This Tortellini Alla Panna is a creamy and cheesy pasta dish that is always a family-favorite. The tortellini are filled with cheese and cooked in a white sauce made with cream, butter, Parmesan cheese, and garlic. The flavors blend together to create a delicious and savory meal that will be sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
One of my favorite things about this tortellini recipe is that it’s a great way to leftover ham and turn it into something new! Plus, the delicious creamy parmesan sauce will give the dish a silky texture that will have everyone asking for seconds.
Why you’ll love this tortellini recipe
- You will love this amazing recipe for Tortellini Alla Panna because it’s a comforting and delicious dish that comes together quickly.
- The combination of creamy white sauce, cheese-filled tortellini, and bits of ham is sure to please everyone in the family.
- Plus, leftovers are super easy to reheat for lunch or dinner the next day!
Ingredients for Tortellini Alla Panna Recipe
We used a few pre-made or frozen ingredients to keep this tortellini dinner recipe nice and easy! Here’s what you need:
- Tortellini – For our recipe, we used frozen store-bought tortellini with cheese. If you want to be adventurous, you could try some other tortellini filling in your own dish or even try making some homemade tortellini from scratch!
- Diced Ham
- Garlic – Fresh or jarred, whatever’s more convenient for you.
- Heavy Cream – If you’re worried about calories or fat, then you could try subbing this out for half-and-half or even just a whole milk. Your sauce might not turn out as rich or creamy, so keep that in mind.
- Parmesan – For best results, use freshly shredded parmesan for this recipe. Pre-shredded often has a starchy coating on it that messes with the melting and mixing into sauces and the jarred parmesan doesn’t taste as good. Buy a good cheese and grate Parmesan yourself.
- Frozen Peas – You can try using canned peas or fresh peas, just make sure to adjust the cooking times as necessary.
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
- Fresh Basil
How to make Tortellini Alla Panna
What’s great about this toretellini recipe is that it’s really quite simple. Using premade tortellini and frozen peas helps cut down a lot of the prep time a recipe might need if we used all fresh ingredients. To make a tasty batch of Tortellini Alla Panna, here’s all you need to do:
- Prepare your tortellini according to package instructions, saving some pasta water for later, and set aside. Brown ham with butter in a large saucepan over medium heat before adding garlic and cooking until fragrant.
- Whisk in heavy cream and cook for a minute before adding parmesan and cooking another minute. Add peas to the pan and allow to cook for a few minutes until warmed through.
- Once peas are warmed through, add the cooked tortellini and continue cooking for several minutes. Stir in reserved 1/4 cup of pasta water as necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency before garnishing with fresh basil and serving.
Are you out of an ingredient? Don’t worry here are a few tried and true swaps that you can use to save yourself a trip to the grocery store.
- Tortellini – Don’t have frozen tortellini on hand? Dried or even fresh tortellini can be used. Just adjust the cooking time to suit the product you are using.
- Vegetables – Out of frozen peas? A can of drained peas can be used or you can use frozen green beans instead. Mushrooms are always a great flavor to add too!
- Parsley – Switch out the fresh basil or fresh parsley for a pop of color.
- Spinach – always adds color and flavor.
If you want to add a little extra flavor to your pasta dish, here are a few delicious additions and swaps for this creamy pasta recipe.
Spicy – Spice up your pasta with some crushed red pepper or a touch of cayenne to give it a kick.
Protein – Add cooked, diced bacon, shredded chicken, or sliced sausage for a more filling meal.
Cheesy – Double up on the cheese and add grated mozzarella or asiago to the creamy sauce for an extra cheesy pasta dish.
If you love delicious pasta recipes, you may also enjoy this Creamy Chicken Pasta recipe. It’s the perfect quick meal for a busy weeknight when you need something your entire family will enjoy.
Storage / Freezing
Leftovers – Store any leftovers in an airtight container and storing in the refrigerator. The pasta will last up to 4 days in the fridge.
Reheating – To reheat, place your desired amount of pasta in a microwave safe dish and heat until warmed on 50% power. This should take about 2-3 minutes. You could also reheat in a skillet on the stove top over medium heat until warm all the way through. Consider adding a splash of cream or milk if needed.
Freezing – Due to the dairy in the cream sauce, this dish will not freeze well. As good as it tastes we never really have to worry about leftovers to freeze anyway!
Make sure that you cook the tortellini according the package directions, each brand has different timing. So, give the package a quick look as you don’t want to overcook your pasta.
Panna sauce is typically made with heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and butter. This simple combination of ingredients creates a rich, creamy texture that pairs well with many dishes.
It is pronounced “pan-ah,” with the emphasis on the second syllable. This traditional Italian sauce is a variation of Alfredo sauce that includes heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.
Alla panna means “with cream” in Italian. It is an Italian way of referring to a dish that is cooked with heavy cream.
Other Pasta Recipes
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite breads to serve with Tortellini Alla Panna:
Tortellini Alla Panna
- 1 lb Tortellini frozen or fresh
- 1 1/2 cup Diced Ham
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 1/2 cup Parmesan grated
- 1/2 tsp minced Garlic
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- 2 cup Frozen Peas
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3-4 leaves fresh Basil sliced
- Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
- In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat.
- Add the ham stirring until lightly brown.
- Add heavy cream to skillet and cook stirring for 1 minute.
- Stir in grated parmesan and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in peas and cook for several minutes.
- Add in the tortellini and allow to cook until peas are warmed, stirring occasionally.
- If the sauce becomes too thick, add in some of the reserved pasta water.
- Garnish with sliced basil.
I made this the other night and it was delicious. Such a comfy satisfying dish.