Creamy Chicken Tortellini with Spinach

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Easy creamy chicken tortellini with spinach in a cream cheese tomato sauce is the ultimate lightened up comfort food.

524 CAL 53g CARBS 17g FAT 41g PROTEIN

This Chicken Tortellini dish with a creamy tomato sauce, ground lean chicken, spinach tortellini, and fresh spinach is everything you want in a comforting pasta dish but created in a lighter, fresher way.  We also love using tortellini in this Turkey Tortellini Soup.

When I think about what I want to eat on a cold night, pasta is always high up on the list. There is something about a warm bowl of pasta that just warms you up from the inside out. At the top of that pasta list for me is tortellini - the little stuffed pasta with ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. To sneak in extra veggies, I almost always choose spinach or veggie stuffed variety but anything will work. 

Now let's talk about this chicken and tortellini dish. It starts with bell peppers, onions, garlic, and Italian seasoning. This combination makes the lean ground chicken taste like sausage without the extra fat and calories.

Then comes the creamy sauce. It starts with fire-roasted diced tomatoes to add a rich tomato flavor. To that, you add cream cheese. This is my secret for making a creamy sauce without needed lots of cream and cheese. It adds the perfect touch of creaminess and all that delicious cream cheese flavor while also thickening the sauce. If you need a dairy free option, you can leave this out or use a neutral coffee creamer to thicken things up. 

To finish the dish, I love to add some fresh baby spinach.  It will wilt right in the hot sauce without the need for extra cooking. Add some fresh basil or Parmesan cheese on top and serve.

Chicken tortellini with creamy tomato sauce in a black skillet with a napkin and wooden spoon.

Recipe Tips and Ideas

There are lots of ways to customize this recipe and make it your own based on preferences or simply what you have in the fridge.

  • Protein: You can easily swap in a different protein to change up the flavor. Ground turkey is an obvious choice, but you could also try ground sausage or lean ground pork. Chicken breast works as well and the easiest option is throwing in some cooked rotisserie chicken when you add the spinach. Sliced chicken or turkey sausage is another great option. Cook it the same way you would the ground chicken, browning it on both sides. Lastly, consider you can use cooked shrimp or even salmon. Just make sure to cook it separately to make sure it doesn't overcook.
  • Vegetables: As you probably guessed, this recipe works with all kinds of vegetables. Consider adding zucchini, summer squash, kale, asparagus, broccoli, or cauliflower along with the bell peppers. 
  • Change up the spices: Italian seasoning is a natural choice for this dish, but you can switch things up by trying out different spices or making your own Italian seasoning. Use dried basil, dried oregano, red pepper flakes (if you want some heat), dried thyme, or dried parsley. You could also add fresh herbs to the dish right before sharing.
  • Use different tomatoes: You may be surprised at how much switching out the diced tomatoes can change up the flavor. Grabbing a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies or diced tomatoes with roasted red peppers can change up the flavor.
  • Switch out the pasta: If tortellini isn't your thing, you can make this with any type of pasta you like. Simply cook it al dente and add it right into the pasta as you would the tortellini. For Purple plan folks, this means you could make this a 2 point dish if you use whole wheat pasta.

Can I prep Creamy Chicken Tortellini in advance?

If you want to prep this dish in advance so it's easier for a quick dinner during the week, you have a few options:

  1. Make the sauce: I find this dish turns out best when the tortellini is cooked fresh and added to the sauce when hot. However, the sauce can be fully prepped in advance and then just reheated in a pan. Add the spinach as well so all you have to do is add the pasta. If the sauce thickens up, add some milk or chicken broth to thin it out.
  2. Prep the whole meal: You can prep this entire meal in advance and just reheat it for mealtime. Make sure to cook the pasta al dente, since you will be reheating it and you don't want it to end up mushy. Then reheat it in a pan (it will get rubbery in the microwave) and thin out the sauce with some milk, chicken broth, or extra diced tomatoes as needed.

Chicken and spinach tortellini in tomato sauce with onions, peppers, and garlic in a bowl.

How to cook packaged tortellini?

If you are buying fresh tortellini in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, simply add it to boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes until the tortellini floats to the surface. If you are cooking dry tortellini (from the dry pasta aisle), it usually takes about 10 minutes in boiling water. Since each brand is different, you will want to check the package directions.

Looking for more tortellini recipes?

The Recipe
Creamy chicken tortellini in a creamy tomato sauce with fresh spinach in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

Creamy Chicken Tortellini with Spinach

524 CAL 53g CARBS 17g FAT 41g PROTEIN
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  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 16 oz. 99% lean ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 10 oz spinach tortellini (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 14 oz canned fire roasted diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 4 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper

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Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the bell peppers and onions. Cook for 5-7 minutes until softened and the onions begin to become translucent. Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to package directions.

Bell peppers and onions being cooked in a pan.

Add the ground chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes until browned and cooked through.

Ground chicken, peppers, and onions in a pan.

Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt. Cook for about 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.

Ground chicken with garlic, Italian seasoning, and black pepper in a pan.

Turn the heat down to medium. Add the diced tomatoes with their juice and the cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese melts into a thick and creamy sauce.

Ground chicken, peppers, onions, and garlic with a diced tomatoes and cream cheese sauce.

Add the cooked tortellini and fresh spinach.

Chicken tortellini with fresh spinach in a pan with tomato sauce.

Stir together until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Add fresh basil and/or Parmesan cheese if desired.

Creamy chicken tortellini with spinach in a cream cheese tomato sauce.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.5-2 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 524
Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
Saturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 144mg
Sodium 742mg
Total Carbohydrate 53g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 7g
Protein 41g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Creamy Chicken Tortellini with Spinach
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January 12, 2023 - 06:38
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After having this in my recipes bookmarks for a few years, we finally made it. It was delicious. Everything seemed to work out just as the recipe said. Our 16 year-old son liked it, especially since it was full of protein. This recipe will certainly make it into our dinner rotation. Thanks!
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Angel Smith
February 17, 2020 - 15:19
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This was my first WW meal and holy crap is it good! I shopped at Aldi, so I had to make some small subs -including using tri color tortellini which made it so incredibly colorful!
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Jeanne Cafferata
January 19, 2020 - 11:48
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I did this with Salsa style fire roasted tomatoes with jalapeños and it was so good!
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Andy Olcott
January 16, 2020 - 10:51
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My wife made this exactly to the recipe and we all really liked it, including our 13 year-old boy who is a fairly adventurous eater. We will make it again!
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January 8, 2020 - 13:58
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Have made this recipe with milk substitutes such as almond, rice, soy? Also, have you replaced the cream cheese with a different type of cheese? If yes on one or both accounts, how did it turn out?
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January 8, 2020 - 17:42
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This recipe is delicious yet simple! I changed the spinach tortellini for 4 cheese tortellini and used garlic and herb cream cheese instead of plain. I had 1 bowl and my boyfriend finished the rest. He said it tasted gourmet and asked to add it to our go to recipes. Definitely saving this on! Thank you, Kristen!
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