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Lunch / Dinner

Creamy Sausage Tortellini

It doesn’t get much more comforting, or simple, than this creamy, Italian sausage tomato sauce. Mostly hands off, this sauce simmers away in the slow cooker and develops incredible tomato flavor. Then cream cheese is melted in at the end for undeniable creaminess. Delicious served over tortellini, this simple, creamy meat sauce can be served over any pasta you have on hand.


6 servings

Total Time

20 minutes + 3 hours (low)

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Test Kitchen Tip

This coarse pork sausage, seasoned with fennel or anise seed, comes in two styles: spicy (with red pepper flakes) or sweet (without), and is sold in links or bulk. Either works here, but remove casing from links before cooking


Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high. Add sausage and sauté until cooked through. Add onions and garlic; cook 23 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and pepper flakes; cook 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes and broth, scraping up any brown bits; transfer to a 4- to 6-qt. slow cooker.

Cover slow cooker and cook sauce on low setting, 3 hours.

Cook tortellini according to package directions.

Stir cream cheese and basil into slow cooker just before serving, allowing cream cheese to melt; serve over tortellini.


Add tomato paste to the sausage for depth of flavor, but cook it to get rid of the raw flavor.


For the most flavor, be sure to scrape up any of the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.


For the creamiest texture, add the cream cheese just before serving and stir until it melts.

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