Creamy Tortellini

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 24, 2008

This meal is inspired by my favorite “American” restaurant in the Dominican Republic. Whenever we were stretched and feeling culture shock at its worst, we’d go to eat at the “Pasta House”. This was my favorite dish and here is the $5 version!

1 Package Tortellini ($1.99)
White Sauce – Butter, Flour, Milk ($.50)
1 cup peas ($.50)
5 slices bacon ($.50…this week Kroger has “restock” bacon on sale for $1.99!)
1/2 bunch Asparagus ($1…on sale too at Kroger this week for $1.99/bunch!)
2 T EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) ($.20)

1. Drizzle EVOO over asparagus and let sit. After you finish the rest of the meal, saute a few minutes so asparagus is cooked, yet crunchy or “Al Dente!”

2. In large saucepan, cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain.

3. In large skillet, cook bacon on medium-high until crunchy. Set aside on paper towels. Pour off most of the bacon fat. Save a little in the skillet to use for the white sauce.

4. To make white sauce, add 2 T butter to bacon fat. Stir in 2-3 T flour. Add 2 cups milk and whisk, whisk, whisk. Turn heat to medium and let bubble. Sauce will thicken as it cooks through.

5. Add peas, tortellini and bacon to white sauce. Stir through. Let simmer until the sauce is as thick as you like it.

Cost $4.69

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P.S. My neighbor just called…WE HAVE POWER!!!!!!!!! I’m doing my happy dance as we speak!!!!!!!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephany September 24, 2008 at 6:07 pm

YEAH!!! I’M SOO GLAD YOU HAVE POWER! I LOVE your recipes! Super Yummy!!!


Frugal Finds September 25, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Happy to hear you ahve power!!! Now go shopping!!!
This meal looks yummy!! I think I will add it to my menu soon!!!


WendyDarling September 26, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Glad to hear that you have power. :-) Thank you for posting this recipe. It looks great. :-)


Gayle September 26, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Mmmmm. This looks and sounds so good.


Miriam September 29, 2008 at 7:18 pm

This IS good!! I didn’t have tortellini, but used a box of Rotini instead (I already had it and figured “pasta is pasta” LOL)… yours looks “soupier”, so I think that the box of rotini might’ve been more pasta than a box of tortellini. It was still good! Daniel had 2nds and 3rds (not big servings either time though), and kept saying “this stuff is good”. Thanks for the idea!!!


Anonymous January 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm

OH MY GOD I am so excited to have found this b/c I LOVE The Pasta House & this is one of my favorites!!!


Tina December 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Mm. We had some spinach/cheese tortellini the other day with a little red sauce. We love asparagus though, and are always interested in new ways to make it, I’m bookmarking this one! And, am very happy I found this site! :)


Marie January 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I hate bacon, any other way I can make the white sauce?
This just looks sooo good!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 11, 2010 at 4:53 pm


Yes…just use butter and no bacon grease! White sauce is basically butter, flour, milk and some salt/pepper. The bacon grease just gives it some flavor!


Tessa April 10, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I tried the Creamy-Tortellini recipe this evening for dinner and it turned out SCRUMPTIOUS!!!! Hubby had seconds so that said a lot.


Ashley April 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

I was really looking forward to trying this recipe, as I love tortellini! However, I found the white sauce to be quite bland and it wouldn’t thicken properly. I added some cornstarch to the sauce to thicken, and added some grated parmesan cheese, and still found it to be very bland.

Here is an alfredo sauce recipe that is simple, and tastes really good:


Kate/Massachusetts January 17, 2011 at 8:03 am

Erin, is there any chance you could add a “printer-friendly” option to your recipes? I know I don’t comment very often but I love what you do and use your recipes all the time! This week’s menu is a real keeper – my family will be very happy!


Mich March 2, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Modified the recipe a little with:
2 cups of coconut organic milk
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 tblsp flour
1 can green peas

Delicious! Thank you for you insight!


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