This bacon Alfredo tortellini recipe has a tangy cream cheese sauce with crispy bacon and parmesan! It's fast, easy, and makes a fabulous main course or side dish.
If you can't get enough Alfredo sauce, try my Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll Ups or Easy Shrimp Alfredo next.
Why you'll love it
Alfredo sauce is simple to make, but my favorite way to take it to the next level is with the slight tanginess of cream cheese. Add in bacon, and this cream cheese tortellini is a cozy weeknight treat. Readers even love it as a birthday meal!
Store-bought cheese pasta is taken from bland to grand in this creamy tortellini recipe, and a quick from-scratch sauce is just about as effortless as opening up a jar would be but tastes so much better and still has few ingredients.
What you'll need
- Tortellini - we're using cheese tortellini that's found in the refrigerated pasta section
- Bacon - it gives this dish an irresistible savory quality. Who doesn't love bacon?
- Garlic - our tasty aromatic. Use even more if you're big into garlic.
- Chicken broth - the base of the sauce. It gives another dimension of flavor.
- Heavy cream - for that luxurious, rich quality in the sauce
- Cream cheese - my top tip for improving Alfredo-style sauce and give a hint of tang. It also helps to thicken the sauce without needing flour or cornstarch! I used Philadelphia.
- Parmesan - always use freshly grated for optimal taste, texture, and meltability
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha's favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
- Time-saving tools like kitchen shears for the bacon and a garlic press make this recipe go much smoother.
- Don't have a reliable set of measuring cups yet for liquid measurements? Grab 'em now.
- I like to grate the parmesan with my handy Microplane zester.
How to make bacon tortellini Alfredo
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cut the bacon into small pieces, and fry in a skillet until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, and drain most (but not all) of the fat. Boil a pot of salted water, and cook the tortellini once the bacon is done.
Into the skillet add the garlic, chicken broth, cream, and cream cheese. Stir over medium heat until reduced and the sauce is smooth. Add in the bacon and parmesan.
Remove from the heat, and toss with the drained tortellini, reserving some of the pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Season generously with salt & pepper, and enjoy!
- We've only tested this recipe as written with the heavy cream. Yes, it's a treat meal, and that's totally okay! You could try using half-and-half, but the sauce will be thinner and less rich. I would not recommend using milk in this one as a substitution.
What to serve with bacon cream cheese tortellini
- It's an awesome special occasion meal, so go all out and pair it with a big slice of Cheesy Garlic Bread if serving it as a main course.
- A fresh side salad is a great complement. I recommend mixed greens with my Creamy Balsamic Dressing or this Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad.
- This bacon tortellini recipe also makes a rich side dish to go along with my Crockpot Pork Tenderloin, simple Chicken Milanese, or Easy Meatloaf.
Leftovers and storage
- This is one of those dishes that's best served fresh. If you have any leftovers, though, store in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container.
- Reheat in a saucepan slowly and over a low heat so the sauce doesn't separate. Add more liquid if needed as leftovers may dry out.
- I don't recommend freezing leftovers. This dish is very creamy, so the texture will definitely change when thawed.
Leave a review of this simple tortellini recipe in the comments below! Feel free to ask any questions if the blog post didn't answer them. As always, I love to see your creations, so tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.
Bacon Tortellini Alfredo
- 2 (9 ounce) packages refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 block of Philly) softened
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Boil a large, salted pot of water for the tortellini. Start cooking the tortellini once the bacon is done (it'll only take a few minutes for the tortellini to cook).
- Cut the bacon into small pieces (I use kitchen shears to make the job easy). Fry it in a skillet over medium-high heat until crispy (about 10 minutes).
- Take the pan off the heat and remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Drain most of the bacon fat from the pan (keep about 1 tablespoon in there).
- Stir in the garlic, chicken broth, cream, and cream cheese. Return the pan to the burner (medium heat), and stir until you've got a smooth sauce and it's reduced to your liking (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in the parmesan cheese and bacon. Take the pan off the heat and toss with the drained tortellini (but if the sauce is too thick, thin it with a few spoonfuls of the hot pasta water prior to draining it). Season with salt & pepper as needed.
- Take the cream cheese out of your fridge 30+ minutes prior to starting the recipe so it has a chance to soften up. Or, you can microwave it for about 30 seconds (microwaves vary so watch it closely) to soften it up.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This recipe was originally published on January 19, 2020. It's been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!
Amanda Rozio says
Hi! Could we save this recipe for leftovers?
Hi Amanda! I find this recipe isn't the greatest left over. Creamy sauces like this just don't tend to reheat so well, and the pasta can get a bit dry. If you do reheat, I'd say to do it over a low heat (slowly) so the sauce has the best chance of not separating.
When do you add whipping cream? Am I overlooking it?
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Step 4 🙂 Enjoy!
I found this recipe while looking for a dupe of a favorite restaurant dish. It did not disappoint!! I added sliced mushrooms and some diced onion to the sauté mix and then a little chicken bouillon to the sauce. A dash of Italian seasoning and it was perfect! Thanks for a great restaurant quality recipe!😋
That's awesome!! So glad you liked it, Belinda! Thanks for your 5-star review - it's very appreciated! 🙂
Sounds like excellent recipe. Many thanks.
Enjoy!! Let me know how you like it.
This recipe is good. I made it per directed the first time. The second time I switched it up and did penne noodles and added diced chicken and asparagus. Plus instead of bacon I used prosciutto. So good!!!
That sounds delicious, Danielle! Thanks for your 5-star review! 🙂