Spinach Tortellini in Light Homemade Alfredo Sauce is a creamy colorful pasta dish. The homemade sauce is lower in calories than the original parmesan-cream sauce but it doesn’t sacrifice flavor. Fresh baby spinach ribbons and slivers of sun-dried tomatoes add additional color to the green pasta and garlic-cheese sauce. This one-pan dish is on the table in less than 30 minutes. Quick and easy meets rich and tasty. A new favorite for dinner tonight.
Next time try our spicy and delicious Southwestern Tortellini Spinach Soup.
For this recipe, you will need spinach tortellini, unsalted butter, fresh garlic, flour, heavy cream, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, chicken broth, baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes.
Fresh spinach tortellini pasta versus dried
In this recipe, we preferred using fresh tortellini rather than dried. We wanted a recipe we could make in a short amount of time for busy weeknights, so we picked a refrigerated variety.
Interestingly enough, I wanted to check and see what the experts said about the quality of the dried versus the fresh. What I found out surprised me! The testers took 3 frozen, 3 dried, and 3 refrigerated tortellini pasta and did quality tests.
What they found out surprised me!!????
What they looked for:
- quality of the pasta wrapper
- the quantity of filling
- flavor of the tortellini
- the texture of the pasta
The winner of the test was a dried three cheese tortellini pasta. The experts agreed that a flavorful filling proved more important than the type of pasta. This is great news for me because I like having tortellini as part of my pantry staples.
Preparing the spinach tortellini
Whenever we make pasta recipes we always look at the directions and subtract 2 minutes, even more. In cooking terms this is called molto al dente. If it’s going to be a one-pan dish it will continue to cook in the creamy sauce.
Another important step in preparing pasta is to make sure the pasta water in a large pot has enough salt. By salted the saying is as salty as the sea. Although that’s not true, you should add NO LESS than ½ Tablespoon of salt for a pound of pasta.
Once the water comes to a boil, we turn it down to a simmer. If the water is boiling profusely, the tortellini could fall apart. I’d certainly be upset if my spinach tortellini fell apart.
A spider makes it easy to gently lift the pasta out of the water and transfer them to a glass dish with a bit of olive oil in it. The olive oil will prevent the delicate pasta from sticking to each other.
Now is the time to start on the sauce.
Don’t use iodized salt for salting the pasta water, it gives the pasta a metallic taste use sea salt or kosher salt.
For every pound of pasta put NO LESS than ½ Tablespoon of salt in the water. You’ll find chef’s who use anywhere from 1-½ Tablespoons to 3 Tablespoons of salt per pound of pasta.
The amount of salt depends on how salty the sauce will be.
The pasta should be molto al dente because it will continue to finish cooking in the sauce. If you follow this rule your pasta dish will be perfect.
Time to make the light homemade Alfredo Sauce
We made this recipe for a Facebook Live last week. We needed a quick delicious recipe and this fit the bill. If you’d like to see the video, you can find it here.
The creamy garlic-parmesan sauce comes together very quickly. Have all the ingredients measured and ready to go. This homemade Alfredo sauce is so quick and easy you won’t have time to stop and measure.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat melt the butter and add the garlic. Cook for a minute or so and then a. . .
- A light dusting of flour over the melted butter and garlic whisking until it becomes pasty and begins to smell deliciously nutty.
- Whisk in the heavy cream and part of the chicken broth.
- Stir in the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Gently fold in the spinach tortellini
Your exquisite dish is ready to plate and eat. This great recipe is done in 30 minutes or less. We know you’ll love the rich taste of the Spinach Tortellini and you’ll love even more how easy it is.
Our Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo is another delicious recipe using the basic creamy, garlic parmesan sauce. I know your family will love it.
If you love pasta recipes like our ravioli, we linked to more down below.
Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
YOU MAY NEED …
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We love our pasta pot and when we’re home we always use it along with the spider. It’s only when you don’t have the little conveniences that you have to make do. The over-the-sink strainer is great.
Spinach Tortellini in Light Homemade Alfredo Sauce
This spinach tortellini one-pan recipe is incredibly easy but the delicious garlicky homemade Alfredo Sauce gives the dish a rich creamy taste without a lot of calories. The sun-dried tomatoes and fresh baby spinach give the pasta recipe an additional layer of flavor. I’m certain this will be a family favorite.
If you like this recipe please give it a 5-star rating.
Spinach Tortellini in Light Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- 9 oz. spinach tortellini or cheese tortellini
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup chicken broth or vegetable stock separated
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 5 oz. baby spinach coarsely chopped
- 7 oz. sun-dried tomatoes (jar)
- red pepper flakes optional
- fresh basil optional for sprinkling on top
- Drop the spinach tortellini into the boiling water and cook pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions.
- While the tortellini boils, start on the creamy sauce. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet. Stir in the garlic red pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant., about 1 minute.
- Whisk in the flour and keep stirring until it’s absorbed and becomes pasty and smells nutty.
- Slowly whisk in the cream until it is smooth. Add ½ cup chicken broth and whisk until combined.
- Add the salt and Parmesan cheese. Allow it to simmer until thickened. About 2-3 minutes. If it seems too thick add another ¼ cup chicken broth to the tortellini sauce.
- Stir in the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Transfer the drained tortellini to the skillet and gently stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Serve immediately.
- Top with fresh basil if desired.
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First Published February 3, 2018. Updated August 29, 2021 to include additional information and for better reader experience.