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Sue’s Spicy Tomato Basil Tortellini

A friend remarked about a similar baked tortellini dish at a restaurant, so I wanted to try re-creating it for her at home. My stovetop version makes it weeknight easy. —Cynthia Gerken, Naples, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 package (19 ounces) frozen cheese tortellini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil


  • Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; saute until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
  • In the same pan, add onion, habanero pepper, garlic and the remaining Italian seasoning and oil; reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook and stir until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in cream; bring to a boil. Add tortellini, chicken and cheese; heat through. Top with basil to serve.

Test Kitchen tips
  • If you don't have fire-roasted diced tomatoes, use plain or try diced tomatoes flavored with basil, oregano and garlic.
  • This meal feels special and is quick and easy to get on the table, which makes it perfect for weeknight dinner guests!

  • Editor's Note
    Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
    Nutrition Facts
    1-1/4 cups: 488 calories, 31g fat (17g saturated fat), 126mg cholesterol, 575mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 22g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • Aubrey
      Nov 16, 2020

      I am just trying to get out of my shell and start cooking more in preparation to move out and this recipe gave me that confidence I needed! I had to make a few adjustments based on the ingredients at my local grocery store but it was still delicious. I had difficulty finding fire-roasted tomatoes, so instead used diced tomatoes that had Italian seasoning, I also faced difficulty with the habenaro pepper, having to switch to jalapeno, just due to the people I was serving it to were not too into spice. One thing, is that I did have difficulty making the sauce thicker, mine was thin (still taste good) but I think that is purely a result of my lack of experience, and maybe not adding the ingredients such as heavy whipping cream at the right time or something with my stirring. Overall, I can't wait to make this dish again, it was delicious and quick to make!

    • justmbeth
      Oct 2, 2018

      I had a bit of problem with my fire roasted tomatoes where they were more of a puree than diced. Nonetheless, the sauce turned out wonderful.