Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions is an Italian pasta dish packed with veggies. This easy and delicious meatless recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner!
If you're looking for a simple creamy tortellini recipe, this is it! To make this, you will need basic ingredients, such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, cream, and store-bought tortellini. This creamy pasta was inspired by my farfalle recipe.
If you like this type of easy-to-make, family-friendly weeknight pasta dishes, I also recommend the following recipes: Italian ravioli with spinach, artichokes, and capers, as well as pesto chicken tortellini with veggies.
What is Tortellini?
- Tortellini is a stuffed pasta that features a distinctive ring shape. Tortellini is traditionally served with broth.
- Tortellini is usually stuffed with cheese and meat-based filling.
- Tortellini originates from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, situated in northeast Italy.
Things I love about creamy spinach mushroom tortellini
- Meatless recipe. This pasta dish creates rich, deep flavors without any meat. Sauteed mushrooms, creamy spinach, and caramelized onions provide so much flavor to the pasta that it stands great on its own.
- You can easily add protein if you prefer. This pasta will make a perfect sidekick to any type of grilled meat, whether it's steak, pork, or chicken. Spinach mushroom tortellini will also work well with fish, shrimp, and scallops.
- Simple ingredients. This recipe uses basic ingredients, such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, cream, and store-bought tortellini. There is no need to look for that special ingredient. These basic ingredients, when combined, create an absolutely amazing flavor profile!
- Easy recipe. Because this recipe comes together so easily, it's a perfect dish to make for a weeknight dinner. Tip: make caramelized onions a day or two in advance to save time.
- Versatile dish. Tortellini is not the only stuffed pasta you can use in this recipe. Ravioli will work great as well! You can also use regular pasta, such as bow-tie or penne pasta.
- What kind of tortellini should you use? You can use any type of tortellini: three-cheese tortellini, spinach tortellini, beef-stuffed tortellini, etc. I used refrigerated 3-cheese tortellini.
- What can you substitute for tortellini? Use ravioli, gnocchi or bow tie pasta.
- What can you use instead of spinach? Baby kale or arugula will work great in this recipe.
- What kind of mushrooms will work well here? You can use button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, shiitake, crimini, porcini or oyster mushrooms.
What can you use instead of heavy cream?
- Half-and-half. You can use 1 cup of half-and-half instead of heavy cream. Bring half-and-half to boil, then add ½ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Reduce to simmer. Keep stirring while the sauce simmers until the cheese melts.
- Coconut milk. Use 1 cup of coconut milk to replace 1 cup of heavy cream. Follow the recipe as is.
Can you make this recipe gluten-free?
Substitute tortellini with gluten-free ravioli or gluten-free short pasta, such as gluten-free bow tie pasta. You can also use gluten-free gnocchi (be sure to check the packaging as not all gnocchi is gluten-free).
How long to cook tortellini?
Follow the package instructions. The cooking times and instructions will depend on whether you buy refrigerated or frozen tortellini. If using the refrigerated type of tortellini (not frozen), usually you would bring a large pot of water to boil and then cook the tortellini for about 7 to 10 minutes in boiling water.
- Make-ahead tip. Make caramelized onions ahead of time, refrigerate them in an air-tight container, and use within the next 3 days. You can also freeze caramelized onions for up to 2 months and thaw them whenever you need them.
- How to reheat. Reheat gently, on low-medium heat. Add a small amount of heavy cream or half-and-half to thin out the sauce.
Spinach mushroom tortellini is a rich pasta dish that features a luscious cream sauce made with heavy cream. The best side dishes for this type of rich creamy pasta are fresh salads along with bread. Here are some ideas:
- Basic Green Salad. Make a simple green salad, such as spinach or arugula salad. Use a simple dressing made with olive oil, coarsely ground black pepper, and shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Vegetable salad. Serve a refreshing salad, such as Tomato Basil Avocado Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Dressing or Basil Pesto Tomato Avocado Salad.
- Broccoli salad. Here are 2 delicious recipes featuring this wonderful vegetable: Broccoli Cauliflower Salad and Broccoli Cashew Salad.
- Beet salad. Beets are often overlooked, but they are great in salads. Here are my favorites: Simple Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Beet Salad with Spinach and Cashews.
