This tortellini with 3 cheeses is super easy in your slow cooker!
You’ll never believe how easy this cheesy tortellini is to make–and most of the credit will go to your slow cooker!
I got the idea for mine from my friend Amy who runs the blog Funny Is Family. She posted her version in my Facebook crock pot group and said that her family “fights like wild dogs,” to eat this meal. Now, I had to laugh at that and even though she said this with much humor, she said it was a fairly accurate description. After all, this is a kid-pleasing meal as well as an adult-pleasing one.
Most versions, including Amy’s, use sausage. Don’t get me wrong, sausage is delicious and I enjoy it in most any “red” Italian dish, but for this my taste ran to ground beef. So that’s what I made it with. When it comes to the cheeses, well, that’s pretty much up to what you like, except I would say that mozzarella should be at least one of the cheeses you include. I also included cream cheese to add a creaminess to the sauce and a slightly mellower flavor.
Here, I used fresh tri-colored cheese tortellini. I think cheese is the best choice for this, but that’s just my opinion and since the refrigerated fresh tortellini come in so many varieties, don’t let yourself be hampered when you make this. Changing the flavor of the pasta will change the character of the dish–so go by your personal taste. I picked the tri-color because I thought it’d look very appetizing–and it was!
Because there’s quite a bit of cheese involved here, I didn’t use any salt in this meal. The sauce part cooks first, so resist the temptation to salt that. Better to wait until you’ve added all the cheeses and let them melt to taste and make seasoning corrections at that time.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp basil
- 1 pkg (9-10 oz) fresh cheese tortellini
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 oz cream cheese
- ½ cup shredded cheddar
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat; drain and add to a 4-5 quart slow cooker
- Add the undrained diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar, oregano and basil; stir.
- Cover and cook on high 2-4 hours, low 4-6 hours.
- Add the cream cheese and tortellini; stir. Cover switch the cooker to high and cook for 30 additional minutes. Stir well.
- Add the remaining cheeses, stirring until all the cheese is melted and incorporated.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.