Air Fryer Cheesy Tortellini and Sausage Bake is a quick and easy way to whip up a hearty yet flavorful meal. It’s perfect for a busy weeknight dinner but equally fantastic for entertaining!
Every time I make this dish, the aroma fills my kitchen with a delicious, comforting smell. I don’t know if it’s just us, but it really does make everyone in the house hungry. The bite-sized cheese tortellini and Italian sausage combined in tomato sauce and topped with two kinds of cheese is heavenly! It’s truly something the whole family can enjoy for a cozy dinner or an outdoor potluck.
If you’re searching for a new air fryer recipe for pasta night, try this tortellini bake recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I used to make Italian sausage tortellini baked in the oven, but nothing beats the convenience of using an air fryer! It’s the perfect way to cut down on cooking time—10 minutes max—while enjoying an incredibly flavorful meal. The air fryer does all the work for you; all you need to do is pre-cook the ingredients and assemble everything in a pan!
What Kind of Sausage Should I Use?
For this particular recipe, I recommend using mild Italian sausage. I find that the flavor of the mild sausage really stands out without overpowering the entire dish. It complements nicely with the cheesy tortellini, slightly sweet marinara sauce, and creamy, melty cheese.
Others prefer sweet Italian sausage, which is essentially the same as mild but with sweet basil that gives it a distinct sweet taste. If you prefer a spicier dish, opt for the hot version instead.
Feel free to use whichever kind of sausage you prefer, but mild is the best for this bake. Ensure the sausages are fully cooked before adding the crumbles to the mix!
Ingredients You Need for Air Fryer Tortellini and Sausage Bake
Whether you’re cooking for your family or feeding a group, this air fryer cheesy tortellini and sausage bake will surely become a crowd favorite. With its delicious combination of cheese tortellini, Italian sausage, and gooey cheese, this casserole-style dish packs a ton of flavor that people of all ages will love!
The best part? It’s all made in the air fryer, so you don’t have to worry about preheating your oven or babysitting a pot on the stove. Plus, it cooks up quickly and easily with minimal effort on your part. Easy, delicious, made with simple ingredients, and ready in under 30 minutes—what more could you ask for?
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Tortellini: These are bite-sized pasta pockets that cook quickly and evenly in the air fryer.
- Sausage: This provides the meaty and flavorful base of the bake.
- Marinara Sauce: A good-quality sauce adds depth and moisture.
- Mozzarella Cheese: This gives the gooey, melty goodness.
- Parmesan Cheese: This adds a sharp, cheesy flavor and a nice crust.
- Olive Oil: For cooking the sausage.
- Fresh Basil or Parsley: For garnish (optional).
- Red Pepper Flakes: A pinch (optional, for a spicy kick).
- Salt and Pepper: To taste.
How to Make Air Fryer Tortellini Bake with Sausage
If you’re tired of the usual spaghetti and meatballs dinner, try this recipe ASAP! The most common way of cooking this pasta casserole is in the oven, but now, you can make an equally satisfying version in a fraction of the time without heating your entire kitchen. Thanks to the air fryer, it’s basically all the flavors you love about a good casserole with no fuss!
Anyone who loves pasta and cheese will definitely go crazy for this dish. The combination of sweet, savory, and smoky flavors is a true winner, so I’m sure your family will love it (at least mine did!). Not to mention, the leftovers are downright amazing, making it a great make-ahead meal.
So, let me walk you through the steps in making this awesome tortellini and sausage bake in the air fryer!
Pre-Cook Tortellini: Boil the tortellini just a minute or two shy of the package’s instructions (they’ll continue to cook in the air fryer). Drain and set aside.
Cook Sausage: In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and sausage. Break the sausage into small crumbles and cook until browned. Remove from heat and drain excess fat.
Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the pre-cooked tortellini, cooked sausage, and marinara sauce. Mix well until the tortellini is well-coated.
Transfer to Air Fryer: Place the mixture into an air fryer-safe dish or pan that fits comfortably inside your air fryer.
Cheese Topping: Evenly spread the shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese over the top.
