Easy Cheesy Tortellini Al Forno

An easy Olive Garden copycat to make at home this Cheesy Tortellini Al Forno recipe is like carb-y baked heaven. Stuffed Tortellini pasta is baked in a bubbly, garlic cream sauce with peas and topped with salty bacon for one comfort dish you’ll want to eat all year long. 

Baked Tortellini al forno in a blue and white casserole with a spoon scooping a serving out and melty stretchy cheese.

There once was a time when I didn’t like tortellini pasta.  I know, so weird but the fact was I had never even tried it and then when I finally did I was kicking myself for all those childhood years wasted shunning like the most amazing pasta on the planet.  I mean….carbs stuffed with cheese….or equally amazing other things. So dumb.

Now….give me all the tortellini recipes….all the tortellini salads….all the Tortellini al Forno. If you’ve ever been to Olive Garden you’ll know what I’m talking about….their Five Cheese Tortellini al Forno is something of a dream. It’s rich garlic cream sauce is extra cheesy and the cheese stuffed tortellini is soft, pillowy and light. 

Tortellini al Forno is, basically, the most amazing thing you’ll ever take a bite of.  I promise you that. Unless you’re lactose intolerant. Then, I’m sorry.

Overhead shot of Tortellini al Forno in a blue and white baking dish.

What is Tortellini al Forno?

Easy Cheesy Tortellini al Forno is just a baked pasta dish. Al Forno, in Italian, refers to a food that’s been baked in an oven…al forno style. It’s very popular at the American Olive Garden restaurant chain but is also a great way to make a one pot pasta dinner at home.

While you could just toss cooked tortellini in the garlic cream sauce and dig in….a baked tortellini casserole is truly an amazing recipe to have in your back pocket.  The molten cheesy sauce is something short of miraculous and the whole family will absolutely love it.

Baked Tortellini al Forno on a white plate with a small green salad.

How to you make the recipe for Tortellini al Forno?

For my easy Tortellini al Forno, this simple recipe starts with an easy bechamel sauce.  Bechamel is just like a roux for gumbo using butter and flour, it’s a thickening agent for most stews and cheese sauces like in my favorite Five Cheese Mac and Cheese recipe.

But for the start of this bechamel, I use the fat from rendering bacon which will later be used as the topping for Tortellini al Forno.

  1. Start by cooking the bacon in a large skillet until crisp.
  2. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve for later
  3. Add the onions and saute until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and stir to combine. Cook the mixture for 1-2 minutes or until beginning to turn a golden brown.
  5. Slowly add the milk to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  6. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the cheese stirring until melted.
  8. Fold in the tortellini.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
  10. Bake until golden and bubbling.
  11. Top with bacon and serve immediately.

Close up of Tortellini al forno on a white plate with a salad and a blue fork.

What type of tortellini do you use for this Tortellini al Forno recipe?

To make this Tortellini al Forno recipe you should use fresh tortellini which you can find in your grocery store refrigerated pasta section. It’s soft and pliable which allows for you to add the tortellini to the cheese sauce uncooked. It will soak up all the garlic flavors of the sauce and become soft, tender and so amazingly yummy.

If you want to replace the tortellini with tortelloni, which is larger, instead….it will work in just the same way as the fresh tortellini.

If you’re having trouble locating fresh tortellini, you can use the dry tortellini in it’s place but you will need to cook it to under al dente….or for half the recommended cooking time on the package directions.

Close up of cheese pull shot from Tortellini al Forno in a blue and white casserole dish.

What to Serve with Cheesy Tortellini al Forno

My favorite things to serve with this Tortellini al Forno pasta are also these reader favorites:

Loaded iceberg wedge salad with a balsamic glaze being drizzled on top from TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

Want even more easy Tortellini recipes? These are always hits with the family:

Ready in just 30 minutes, this Creamy Tuscan Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe is a family favorite. Made from scratch with pantry staples, this is the perfect soup for any week night dinner. TheSuburbanSoapbox.com @suburbansoapbox

If you want to try a few more easy baked pasta recipe, these are always sooo amazing:

The Very Best Baked Ziti recipe in a white baking dish with a spoonful being scooped out and stretchy melty cheese from thesuburbansoapbox.com

AND be sure to follow us over on Instagram for even more family friendly recipe inspiration!

Tortellini al Forno being served with stretchy cheese.

Easy Cheesy Tortellini Al Forno Recipe

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: baked pasta, tortellini al forno
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 708 kcal
Author: Kellie

Olive Garden's Tortellini al Forno recipe made easy, this simple baked tortellini dinner is always a hit with the whole family.

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 pound refrigerated cheese filled tortellini pasta
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 2 cups grated extra-sharp white cheddar
  • 1 cup grated mild provolone
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated asiago
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large pot over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the onions to the pot and cook until softened, approximately 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the onions, stirring to combine. (It will look a little like a paste.) Continue cooking, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  6. Slowly add the milk and cream, whisking constantly to incorporate.
  7. Stir in the nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a low boil, whisking constantly.
  8. Reduce to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and cook until the sauce sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 4-5 minutes.
  9. Stir in the salt, pepper, mustard powder and peas.
  10. Add the cheeses (except the parmesan), 1 cup at a time, whisking until each addition is completely melted before adding more. Remove from heat.
  11. Stir tortellini into the sauce and toss to coat.
  12. Transfer tortellini mixture to the prepared baking dish and place on a rimmed baking sheet covered with foil. Sprinkle parmesan evenly over pasta.
  13. Bake until golden and bubbling, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  14. Crumble the bacon and top the pasta with the bacon.
  15. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Tortellini al Forno can be assembled, covered and refrigerated for up to 48 hours before baking.

You can also FREEZE your Tortellini al Forno covered tightly for up to 2 months. To cook your frozen tortellini al forno, unwrap and cover lightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through, bubbling and golden brown. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes to brown the top even more.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Cheesy Tortellini Al Forno Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 708 Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Fat 43g66%
Saturated Fat 24g150%
Cholesterol 137mg46%
Sodium 1667mg72%
Potassium 368mg11%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 1340IU27%
Vitamin C 9.2mg11%
Calcium 863mg86%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

6 comments on “Easy Cheesy Tortellini Al Forno”

  1. I love anything with tortellini! Such a delicious recipe!

  2. This was a huge hit at my house! Really delicious!

  3. Love the tortellini with the cheese and bacon! My family loves this recipe!

  4. This is going to become a regular dinner at this house

  5. This is total comfort food! A family favorite for sure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.