Fresh, raw tortellini with flour and kitchen untensil
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Can You Freeze Tortellini?

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If you’re a pasta lover like us and love to try new types of pasta such as tortellini, we’re sure you hoard quite a bit. The issue with fresh pasta, either store-bought or homemade, is that it has a limited shelf life and can go bad in a couple of days. 

Freezing is a great way to prolong the shelf life of several foods, but what about tortellini?

So, can you freeze tortellini? Yes, you can freeze fresh tortellini, cooked tortellini, and tortellini soup to extend their shelf life by several weeks and help them retain their flavor, texture, and quality for later use as long as you follow the correct steps.

Read on to find out the best way to freeze tortellini, how long it can stay frozen, and more!

What Is Tortellini?

Tortellini, literally meaning small little pies, is a ring-shaped stuffed pasta hailing from the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy. 

Traditionally stuffed with a combination of ground meat, egg, and parmesan cheese, it is sealed in a circular manner and boiled when ready to cook.

Best served in a bowl of beef or chicken broth, tortellini pasta can also be served alongside bolognese or tomato sauce.

You can make tortellini at home or go for the packaged variety. We recommend that you try the Gluten-Free Tortellini Pasta By Taste Republic — it’s made with a delicious 4-cheese filling that is absolutely to die for!

Can You Freeze Tortellini?

Freezing is a great way to prevent foods from going bad and preserve them for later use.

In the case of tortellini pasta, since it can be a time-consuming process to make it at home, it’s always best to make it in bulk and store the leftovers for later use.

Tortellini stuffed with meat and cheese is a delicious dinner — if you have some pre-made or pre-bought tortellini in the freezer, it can make for a super convenient, easy, and yummy meal!

When freezing tortellini, you may find yourself in two situations: having leftover cooked or uncooked/fresh tortellini.

While it is always recommended to freeze the tortellini before cooking to prevent it from turning to mush upon thawing, this may not always be possible.

You may have a huge batch of leftover cooked tortellini probably because you misjudged the quantity and ended up with too much.

It will last for a few days in the refrigerator, but if you want it to last longer, you will have to resort to freezing.

How To Freeze Fresh Tortellini

fresh tortellini

You can easily get fresh tortellini from the supermarket, or if you like making your own pasta, you can make a fresh batch at home.

In either case, you can easily freeze it for later use.

Here are step-by-step instructions to follow for freezing fresh tortellini:

  1. Start by dusting the tortellini with flour. Lightly cover both sides so that they don’t stick to each other.
  2. Let the pasta rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Get a baking sheet and silicone baking mat and arrange the tortellini, spacing each one at least 1-inch apart.
  4. Place the sheet in the freezer and flash freeze the tortellini solid.
  5. Once the tortellini is frozen solid, take them out of the freezer.
  6. Shake off any excess flour and transfer them into an airtight freezer-safe bag or container.
  7. Expel as much air out of the bags as possible before sealing them.
  8. Label the bags/containers with the contents and date of freezing so that it is easy to keep track of.
  9. Place them in the freezer and use them when required.

How To Freeze Cooked Tortellini

cooked tortellini bolognese

Cooking tortellini is incredibly easy and takes a total of around 9 minutes.

The freezing part, on the other hand, is a bit tricky — you need to follow a few tips and tricks to prevent it from turning into mush when thawing!

The most important thing you need to keep in mind when freezing cooked tortellini is that you must not cook it all the way.

Instead of cooking it for a full 9 minutes, cook it for only 5 minutes. Undercooking it will help retain its texture while still being firm to the touch.

Here are step-by-step instructions to follow for freezing cooked tortellini:

  1. Cook the tortellini for 5 minutes, making sure it stays undercooked.
  2. Cool it down to room temperature so that it doesn’t condense when frozen as this might affect the quality and also lead to mold growth.
  3. Transfer it into airtight freezer-safe bags or containers.
  4. Expel as much air out of the bags as possible before sealing them.
  5. Label the bags/containers with the contents and date of freezing so that it is easy to keep track of.
  6. Place them in the freezer and use them when required.

How Long Does Tortellini Last In The Freezer?

cooked tortellini

If you have properly handled and stored the tortellini, it should last in the freezer and retain maximum quality for around 1 to 2 months.

It may even last longer than that, but the longer it is kept frozen, you will notice a higher drop in its quality.

This means that although it would still be safe to eat, it may not taste as good when thawed and reheated.

Can You Freeze Tortellini Soup?

tortellini soup with italian sausages, spinach, tomato, parmesan cheese , top-view

There are several ways to eat tortellini. You can make a delicious garlic butter sauce or top your cheese-stuffed tortellini with some tomato sauce, cream sauce, or pesto.

In Italy, tortellini is traditionally served in broth or soup. 

When dealing with the latter, you will often find yourself asking the question: can you freeze tortellini soup?

Well, if your broth or soup isn’t cream-based, it will take on to the freezing process really well. However, it is the presence of pasta in the broth that will make it a bit difficult.

The reason for this is that pasta (such as tortellini) continues to absorb liquid as long as the broth stays in liquid form. Freezing may stall the process a bit, but when thawed, the pasta will turn mushy, which is not something you’d want.

The best way to freeze tortellini soup is to not add the tortellini to it before freezing. Allow the soup to cool off completely and separately freeze the soup and tortellini.

If the situation is such that you have leftovers to deal with, where the tortellini is already mixed into the broth, it may be a bit difficult.

The best way to go about this is to only add as much tortellini to the soup as you know you’d eat and freeze the rest of the soup, without any tortellini left in it. Any leftover tortellini would be frozen separately, ready to be added later!

When you want to have more of it, you can simply defrost and reheat the soup and add the tortellini.

Another solution is to boil the tortellini separately and add it to individual servings so that you don’t have to worry about any leftover tortellini in the broth.

How To Tell If Frozen Tortellini Is Bad

You can tell if frozen tortellini is bad by the way it smells and looks. It happens mainly due to improper storage or leaving the pasta frozen for too long.

Inspect the pasta for any freezer burn as it seriously affects the quality, texture, and taste of the pasta. Another telltale sign is the color of the pasta.

Tortellini should be slightly yellow, but if you see that it is white instead, it probably isn’t in the best form. Mold growth is an obvious deal-breaker — moldy pasta should be discarded immediately.

The time period that the tortellini is frozen for is a good indicator of whether or not it should be eaten.

After 1-2 months, the quality of the frozen pasta starts to drop, and the longer you keep it in the freezer, the higher the chances of it not turning out as you expected.

If during the thawing and reheating process, you notice a foul smell, do not proceed to cook it — just get rid of it. To be sure, you may cut open one tortellini and smell the filling and check its appearance.

If you are unsure about the quality of the tortellini, it is best to get rid of it instead of risking your health trying to taste it.

Related Questions

Now that you know all about tortellini and whether or not you can freeze it, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have.

Should you thaw frozen fresh tortellini before cooking with it?

You do not need to thaw frozen fresh tortellini before using it. Simply boil it in its frozen form and enjoy.

How do you thaw frozen cooked tortellini?

To thaw frozen cooked tortellini, leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

Since it contains eggs, it must be kept at a food-safe temperature to avoid bacterial contamination. For that reason, avoid leaving it at room temperature for too long.

Is tortellini the same thing as tortelloni?

Both tortellini and tortelloni are stuffed pasta and have a similar shape. The main difference between them is their size and the type of traditional fillings used. 

Tortellini is smaller and more delicate than tortelloni. Also, tortellini usually has a meat filling whereas tortelloni is filled with a combination of vegetarian ingredients.

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