Brown Butter Bacon Tortellini – Two Peas & Their Pod


Quick Summary

Brown Butter Bacon Tortellini- cheese tortellini with bacon, asparagus, Parmesan cheese, and the most luxurious brown butter sauce. This simple pasta dish is a weeknight favorite!

cheese tortellini with bacon, asparagus, and brown butter in skillet

Let’s talk about why this Brown Butter Bacon Tortellini is the perfect pasta dish.

  • First, it starts with cheese tortellini, cheese filled pasta is always a BIG yes!
  • Second, BACON! Do I need to say anything else?
  • The dish also has crisp, tender asparagus to brighten up the dish, but you can easily swap your favorite vegetable.
  • Next, the brown butter sauce is absolutely incredible. Brown butter makes everything better!
  • Finally, the dish is finished with basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

All of these ingredients combined in ONE bowl? Pasta heaven and dinner heaven!

Oh, and it gets better because this meal only takes about 20 minutes to make. It is perfect for busy weeknights or easy entertaining. This tortellini recipe is a WINNER!

brown butter bacon tortellini ingredients

Key Ingredients

  • Tortellini– you can use refrigerated cheese tortellini or frozen cheese tortellini.
  • Butter– the brown butter creates the most amazing sauce!
  • Bacon– use thick-cut sliced bacon!
  • Asparagus– remove tough ends and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Shallot– you can find shallots in the produce section by the onions.
  • Garlic– garlic is a MUST for pasta!
  • Parmesan cheese– I recommend grating fresh Parmesan for the best flavor, it is A LOT better than bagged or canned Parmesan cheese.
  • Basil– fresh basil really brightens up the dish.

How to Make Brown Butter Tortellini

  • First, cook the tortellini, according to package instructions. Make sure you reserve about ¼ cup of the starchy cooking water, then drain the pasta and set it aside.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams, smells nutty, and browns. This will take about 5 minutes. Scrape the browned butter into a small bowl and set aside.
  • Add the chopped bacon to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus pieces and shallot; cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the bacon to be golden brown and crispy and the asparagus to be crisp, but tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Add the cooked tortellini to the skillet. Pour in the browned butter and stir until the pasta is well coated. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and basil. Add more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • I like to garnish the pasta with crushed red pepper flakes and extra Parmesan cheese.
brown butter bacon tortellini with asparagus

Variations

This recipe is somewhat flexible. If you want to play around with the recipe, here are some swaps that work well.

  • You can use regular pasta or ravioli instead of tortellini.
  • Instead of asparagus, use your favorite vegetable. Mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, artichokes, broccoli, and bell peppers are all good options.
  • If you want to make a vegetarian dish, you can omit the bacon and use more veggies. Also, make sure you check out our Brown Butter Mushroom Pasta, it’s fantastic!
  • Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes for a flavor boost!
  • Garnish with toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans for a nutty crunch.

Serving Suggestions

A big bowl of pasta is such a satisfying meal, but if you want to serve a few dishes on the side, these are good ones!!

How to Store

You can store leftover tortellini in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop in a skillet or in the microwave. The sauce and flavors will come to life after being reheated. Garnish with more cheese and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

brown butter bacon tortellini with asparagus in bowl with spoon

More Tortellini Recipes

Brown Butter Bacon Tortellini

Cheese tortellini with bacon, asparagus, Parmesan cheese, and the most luxurious brown butter sauce. This simple pasta dish is a weeknight favorite!

  • 1 pound cheese tortellini
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, remove tough ends and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly chopped basil
  • Crushed red pepper flakes and extra Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions. Reserve about ¼ cup of the starchy cooking water, then drain the pasta and set it aside.

  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams, smells nutty, and browns. This will take about 5 minutes. Scrape the browned butter into a small bowl and set aside.

  • Add the chopped bacon to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus pieces and shallot; cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the bacon to be golden brown and crispy and the asparagus to be crisp, but tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Add the cooked tortellini to the skillet. Pour in the browned butter and stir until the pasta is well coated. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and basil. Add more salt and pepper, if desired.

  • Serve warm and garnish crushed red pepper flakes and extra Parmesan cheese.

Store the leftover tortellini in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
Feel free to swap the asparagus for your favorite veggies. 

Calories: 477kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 79mg, Sodium: 699mg, Potassium: 193mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 922IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 230mg, Iron: 3mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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