining portions to an airtight container or wrap the skillet tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 3-4 days.

3. Reheating Tips:

  • Reheat individual servings in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until heated through.
  • For a crispier texture, reheat larger portions in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until warmed to your liking.
  • Add a splash of water or extra cream to the dish before reheating to prevent it from drying out.

4. Freezing Instructions:

  • While this dish is best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze leftovers for later consumption.
  • Transfer cooled portions to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, ensuring they are tightly sealed to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the containers with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months.

5. Thawing and Reheating from Frozen:

  • Thaw frozen portions overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Once thawed, follow the reheating instructions mentioned above, adjusting the time as needed to ensure the dish is thoroughly heated.

6. Make-Ahead Option:

  • Prepare the dish up to the point of baking, then cover it tightly and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to serve, bake the dish as instructed, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time if needed to ensure it’s heated through.

7. Serving Size Consideration:

  • Adjust the serving size based on the number of guests or family members to minimize leftovers and waste.
  • Alternatively, double the recipe to make a larger batch for gatherings or meal prep for busy weeks.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Cheesy Tortellini with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts remains delicious and enjoyable, whether served fresh from the oven or reheated for a quick and satisfying meal later on.

Variations :

  1. Vegetarian Twist:
    • Omit the bacon and add sliced mushrooms or diced bell peppers for a flavorful vegetarian version. You can also toss in some sun-dried tomatoes for extra umami.
  2. Creamy Alfredo Sauce:
    • Substitute the heavy cream with Alfredo sauce for a creamy and indulgent twist. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
  3. Spinach and Artichoke Addition:
    • Add a handful of fresh spinach leaves and chopped artichoke hearts to the skillet along with the Brussels sprouts for a nutritious boost and added depth of flavor.
  4. Italian Sausage Variation:
    • Brown Italian sausage in the skillet before adding the Brussels sprouts for a hearty and savory addition. The sausage lends a rich flavor that complements the cheesy tortellini perfectly.
  5. Mushroom Madness:
    • Sauté a variety of mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms with garlic and shallots before adding them to the skillet. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms pairs beautifully with the cheesy tortellini.
  6. Spicy Kick:
    • Increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes or add diced jalapeños or chili peppers to the skillet for a spicy twist. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt to cool down the heat.
  7. Greek-Inspired Variation:
    • Replace the Brussels sprouts with chopped spinach and add Kalamata olives, diced tomatoes, and crumbled feta cheese to the skillet for a Mediterranean-inspired flavor profile.
  8. Pesto Perfection:
    • Stir in a few spoonfuls of basil pesto into the sauce for a burst of herbaceous flavor. Top with pine nuts or grated Parmesan cheese for an extra layer of richness.
  9. Seafood Sensation:
    • Add cooked shrimp or crabmeat to the skillet along with the Brussels sprouts for a luxurious seafood twist. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for brightness.
  10. Tex-Mex Fusion:
    • Replace the Brussels sprouts with black beans and corn kernels. Season with taco seasoning and garnish with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for a Southwestern flair.

These variations offer creative ways to customize your Cheesy Tortellini with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts, allowing you to tailor the dish to your taste preferences and dietary needs while keeping it delicious and satisfying. Experiment with different ingredients to discover your favorite flavor combinations!

FAQs :

  1. Can I use frozen Brussels sprouts instead of fresh?
    • Yes, you can substitute frozen Brussels sprouts for fresh ones in this recipe. Thaw them before cooking, and adjust the cooking time as needed.
  2. What can I use as a substitute for heavy cream?
    • You can use half-and-half or whole milk as a lighter alternative to heavy cream. Keep in mind that the sauce may not be as rich and creamy.
  3. Can I use pre-cooked bacon for convenience?
    • Absolutely! Pre-cooked bacon can be used to save time. Simply chop it into pieces and add it to the skillet when instructed.
  4. Is there a gluten-free option for the tortellini?
    • Yes, you can use gluten-free tortellini to make this dish suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies.
  5. Can I make this dish ahead of time?
    • While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble them just before baking. Store the cooked bacon, Brussels sprouts, and sauce separately in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. How can I make this dish more kid-friendly?
    • Kids may enjoy this dish more with milder flavors. Consider omitting the crushed red pepper flakes for a less spicy version and using mild cheese tortellini.

Cheesy Tortellini with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures that’s sure to please every palate. Whether shared with loved ones or savored solo, this dish brings warmth and satisfaction to every bite. Try it tonight and experience the joy of comfort food done right!