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Cheesy Tortellini in a creamy, rich Garlic Parmesan sauce. My Garlic Parmesan Tortellini is so indulgent and full of flavor, and the best part is it whips up in just about 20 minutes!

An overhead shot of Garlic Parmesan Tortellini
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Tortellini with Garlic Parmesan Sauce

I think if I had to choose, Italian would be my favorite food of all time, and Fettuccine Alfredo would definitely top the list. I finally mastered the art of Alfredo Sauce at home a number of years ago, and I started making it a lot. Probably a little too much. It’s probably been a couple of years since I’ve made it at home, and I finally decided it was time, but with a garlicky twist.

To keep this Creamy Garlic Parmesan Tortellini a tad bit lighter, I combined equal parts nonfat milk and heavy cream, along with a lot of garlic and fresh Parmesan. The result was an ultra creamy and delicious meal that took less than 20 minutes to make.

The sauce and tortellini are cooked separately to keep the pasta from getting too mushy. Once the sauce is cooked, the fresh, hot tortellini are tossed with it, and some fresh cracked black pepper and chopped parsley to add another dimension of flavor.

Garlic Parmesan Tortellini on a spoon.

How to Make a Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce

  1. Start by melting butter in a large saute pan and add lots of fresh minced garlic. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds to a minute or until it’s fragrant.
  2. Whisk in some flour and cook for about 2 minutes, until it starts to bubble and turn a golden color.
  3. Whisk in nonfat milk and heavy cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Use any combination of milk/cream that you like – all heavy cream, no heavy cream, lowfat or whole milk.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in freshly grated Parmesan until it’s completely melted. Add more milk or more cheese as needed until you are happy with the consistency and taste.
  5. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  6. Toss the tortellini with the Garlic Parmesan sauce serve, garnished with fresh minced parsley.
A collage of photos showing how to make a garlic parmesan sauce.

How to Thicken a Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

If your sauce isn’t thick enough for your taste, there are a few things you can do.

  • Add a couple ounces of cream cheese. Stir in to the warm sauce until it melts.
  • Add a couple tablespoons of pasta water and simmer. The water used to boil the pasta is starchy and will help to thicken the sauce.
  • Add cornstarch. Whisk together a couple teaspoons of water with a teaspoon of cornstarch, then whisk that into the Garlic Parmesan sauce. and simmer until thickened.

Storing Leftovers

Cream sauces can be tricky to reheat, so it’s best enjoyed fresh.

Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Freeze: I do not recommend freezing as the sauce tends to break or become watery when reheating.

Reheating: For best results, I highly recommend reheating in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat. If you want to reheat in the microwave, do so at medium (50%) power.

Garlic Parmesan Tortellini in a white bowl.

More Delicious Pasta Recipes

Recipe
Pan full of garlic parmesan tortellini

Garlic Parmesan Tortellini

4.57 from 23 votes
Cheesy Tortellini in a creamy, rich Garlic Parmesan sauce. My Garlic Parmesan Tortellini is so indulgent and full of flavor, and the best part is it whips up in just about 20 minutes!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1-20 oz package Fresh Tortellini or 2- 9 oz
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
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Instructions
 

  • Cook Tortellini in a pot of boiling, salted water, according to package directions.
  • Melt butter in a saute pan and add garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, add flour and cook for 2 minutes, until it starts to turn a golden color.
  • Whisk in milk and heavy cream and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Remove pan from heat and gently stir in the freshly grated Parmesan, stirring constantly until completely melted. Add more milk or more cheese as need until you are happy with the consistency.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Toss Tortellini in the sauce and divide into bowls.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Notes

If your sauce isn’t thick enough for your taste, there are a few things you can do.
  • Add a couple ounces of cream cheese. Stir in to the warm sauce until it melts.
  • Add a couple tablespoons of pasta water and simmer. The water used to boil the pasta is starchy and will help to thicken the sauce.
  • Add cornstarch. Whisk together a couple teaspoons of water with a teaspoon of cornstarch, then whisk that into the Garlic Parmesan sauce. and simmer until thickened.
Keyword cheese tortellini, skillet tortellini

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 8gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 256mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1026IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 213mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. JenniferW says:

    This one didn’t hit the flavor I was expecting. I think I might need more garlic in it next time. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Jennifer, Personal tastes can be vastly differently. Definitely give it a try with a little more garlic.

  2. Kim says:

    We made this for dinner tonight. Amazing dish. I did change it a bit however. I added mushrooms, broccoli Flowerettes, 1/2 C of white wine & about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese. We will make this again ☺️

    1. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback Kim! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Jacob Burkhart says:

    I made this tonight and it turned out amazing. The whole family loved it. I added more garlic because we love garlic, and used an Asiago Parmesan blend. I would recommend this recipe to anyone.

    1. Kristin says:

      That’s Awesome Jacob! Thanks for stopping by to share some feedback.

  4. Jerril Madsen says:

    Yum yum. No changes to the recipe. The sauce was delicious. Thank you.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Jerril! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Erin says:

    This was such a good sauce! Nice flavour, not too strong, and creamy. I used 2 cups of 1% milk and I added some cubed cooked ham to the sauce, and it went well with the sauce and cheese tortellini. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      I love ham with tortellini. Great idea!

  6. Valerie Jaeger says:

    FINALLY! Yes there are a lot of ads but I finally found a blog site I can easily navigate through, and print a recipe without subscribing or downloading some intrusive extension AND I can choose to print without an image. Thank you so much! This is my new go-to site for easy navigation (:

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      I’m glad you found it helpful Valerie!

  7. mdallal says:

    is there any way to do this recipe without flour?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      The flour is what thickens the sauce, so you can’t omit it. But you could make an Homemade Alfredo Sauce instead.

  8. Cassie says:

    Can I use 2 cups of half and half instead of 1 cup of nonfat milk and 1 cup heavy cream?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Yes, any combination of milk/cream will work.

      1. Cassie says:

        Thank you!! I actually made this tonight for my husband and I….and it was absolutely delicious!!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!!!

        1. Kristin says:

          You are so welcome Cassie! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Kelsey says:

    We loved this recipe. Thanks!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Kelsey.

  10. Meg says:

    Amazing and simple!!! Rave reviews from the family!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! So happy that you and your family loved this recipe! Thanks for stopping by Meg.