Cheese Tortellini in Chunky Vegetable-Marinara Sauce

Total Time
5 hr 25 min
15 min
5 hr 10 min
Frozen, stuffed pasta works wonders in slow cookers. This recipe comes out more like a pasta bake than a saucy dish – perfect for the whole family.


extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp

uncooked zucchini

6 small, trimmed and diced

uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, finely chopped

garlic clove(s)

2 medium clove(s), finely chopped

store bought marinara sauce

1½ cup(s)

fresh baby spinach

8 cup(s), packed

kosher salt

½ tsp, (or to taste)

black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground (or to taste)

crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp

frozen cheese tortellini without sauce

6 cup(s)

shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

½ cup(s)


  1. To make veggie sauce, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and onion; cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 45-60 seconds. Add marinara sauce, spinach, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes; stir to combine (add spinach in batches, if necessary, and add more as it wilts). Cover and reduce heat to medium; simmer until spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Season to taste, if desired.
  2. Spoon 2 c sauce into a 6-quart slow cooker and top with half of frozen tortellini; spoon 2 c sauce over top and top with remaining tortellini. Spoon remaining sauce over; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook on low heat until tortellini are tender, about 5 hours.
  3. Serving size: 1 1/3 c

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