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5 Ingredient Beefy Tortellini Mac and Cheese is a winner dinner! Soft, cheese-filled pasta surrounded by a cheddar cheese sauce with savory beef flavors is fantastically delicious just as is!
But, when you add savory, buttery seasoned breadcrumbs on top of that, this beef pasta casserole is instantly taken to another level!
What’s to Love about this 5 Ingredient Tortellini Mac and Cheese Casserole
Don’t you just love easy meals that are delicious enough for everyone at the table to enjoy digging into?
- All the ingredients for this recipe are easily found at your local grocers. Nothing fancy, but entirely delicious!
- This is an EAZY 5-ingredient recipe that’s on the table in less than 30 minutes.
- You can easily meal prep this recipe in batches and freeze it for even quicker future meals.
- Ground Beef: This recipe uses lean ground beef but there are multiple ways to switch up the protein with this pasta casserole that I’ll explain more about in the body of the post.
- Tortellini: You’ll want to use cheese-filled tortellini for this recipe. Commercially bought tortellini also comes stuffed with beef that, if you want to double up on the protein, is totally fine. I just liked the feature of using two different kinds of cheese for some flavor differences.
- Cheddar: The sky is the limit here. I used sharp cheddar because I think you get more bang for your flavor buck with sharp cheddar. However, you should use your favorite cheese for this pasta casserole. Just be sure that it melts easily.
- Seasoned Breadcrumbs: Using seasoned breadcrumbs adds another easy layer of flavor that you didn’t have to make yourself. This is a helper ingredient that I like to use a lot in the kitchen. You can make your own seasoned breadcrumbs if you’d like, or substitute Japanese Panko crumbs.
- Evaporated Milk: Nothing fancy here, just your regular store-bought, canned variety.
Pantry Ingredients: Salt and pepper and minced garlic (garlic powder is fine).
EAZYTIP: Remember, ingredients like salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, and oil don’t count towards the ingredient list because most people have these items in the pantry.
How to Make Beef and Cheese Tortellini Dish
Doing a few things at the same time helps us get this tortellini casserole in the oven in record time.
- Start by preheating your oven to 350.
- Get a pot of salted water on the stove to boil, then add the tortellini.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, start to brown the ground beef. Season with garlic powder (or minced), salt, and pepper.
- Once the tortellini is cooked al dente, drain and set aside. Use the same pot to make your cheese sauce. Heat the evaporated milk to almost boiling then add the cheese in batches to melt, making the sauce. Season.
- When the sauce is ready, add the tortellini and give it a mix.
- Add the saucy tortellini to the beef mixture and incorporate well.
- Transfer that mixture to a baking dish, cover with the breadcrumbs, and bake.
For a complete guide to ingredient amounts and directions, look below at the bottom of this post for a printable recipe card.
Ways to Level Up this Easy Weeknight Dinner
- Change up the Protein: Feel free to use ground chicken or turkey for a lighter, calorie-saving casserole.
- Changing up the Cheese: As mentioned earlier, changing up the cheese can easily transform this casserole so many times that it’s a new meal every single time you serve it. Try pairing cheddar with mozzarella, or add some fontina or provolone would be a nice mix.
- Leave out the Breadcrumbs: I really like the textural contrast of the breadcrumbs with the soft pasta and sauce. But another great topping would be grated parmesan cheese to give the casserole an even cheesier flavor.
- Addins: Try adding some sauteed onions and/or peppers to the mixture while cooking the beef to not only extend the volume of the casserole but also add extra flavor interest. Adding small steamed broccoli florets would do the same thing while adding extra vegetable nutrition!
What do you Serve with this Beef Tortellini Recipe?
This casserole will go with so many great side dishes.
- Try roasted Broccoli or Cauliflower.
- Steamed Carrots would be an excellent side dish to pair with it.
- Chopped Garden Salad
Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep them in a lidded container to prevent drying out.
Freezing the leftovers in individual portions is a great option as well. Use freezer-friendly containers, and store them for up to 2 months.
To reheat, you can thaw them overnight in the fridge, or freeze them in individual portions, then heating them in the microwave for a few minutes from frozen to make a perfect lunch or quick dinner.
Questions You Might Have
Can I use Ravioli instead?
Absolutely! If that’s what you have on hand, certainly go ahead and use it. It would be similar to my Cheater Lasagna recipe if you wanted to take a peek at that. Ravioli is a great stand-in for tortellini in this recipe.
Do I have to use the Breadcrumbs?
No. The breadcrumbs are an optional flavor/texture component of the recipe. You can choose to top with shredded parmesan or mozzarella cheese, or simply leave it as is. I recommend covering the casserole dish with tin foil while it bakes so it the top layer doesn’t dry out in the oven.
If you’ve already made this recipe, please leave a review below letting me know what you think of it! Thanks for stopping by today!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 package of Cheese filled fresh tortellini, 250 grams
- 1 Evaporated Milk, 8 ounces
- 8 ounces Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup Breadcrumbs, seasoned
- As desired, salt and pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoon butter, optional
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cook the tortellini according to the al dente stage on the package. (Cook 2 minutes less than what the package says for fully cooked tortellini). Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a skillet, saute the ground beef. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook thoroughly, about 5 minutes, and drain any excess oil.
- Using the same pot the pasta was cooked in, begin to heat up the evaporated milk. When it gets a boil, turn down the heat to low and begin adding the shredded cheese. Add it in small amounts so it melts completely into the sauce.
- Add the drained tortellini to the cheese sauce.
- Add the tortellini mixture to the cooked beef and mix to incorporate everything. Transfer to a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
- **Optional step - melt the butter and add it to the breadcrumbs. Mix it well to incorporate the butter fully through the crumbs.
- Sprinkle the crumbs over top the pasta dish and bake for 20 minutes or until everything is heated through. Serve and enjoy!
Serving Size1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 582Total Fat 36gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 137mgSodium 657mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 1gSugar 6gProtein 37g
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands used, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.