- Bread. Serve garlic bread or baguette with this creamy spinach and mushroom tortellini.
If you crave to add protein to your dinner, this pasta is so versatile, there are many types of meat you can add.
- Grilled steak. This creamy spinach mushroom tortellini will make a worthy side dish to any steak: rib-eye, filet mignon, porterhouse, flank steak, or skirt steak.
- Chicken. Serve this pasta with grilled or sauteed chicken. You can use chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken legs.
- Pork. Grilled pork chops or pan-seared pork chops will work great. You can also serve spinach mushroom tortellini as a side dish to pork tenderloin.
- Seafood. Add grilled or pan-seared salmon or trout. This pasta goes well with seared shrimp and scallops.
Other Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Pasta
- Sun-Dried Tomato Mushroom Pasta
- Penne Pasta in Creamy Vodka Tomato Sauce with Mushrooms
Other Tortellini Recipes
- Asiago Cheese Tortellini
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Tortellini
- Creamy Chicken, Asparagus, and Bacon Tortellini
- Creamy Shrimp Tortellini with Veggies
Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 yellow onions large
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Creamy pasta sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 08 oz mushrooms (I used crimini mushrooms)
- 8 oz spinach
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 9 oz tortellini (I used 3-cheese tortellini, refrigerated)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper when serving
How to caramelized onions (this can be done a day or 2 in advance):
- Peel the onions, wash them and thinly slice them.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add sliced onions and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, constantly stirring with the spatula.
- Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking the onions for 10 more minutes, continuing to stir, as onions brown even more without burning. At this point add a pinch of salt over the onions.
- Continue cooking for 10 more minutes on medium or low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure onions don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
- In total, you should have cooked onions for 30 minutes. Remove the onions from the skillet onto a plate.
How to make the creamy sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet on medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring, until mushrooms are soft.
- Add fresh spinach to the skillet and stir on low heat just until spinach starts to wilt.
- Add back the caramelized onions.
- Add 1 cup of heavy cream and ¼ teaspoon salt to the mushroom and spinach mixture and bring to a quick boil. Immediately reduce to simmer. Keep stirring while the sauce simmers for a couple of minutes.
- Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Usually, that means to bring a large pot of water to boil. Add tortellini and boil for 7 to 10 minutes. Drain.
- Add cooked and drained tortellini to the creamy sauce. Stir on low heat for a couple of minutes to reheat.
- Top with cracked black pepper when serving.
- Make-ahead tip. Make caramelized onions ahead of time, refrigerate them in an air-tight container, and use within the next 3 days.
- You can also freeze caramelized onions for up to 2 months and thaw them whenever you need them.
- Half-and-half. You can use 1 cup of half-and-half instead of heavy cream. Bring half-and-half to boil, then add 1/s cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Reduce to simmer. Keep stirring while the sauce simmers until the cheese melts.
- Coconut milk. Use 1 cup of coconut milk to replace 1 cup of heavy cream. Follow the recipe as is.
- Use button mushrooms, portobello, cremini, shiitake or oyster mushrooms.
- Good substitutes for spinach are kale and arugula.
- You can also use pre-made ravioli, gnocchi or short pasta (such as bow-tie or penne pasta) instead of tortellini.
- Substitute tortellini with gluten-free ravioli or gluten-free short pasta, such as gluten-free bow tie pasta. You can also use gluten-free gnocchi (be sure to check the packaging as not all gnocchi is gluten-free).
- Protein. You can add grilled steak, pork chops, or chicken. You can also serve this with fish, shrimp, or scallops.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
So good! I baked some pancetta I had left over and sprinkled it over the top. Also added a bit of red pepper for some spice. Love this recipe! Thank you for sharing.
I pin lots of recipes and rarely do I actually make them. This looked so doable so I doubled the servings and prepared it for my family and they loved it! I was so happy with how well the caramelized onions turned out. Thank you for this delicious and easy recipe! Definitely will be prepared again.
This recipe has everything I love. And since everything was in the refrigerator I decided to make it. Based on other reviewers comments I added garlic and red pepper. My husband says it has a lot of flavor. It's okay, but I think it's very milky, coats my tongue.
