Instant Pot Tortellini is an easy one pot pasta dinner that gets done with minimal effort. Frozen cheese tortellini is cooked in an ultimate creamy sauce & browned Italian sausage. Your whole family will love this easy instant pot tortellini recipe just like this Instant Pot Tortellini Soup.
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Frozen Cheese Tortellini Instant Pot
Todays frozen cheese tortellini instant pot recipe makes a complete meal all by itself & tastes fantastic. The best part is that you do not need to thaw the frozen tortellini!
Use your favorite diced tomatoes to make the ultimate creamy sauce and don’t skimp on the cream and the parm cheese!
Ground Italian Sausage is one of my favorite ingredients & it’s a regular in my kitchen. Here’s some of the best recipes made with it – Instant Pot Easy Lasagna Soup, Olive Garden copycat Pasta e Fagioli Instant Pot, unstuffed cabbage roll soup instant pot, Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup with sausage.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Tortellini: Four cheese tortellini. You can also use spinach cheese tortellini. I used frozen tortellini that were not thawed.
- Sausage: Ground Italian sausage works best for the recipe. You can use either mild or spicy.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion & garlic.
- Red bell pepper: The pepper adds a hint of sweetness to the tortellini sauce. You’ll love it!
- Tomatoes: I used Italian style diced tomatoes & tomato paste. You can use any diced tomatoes even rotel!
- Seasonings: Sweet paprika, Italian seasoning, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes (use it if you prefer a mild kick & use more if you prefer spicy dishes). Salt according to your personal taste preference. Salt helps to pop out the flavors of this one pot four cheese tortellini recipe.
- Dairy: Heavy whipping cream & grated parmesan cheese. You can also sub the heavy cream with half & half.
- Cooking fat: Olive oil.
- Better than bouillon chicken base – Skip the store bought chicken stock and use 1 tbsp or more BTB chicken base stirred in warm water to form an instant & flavorful homemade chicken stock. This stuff intensifies the flavor of any dish and we love to use it in our recipes!
- Best flavors: The secret is to brown the ground sausage very well.
- Best tortellini: Use either four cheese, three cheese or spinach cheese tortellini. I used four cheese frozen tortellini.
- Frozen or fresh tortellini: This recipe would work for both frozen and fresh tortellini. In case of fresh tortellini I would adjust the cook time zero minute on High Pressure and perform a quick pressure release manually.
- Avoid Burn: Deglaze the pot well by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. There shouldn’t be any food particles stuck at the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the burn error! Layer the ingredients and do not stir or mix them once the layering is complete. You can stir the ingredients in the pot to mix them well once the pressure cooking cycle is over.
- Dairy: DO NOT pressure cook the heavy whipping cream, it’ll curdle. Add the dairy always after the pressure cooking cycle is over.
- Seasonings: Skip the red pepper flakes if you are making the recipe for kids or for someone who is heat intolerant.
Here’s our favorite creamy Easy instant pot shrimp alfredo and Instant pot chicken fettuccine alfredo with broccoli.
How to make Instant Pot Tortellini Pasta?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Sauté aromatics, brown sausage
- Sauté aromatics: Sauté the onion & garlic on Sauté mode high heat setting until the onion begins to turn soft.
- Brown Sausage: Add the ground sausage and sauté until the sausage browns. Add red bell pepper & sauté for another 30 seconds. Cancel the sauté mode.
Step #2 Deglaze pot well
- Deglaze pot: Pour the chicken stock and deglaze pot very well scarping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles & shall prevent the burn error! DO NOT rush this step.
Step #3 Layer Ingredients & Pressure cook
- Layer Ingredients: Layer the frozen tortellini over the sausage. DO NOT stir or mix. Next, add the diced tomatoes & the tomato paste on top of the tortellini. DO NOT mix or stir. Sprinkle the seasonings on top of the tomatoes. DO NOT mix or stir.
- Pressure Cook: Secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and pressure cook on high heat for 1 min followed by quick pressure release manually. Once the cooking cycle is over open the lid carefully and give everything in the pot a very good stir.
Step #5 Make the creamy sauce & serve
- Make creamy sauce: Hit back the Sauté mode & set it on low heat. Warm up the fridge cold heavy whipping cream in the microwave oven and pour it in the instant pot. Mix well. Add the grated parmesan cheese, salt according to your personal taste preference and mix very well until the cheese completely incorporates into the creamy sauce. Do a taste test and serve this easy instant pot tortellini.
How to store
Fridge: Instant pot tortellini pasta will last for 3-4 days in the fridge when stored in air tight containers. You need to add more liquid before reheating the dish because pasta absorbs lot of moisture and you might not have enough sauce left.
Freezer: You can freeze the tortellini pasta for upto 2 months.
