Cheesy Crockpot Tortellini with Ground Beef is pure comfort food! Add the meat sauce to the slow cooker and let it work its magic! Right before serving add cheese-filled tortellini and extra cheese! It’s one of those easy slow-cooker meals the whole family will love! You’ll want to make it on a regular basis!
Serve cheesy tortellini with Parmesan Garlic Dinner Rolls and a side salad for a meal the whole family will love! It’s a little bit like lasagna but such an easy recipe! No hassling with all those layers!
Cheesy Crockpot Tortellini
I love cheese and tortellini! Add them to a recipe and I’m a happy girl! Cheese-filled tortellini and ground beef are a perfect combination especially when it’s tossed in a savory tomato sauce.
Top it off with gooey melted mozzarella cheese and you have one delicious and hearty meal! The good news is that slow-cooker cheesy tortellini is easy enough for weeknights!
I’m always on the hunt for another ground beef recipe because my family eats it about 6 nights a week! I love making this recipe on the busiest days because I can make most of it the day before.
Then I throw it on the slow cooker base about 6 hours before dinner. It’s such a great way to eat a homemade meal even when you don’t have time to cook.
This slow cooker casserole is a great option for when I’m loading dinner up to take to the harvest crews. Slather a slice of French bread with garlic herb butter to make garlic bread and add roasted green beans and it’s a meal!
If you love tortellini recipes as much as we do be sure to check out my Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup!
Table of contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy! The best part is that you add most of the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it go. About 15 minutes before eating you’ll need to add the tortellini and some cheese. It’s that easy! I LOVE being able to make most of the meal ahead of time.
- Simple ingredients! All of the ingredients are pantry staples and easy to keep on hand. Be sure to stock your freezer with hamburger and frozen tortellini.
- Customizable! If you don’t like ground beef, use sausage. Add red pepper flakes for a kick of spice. Or, use a variety of cheeses! It’s up to you!
Let’s go over the list of ingredients. For a complete list of ingredients and directions scroll to the bottom of the post.
I’m going to share options for substitutions and swaps.
- Ground Beef: I like using lean meat so it’s not too greasy. You can also use ground sausage (a hot Italian sausage is a good option) or a combination of the two. Heck, if you really want to you can substitute shredded chicken or ground turkey.
- Cheese-Filled Tortellini: I use frozen tortellini because it’s easy to keep on hand. You can also use fresh cheese tortellini or dry tortellini. If using dry tortellini increase the cook time by 10-20 minutes.
- Jarred Pasta Sauce: Any store-bought brand of spaghetti sauce or your favorite homemade marinara sauce.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes– I can my tomatoes from my garden, but storebought works great too. Use fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor.
- Cheese: I like a combination of shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan. You can use an Italian blend or any other good-quality melting cheese.
- Seasonings: Use Italian seasoning, or oregano, basil, and parsley. Or use a few spoonfuls of homemade basil pesto.
- Garlic & Onion: They’re optional. I really like the extra flavor. You can use fresh garlic cloves or garlic paste (my fave). Sweet onions, white, or yellow onions.
How to Make Tortellini in a Slow Cooker
Step 1: Fry ground beef and diced onion over medium-high heat in a large skillet until brown. Drain grease if needed.
Step 2: Add cooked ground beef mixture or cooked sausage, marinara sauce, tomatoes, and seasonings to a slow cooker. Stir. Cook in a slow cooker on low heat for 6 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours.
Step 3: Add frozen tortellini noodles and half of the mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan cheese over the casserole
Step 4: Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the cheese is melted.
- Use a slow cooker liner or spray the crock pot with cooking spray for easier cleanup.
- I use a 6-quart crock pot because it creates more surface area for sprinkling the cheese on top!
- Drain the fat from the cooked beef before adding the pasta sauce. This helps keep the dish from being too greasy.
- Dry Tortellini: To use dry tortellini increase the cooking time to 30 minutes after adding the tortellini.
- Fresh Tortellini: It takes about 15 minutes to cook fresh or frozen tortellini. You can check for doneness after 10 minutes to be sure it doesn’t overcook.
Slow cooker tortellini is a new way of making baked tortellini. I love this great recipe just the way it is, but there are also some fun variations to make it exactly the way you like it!
- Spicy: Add red pepper flakes
- Creamy: Add 4 ounces of cream cheese to the meat mixture 15 minutes before adding the cheese. Or, add half a cup of heavy cream when adding the tortellini.
- Healthier: Add baby spinach. Frozen spinach can be added directly. Fresh spinach should be roughly chopped before adding.
- Add Veggies: Bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and zucchini are all great options if you’re looking to add more vegetables to your diet.
- Pesto: Add a spoonful of homemade basil pesto.
Storing and Freezing
We rarely have leftovers, but they are almost better the next day!
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through. You might need to add a splash of cream, chicken broth, or beef broth if it’s too thick.
Freezer: Cheesy tortellini freezes beautifully! Make the ground beef and tortellini have completely cooled before freezing. It can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Sometimes it’s handy to freeze individual portions. Thaw in the refrigerator. To reheat microwave individual portions until heated through. Or, cook on the stovetop until heated through.
Other Easy Pasta Recipes
Other Easy Ground Beef Recipes
- Slow Cooker Creamy Beef Taco Soup
- CrockPot Mexican Dip with Corn and Ground Beef
- Cheesy Mexican Beef Casserole
- Quick and Easy Beef Burritos
Easy Cheesy Crockpot Tortellini with Ground Beef
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 diced onion
- 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 18 ounces cheese filled tortellini
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Line a slow cooker with a slow cooker liner or spray with nonstick baking spray.
- Fry ground beef and diced onion over medium-high heat in a large skillet until brown. Drain grease if needed.
- Add cooked ground beef mixture or cooked sausage, marinara sauce, tomatoes, and seasonings to a slow cooker. Stir. Cook in a slow cooker on low heat for 6 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours.
- Add frozen tortellini noodles and half of the mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan cheese over the casserole and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
- Replace a portion of ground beef with ground sausage or turkey.
- Add pesto, garlic paste, or Italian seasoning to the spaghetti sauce.
- Use fresh or frozen tortellini. If using dry tortellini add it with the ground beef and spaghetti sauce.
- Garnish with chopped parsley or basil.
This post was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2023 with new images and content.