Air Fry: Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Place the dish in the air fryer and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and has a golden brown color on top. If your air fryer has a broiling function, you can use that for the last 2 minutes to get a crispy cheese top.
Serve: Carefully remove the dish from the air fryer. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if desired. Serve hot.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Cheesy Tortellini and Sausage Bake
This tortellini bake with sausage recipe combines all of your favorite Italian flavors into one comforting meal. It’s great for a quick weeknight dinner, family get-togethers, and even potlucks when you need to feed a crowd.
Serve it on its own or with salads, crusty bread, and vegetables like:
- Cucumber Salad
- Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
- Air Fryer Keto Garlic Cheese Bread
- Air Fryer Crack Bread
- Air Fryer Vegetable Flatbread
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- Air Fryer Vegan Zucchini Fries
- Air Fryer Roasted Cauliflower
- Air Fryer Roasted Mini Peppers
Pro Tips for Making Air Fryer Sausage Tortellini Bake
- Make Ahead: Even though this dish comes together quickly, you can still make it ahead by assembling the ingredients and keeping it in the fridge for up to three days. Pop it in the air fryer for about 5-8 minutes longer when you’re ready to eat!
- Cook Until Al Dente: Since the tortellini will continue to cook in the air fryer, only cook it until al dente to ensure it doesn’t become too soft and mushy. Follow the package instructions for this one.
- Preheat Your Air Fryer: Don’t forget to preheat your air fryer before adding the ingredients to ensure everything cooks evenly and quickly.
- Grease The Pan: Lightly grease the air fryer pan with cooking spray or oil to prevent sticking. It also helps with cleanup!
- Crumble Evenly: When cooking the sausages, break them into small pieces for even distribution in the casserole. Keep it chunky but not too big for that perfect bite.
- Add Water: If the marinara sauce is too thick, add a splash of water to thin it out. You can even pour that water into the empty sauce jar to get every last drop of the sauce!
Frequently Asked Questions For Cooking Air Fryer Italian Sausage Tortellini Bake
What is tortellini filled with?
Tortellini is a type of Italian pasta traditionally filled with cheese and meats. In this recipe, I’m using a refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini.
Can I use frozen tortellini?
Absolutely! Just like when using the refrigerated version, cook it to al dente according to package instructions before adding it with the rest of the ingredients. It will cook a little longer, but it will still be perfect for this recipe. Note that some frozen packs are pre-cooked already, so make sure to check the label.
Is tortellini the same as ravioli?
Tortellini and ravioli are both Italian stuffed pastas but they are not the same. Tortellini is a small ring-shaped pasta made from several folds of thin dough that’s filled with cheese and meat. On the other hand, ravioli is larger, thicker, and has a round or square shape with a filling of meat and cheese, usually ricotta, in the middle sealed between two layers of pasta dough.
Air Fryer Cheesy Tortellini and Sausage Bake
- 16 ounces Tortellini
- 12 ounces Sausage
- 2 cups Marinara Sauce
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese,
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese:
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- Fresh Basil or Parsley: For garnish, optional.
- 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes, optional, for a spicy kick.
- Salt and Pepper: To taste.
- Pre-Cook Tortellini: Boil the tortellini just a minute or two shy of the package’s instructions (they’ll continue to cook in the air fryer). Drain and set aside.
- Cook Sausage: In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and sausage. Break the sausage into small crumbles and cook until browned. Remove from heat and drain excess fat.
- Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the pre-cooked tortellini, cooked sausage, and marinara sauce. Mix well until the tortellini is well-coated.
- Transfer to Air Fryer: Place the mixture into an air fryer-safe dish or pan that fits comfortably inside your air fryer.
- Cheese Topping: Evenly spread the shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese over the top.
- Air Fry: Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Place the dish in the air fryer and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and has a golden brown color on top. If your air fryer has a broiling function, you can use that for the last 2 minutes to get a crispy cheese top.
- Serve: Carefully remove the dish from the air fryer. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if desired. Serve hot.
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Parchment Paper