An Easy Tortellini Recipe with Spinach
Cheese tortellini, navy beans, baby spinach, grape tomatoes, and green olives come together with a few aromatics to make a fast, crowd-pleasing weeknight dinner. Don’t miss this one.
Doubling down on tortellini and spinach
One of our most popular recipes of all time is Spinach Tortellini Soup. That’s a great, easy, super-comforting use for cheese tortellini and spinach, and I hope you’ll make it one day soon.
But there’s another thing we like to do with a bag of baby spinach and a package of cheese tortellini — and it might be even easier. This is one of those crowd-pleasing meals that you can make anytime, anywhere. I put it together for friends recently in a rental house because it works well with basic kitchen tools and doesn’t involve a lot of chopping. But I think its highest and best use is a quick weeknight dinner.
How to make cheese tortellini with spinach
- Boil tortellini in salted water according to package instructions. Tortellini cooking times range from about two to ten minutes, so set the pot on the stove at the beginning, and start the tortellini when it makes sense.
- Sautée shallots, garlic, and chopped green olives in a little butter or olive oil until softened.
- Add some white wine, a can of navy beans, and some grape tomatoes and let them simmer away for a few minutes.
- Stir in the spinach, let it wilt, and then add the tortellini and a little grated cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
- That’s it! So good.
This tortellini recipe is:
- Vegetarian (if you use vegetarian cheese)
- Pretty good for ya
- Basically magic
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped (see note)
- 1 15-ounce can navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 18 ounces cheese tortellini OR 1 pound rigatoni
- 2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fill a big pot halfway with water and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Melt the butter (or heat the olive oil) in a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and olives and cook, stirring frequently, for about three minutes. Aim for the shallots to be slightly translucent and garlic slightly soft, without any browning.
- Stir in wine, beans, and cherry tomatoes. Raise heat to medium-high and simmer for two to three minutes, until much of the liquid has evaporated.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in spinach. Cook two to three minutes more, until wilted.
- Cook tortellini in boiling water according to package instructions.
- Drain tortellini and stir into to skillet along with the pecorino. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and some salt if you like (but taste first since there are lots of salty ingredients).
- Serve with additional grated cheese.
My favorite olives to use in this dish are the pitted green olives with lemon and garlic that Whole Foods makes on-site. Any briny green olive that you like will work well.