Tai, thank you for trying this recipe - and glad you liked it! If it's too creamy, I would reduce the cream amount in half next time.
I am going to cook up a storm with my 34 year- old son this weekend, mostly all your recipes, so he has some good food to take home with him. However, can this be frozen after it's made? If so, how to reheat?
Virginia, thank you for this wonderful comment and for trusting my recipes. ❤️ I am not a fan of freezing creamy sauces, but I have good news:
You can make everything in this recipe (but do not add cream) - and freeze it. When you're ready, and the dinner is thawed, you can add fresh heavy cream at that point so that the sauce has a perfect texture! Enjoy! 🙂
Hello Julia, I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy making your wonderful recipes. I was going over your recipe for Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized onions; it sounds delicious! I am going to caramelize my onions tonight & plan to make your recipe for dinner tomorrow.
BTW I wanted to share the way I caramelize onions. This is a fool proof way to get the onions to caramelize without having to stand over them stirring almost constantly. (Sure works for me!)
Spray your slow cooker with a non-stick spray (an olive oil sprayer is great for this as well). Add raw onions into your slow cooker. Drizzle with olive oil then cover & cook on low heat for 10-14 hours.
There will be a lot of liquid after the onions are cooked. I drain the onions & save the liquid. I use some of the liquid along with some good beef broth & some of the caramelized onions to make French Onion Soup.
(I usually cook my onions over night in my slow cooker so they’re finished the next morning.) I generally divide the cooked onions into 1/2 Cup servings, place them into a Zip Lock bag & freeze until I need them.
Thanks again for all the good recipes. Nancy Adams (1/29/23 Austin, Texas)
Nancy, thank you so much for this detailed and very thoughtful feedback. And, thank you for sharing your recipe for making caramelized onions in a slow cooker. It's definitely a practical way for cooking large amounts of onions and then freezing some of them for future use. I am so glad you enjoy my recipes and glad you took the time to share this heartwarming and encouraging comment. 🙂 It means a lot to me! 🙂
Julia, I tried this recipe because I had some heavy cream that I needed to use up. So glad I did. The recipe turned out fantastic. I added a little bit of julienne carrots to also use them up, and it turned out fantastic. My husband remarked about how great it tastes, and even suggested that I serve it to my neighbors as a side dish next time we have them over. Thank you for this terrific, tasty recipe.
Romie, you are very welcome, and thank YOU for such a detailed, thoughtful, and encouraging comment - I really appreciate it! 🙂 Good to know that julienne carrots worked great here!
Delicious and super easy! Definitely a make again!
Marg, glad you loved it! Thank you for the 5-star review! 🙂
In the end it tasted great, but I was never able to make the onions without burning them...tried twice, and the sauce never thickened up, feels like it needs some rue first...was very watery. But it did taste good and I will tweak it to work with the sauce next time.
Nicole, I am so sorry to hear about the sauce. Just bring the sauce to a gentle boil (simmer) and simmer until it reduces and thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly which will thicken the sauce as well.
Added artichoke to this recipe, so good! Thanks for the recipe
Mary, artichoke sounds delish!! Great addition! 🙂
Nicole, another note regarding caramelized onions - make sure to use a heavy-bottomed pan or skillet to cook the onions. You should use a pan or a skillet that is thicker and sturdier at the base. Thin pans and skillets tend to have "hot spots" - areas that heat more quickly than others which can cause your food to burn.
This is so delicious. Prepared it for company and they said it was like a meal from a 5 star restaurant!
Kate, I am so flattered by your comment! 🙂
Holy Cow this is good!
I cooked tortellini about 4 minutes and kept them separate until ready to serve. Didn't want to stir the tortellini in sauce too much so they would not break apart when stirring. Makes for a better presentation for this tasty dish!
I added a splash splash of wine and a pinch of Tarragon. Tarragon is so good with certain cream dishes!
Thank you so much Julia, for this Fab recipe!
My guests raved!
Glad I tripled the recipe!
Thank you for that option BTW!
Patti, this must be one of the best comments I've ever read on my website! 🙂 Thank you so much for being so positive and enthusiastic about the recipe - it's really important for food bloggers to see comments like these. Love your addition of red wine and a pinch of Tarragon!