Creamy Tortellini Alfredo Panera Copycat Recipe

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Tortellini Alfredo can be made with simple, fresh ingredients for a tasty and filling meal. Add a salad or breadsticks, and dinner is served! This creamy sauce is delicious with frozen or fresh tortellini to create the perfect comfort food. 

titled (shown close up in skillet) 20 minute tortellini alfredo


Can you believe that making your own creamy alfredo sauce is this simple?

The printable recipe card below has a list of the full ingredients, so be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to make this great recipe. 

I’m all about the favor of this creamy homemade alfredo sauce recipe – and I think you’ll love it, too! This is what easy dinners should be like every time! 

Tortellini Alfredo Recipe

Create incredible tortellini with alfredo sauce that is deliciously rich and creamy, coating each bite of pasta to perfection. 

Don’t worry — it stays plenty saucy without turning to goop as it cools.

tortellini alfredo ingredients

Plus, the addition of chicken stock allows everything to simmer together in the same pan! 

You can get dinner on the table in a fraction of the time, with fewer dishes to clean afterward.

I’ve also got an incredible recipe for tortellini alfredo soup that’s loaded with fresh vegetables and spinach for a hearty, comforting meal.

If you want more Panera goodness, my Copycat Panera Chicken Noodle Soup recipe will hit the spot!

For a lighter meal, try my Chicken Pesto Pasta instead! It’s ready in just 10 minutes and features delicious bursts of fresh tomatoes.

making alfredo sauce in a pan

Alfredo Tortellini – Tips and Tricks

  • Bring ingredients to room temp. Cold dairy can be a bit finicky. 

    If you can, allow the cream cheese, milk, and cream to sit on the counter for 30 minutes before getting started.
  • Use full fat dairy! The high fat levels in both the heavy cream and cream cheese will keep the sauce from curdling when making the tortellini with alfredo sauce.
  • Experiment with flavor. You can find these tiny pasta pockets stuffed with a variety of ingredients. We love cheese tortellini, but you can pick anything you like. 
  • Simmer uncovered. This allows some of the liquid to evaporate and helps thicken the sauce.
  • Want extra protein? Brown some Italian sausage in a separate pan or crumble up cooked bacon and stir it in just before serving. Just be sure to drain off the excess grease!

This creamy tortellini alfredo is one of those easy recipes that produces quite the flavor!  

adding tortellini to sauce

Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce FAQs ‌

Can I use dried, boxed tortellini instead of fresh?

Yes, but you will need to increase the cooking time until the cheese tortellini pasta is completely tender. 

Since dry varieties require more moisture, you may also need to add additional chicken stock.

If you want it to be an easy meal, you can purchase your cheese-filled tortellini at the grocery store to save time on busy weeknights. Add a bit of kosher salt and black pepper (or garlic powder) for an extra boost of flavor! 

What else can I add to this easy tortellini alfredo recipe? 

The easiest way to customize this alfredo tortellini is by adding seasonings and spices! Dried Italian herbs would be delicious, and red pepper flakes will kick things up a notch.

Spinach is another easy addition that won’t affect the texture of the sauce. Rinse and pat the greens dry, then stir them in towards the end until wilted.

What other foods can I pair this rich alfredo sauce with?

The fun thing about making your own Alfredo sauce is that you can pair it with a lot of good options. It pairs well with cooked chicken and ground beef, and also is a great dipper for garlic bread, too. 

Cooked tortellini is my favorite way to eat this delicious recipe, but it will really pair well with any easy pasta recipe.

 Fettuccine Alfredo with cooked chicken breasts is a great side, and also makes a quick meal, too. Any pasta dishes are going to be a win. 

Don’t forget that no matter what you make, you can pair a simple salad with this delicious meal. 

How long does alfredo tortellini last in the refrigerator? 

You can save leftover cheese tortellini for up to 5 days. Allow them to cool to room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container.

Keep in mind that the pasta will continue to soften over time. Reheat over low heat on the stove, adding extra stock as needed. 

20 minute tortellini alfredo in pan

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close up of tortellini alfredo

20 minute tortellini alfredo

Creamy Tortellini Alfredo Panera Copycat Recipe

Donna Elick
Tortellini alfredo can be made with simple, fresh ingredients for a tasty and filling meal. Add a salad or breadsticks, and dinner is served!
5 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 4


  • 1 pound fresh tortellini, refrigerated
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese, sliced and softened
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley, for garnish


  • Melt butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat.
  • Add minced garlic to the butter and saute for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add cream cheese pieces to the pan and whisk as it melts to combine with the butter (mixture will appear separated but whisks into a smooth creamy sauce once the other ingredients are added).
  • Add heavy cream and whole milk gradually, whisking the sauce at the same time, until smooth.
  • Add the parmesan cheese by the handful, whisking until melted and combined between each handful of cheese.
  • Whisk in 1 cup of chicken stock and bring mixture to a simmer.
  • Add the tortellini to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly and the tortellini is cooked.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with freshly parsley and more grated parmesan, and serve.

Donna’s Notes

A rich and creamy sauce, but thin enough to coat the tortellini and remain saucy instead of thick and gloppy as the dish cools.
High fat levels in the cream cheese and heavy cream help to prevent the sauce from curdling.
The chicken stock adds enough liquid to simmer the tortellini right in the sauce, reducing time and dishes to clean. If you are using dry tortellini rather than the fresh, refrigerated kind, you will need to increase cook time and possibly add additional chicken stock.
Do not cover the pan when simmering the pasta – the extra liquid will evaporate a bit and help to thicken the sauce.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 949cal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Cholesterol: 211mg | Sodium: 994mg | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 466mg | Iron: 3mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
20 minute tortellini alfredo

Originally published January 2022, updated and republished February 2024

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  1. 5 stars
    Tortellini is easily my favorite pasta, because it can be filled with pretty much anything, my favorite filling personally is cheese. This recipe saved me so much time while still being insanely delicious.

  2. 5 stars
    wow, just made this tortellini alfredo and it was absolutely divine! so creamy and flavorful, definitely adding this to my regular rotation.

  3. 5 stars
    Made donna’s tortellini alfredo last night and it was a breeze! I added some cooked chicken for extra protein and it was fantastic. Definitely making this again.

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