Photo of Cheese Tortellini in Chunky Vegetable-Marinara Sauce by WW

Cheese Tortellini in Chunky Vegetable-Marinara Sauce

Total Time
5 hr 25 min
15 min
5 hr 10 min
This meatless entrée practically cooks itself, thanks to a handy slow cooker. In 15 minutes or less, you can have the ingredients assembled in the slow cooker and then the rest of the work is virtually hands-off. The sauce gets its rounded flavor from browning the vegetables before combining them with the marinara so it's worth the effort to follow this step. Frozen, stuffed pasta holds up beautifully in the slow cooker and it absorbs the robust liquid to make the final dish come out more like a pasta bake than a saucy dish. Plus, the cooker will keep it warm which is perfect on nights for when some family members need to eat at different times.


Extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked zucchini

6 small, trimmed and diced

Uncooked onion

1 medium, finely chopped


2 clove(s), finely chopped

Store-bought marinara sauce

1½ cup(s)

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 cup