How to reheat
From fridge: Add a more liquid (water or stock or milk or cream) to the fridge cold tortellini pasta and than reheat in the microwave oven until hot or warm. This will bring back the right consistency of this dish.
From freezer: Thaw the cooked frozen tortellini pasta overnight in the fridge and than follow the reheating directions shared above.
Frequently Asked Questions
The difference between tortellini and ravioli is the shape! Tortellini are ring or navel shaped, resembling a wonton a a mini croissant. Whereas, ravioli are square shaped with rounded tops, flat underside & edges frilled with a fork or just cut in straight lines.
You can cook fresh tortellini in instant pot for just zero minute! By the time the pressure cooker will come to pressure the fresh tortellini will be done cooking, that’s why it’s zero minute.
You can cook packaged tortellini in the instant pot for just 1 min (todays recipe) or you can cook them on the stove top over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan or saucepan until the tortellini floats on the top. You have to drain the tortellini and toss them with your favorite sauce.
Yes, you can cook frozen tortellini directly in the sauce. You need to add more liquid in that case.
You must boil frozen tortellini until they begin to float in the water. This is a sign that they are cooked through and needs to be drained immediately.
You can cook fresh tortellini in the instant pot following todays recipe instructions. Or you can cook them in rolling boiling water on the stove top until the tortellini begins to float on the surface of the water.
No you do not need to thaw tortellini before cooking.
Yes, tortellini is always stuffed.
More Easy Instant Pot Pasta Recipes You’ll love
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- 19 ounce Frozen Tortellini (**538g or 1 pound 3 oz. I used frozen cheese tortellini. No need to thaw.)
- 1 pound Ground Italian Sausage (**I used mild Italian sausage. 16 oz or 453 g.)
- 1 cup onion (**roughly chopped. Use yellow onion.)
- ½ tbsp garlic (**minced.)
- ½ cup red bell pepper (**roughly chopped.)
- 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes (**Italian style diced tomatoes. 411g.)
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil (**use light or extra light olive oil.)
- Salt (to taste) (**use according to your own personal taste preference.)
- 1.5 cups Water (**warm water.)
- 1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon (**chicken base stirred in the above mentioned water to form an instant homemade chicken stock.)
- ¾ cups Heavy Whipping Cream (**slightly warmed up in microwave oven.)
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese (**grated.)
- Set instant pot on SAUTE mode on HIGH heat settings. You can adjust the heat settings by pressing the "SAUTE" button more than once. Add oil, when the oil becomes moderately hot gently release the onion & garlic and sauté until the onion begins to turn soft.
Brown ground sausage
- Now, add the ground Italian sausage. Break it down with the help of a spatula and stir from time to time until the sausage turns brown. Add the chopped red bell pepper and sauté for 30 seconds. CANCEL the SAUTE mode.
- Now, pour the chicken stock (water + better than bouillon mixed together) into the instant pot. Deglaze the pot very well by scraping the sides & the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and help prevent the BURN error! DO NOT rush this step!
Layer Tortellini, tomatoes
- Now, transfer the frozen tortellini (no need to thaw) into the pot and spread them into a single layer on top of the sausage with the help of your spatula. DO NOT stir or mix. Next, add the diced tomatoes and the tomato paste on top of the tortellini. DO NOT stir or mix. Add the seasonings, again DO NOT stir or mix.
Pressure Cook Tortellini
- Secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 1 minute! The pot will take about 7-10 mins to come to pressure. Once, the cooking cycle is over perform an immediate pressure release manually by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully once the floating metal pin on the top of the lid drops. Give everything in the pot a good stir!
Add dairy & serve tortellini pasta
- Hit the SAUTE mode and set it on LOW heat. Pour the slightly warm heavy whipping cream into the instant pot and mix well until it incorporates well with the tortellini. Add salt according to your personal taste preference, mix well. Do a taste test. Salt will help to pop the flavors even more. Finally, add the grated parmesan cheese and give everything a very good mix until the cheese completely melts and incorporates into the creamy sauce. You can definitely play around with the cream & parm cheese quantities. Serve the Instant Pot Tortellini and enjoy!
- Saucy Tortellini – Add more cream.
- Cheesy tortellini – Add more parmesan cheese.
- Can I use spinach cheese tortellini? Yes you can.
- Fresh Tortellini – You can sub the frozen tortellini with fresh tortellini. The cook time will remain the same.
- Ground Italian sausage sub – You can use spicy ground turkey sausage. Tastes so good!
- Heat intolerant – Skip the red pepper flakes!
- Can I use half & half? Yes, you can sub the heavy whipping cream with half & half. Use same quantity.
- Can I use milk? I have not tested the recipe using milk.
- Love more heat? Add more red pepper flakes. You can even add more while serving the instant pot frozen tortellini pasta.