Fried Tortellini

Do you have one food item that when you see it on a menu, you just have to get it? For me, it’s fried ravioli. I’m not sure what it is about ’em, but they’re so darn delicious that, if they’re available as an appetizer, then you can bet your sticky buns I’ll order them. Perhaps it’s the combination of my two favorite things, pasta + deep fried, that makes them so irresistible. I don’t know who thought to bread & fry little raviolis, but whoever did was a genius.

I’ve dipped my feet into the waters of homemade fried ravioli in the past, so now it was time to switch it up ever so slightly. Naturally, the way to do that was with Fried Tortellini. I like to think of tortellini as ravioli’s compact cousin. You get all the components of ravioli, but in a tinier, tighter package. I actually prefer tortellini if we’re just talking straight up pasta. I like that it’s not quite so floppy, but you still get a cheesy filling. Plus, ravioli is really awkwardly sized; it’s too big to comfortably eat in one bite, but to small too not feel like a fool if you take multiple bites.

That’s just too much stress for me.

These Fried Tortellinis, on the other hand, are perfectly poppable. One bite, and down the rabbit hole they go! They’re properly suited for snacking since you inhale a hundred of them in the blink of an eye and show those hunger pains who’s boss. Each little tortellini is wrapped in a golden brown and delightfully crispy crust that gives way to a tender interior and delicious cheese filling. And if you really want to be livin’ the life, then serve up these crunchy cheese-stuffed pasta pockets with some marinara sauce for dipping.

You’re so fancy!

Frying tortellini is a simple process, perfect for anyone who’s never deep-fried before. In fact, there’s no actual deep fryer required; we’re just using a regular frying pan over stove top and some piping hot oil. Plop the little tortellinis in, and you’ve got yourself a make-shift (less scary) deep fryer!

These Fried Tortellinis are a super easy & cheesy appetizer that’s sure to become a new favorite. Serve ’em at a party, get-together, or finger food night with your family. I served a double batch of them at my Halloween, and not a single one was left at the end of the night!

P.S. That green tortellini is spinach tortellini, if you were wondering.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. You can use this same exact breading recipe and procedure to fry ravioli.
  2. If marinara sauce ain’t your thing, serve with good olive oil, salsa, or ranch sauce.
  3. If you don’t want to use regular breadcrumbs, Panko breadcrumbs work just as well, but make sure you season ’em up good with salt and pepper.
  4. The oil must be good and hot for frying! Make sure you test it first.
  5. You don’t have to use plain tortellini. I used a cheese tortellini & spinach tortellini mix; it was delicious!
  6. Tortellini literally only takes a minute to cook if the water is boiling hot, so make sure you keep an eye on them and test taste frequently. They MUST be al dente, meaning they still have a little bite, since you’re going to fry them too. You don’t want soggy tortellinis.

Fried Tortellini
By The Smart Cookie Cook


  • 2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 10-oz. package cheese tortellini
  • marinara sauce, for dipping


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat, cook tortellinis according to package directions. It will only take a a minute or so. Make sure they are al dente, not soggy. Drain and rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Pour the flour into a large bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs into another large bowl. Then whisk together the eggs and milk in one more large bowl.
  3. Use a fork to dunk each tortellini into the flour and coat evenly. Next, dunk the tortellini into the milk/egg mixture, soaking both sides. Finish with the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat the entire tortellini. To repeat, the order is: flour, milk/egg mixture, breadcrumbs.
  4. Once all the tortellinis are breaded, Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside. Line another baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside.
  5. Pour olive oil into a large, deep nonstick skillet, filling it 1-inch deep. Bring to medium-high heat. Once oil starts to smoke and bubble, add about 10-12 tortellini to the pan. If they do not sizzle when you put them in, the oil is not hot enough.
  6. Fry each side of the tortellini until golden brown, flipping in between. If your oil is good and hot, each side should only take a few seconds. Set finished tortellinis on the paper towel-lined tray to soak up extra oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Then transfer tortellinis to aluminum-lined tray and keep warm in oven while you finish the remaining batches. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Posted in The Smart Cookie Cook and tagged , , , .

Colleen Bierstine


  1. This would be great for holiday parties, when you need a finger food to keep everyone happy. Speaking of fried foods, I am going to attempt to make onion rings soon. :)

  2. Pingback: The Weekender: «

  3. oooo yum! what an awesome idea! i’ve never had this before but it looks delicious and soooo nourish… 😛

  4. Pingback: Smart Cookie’s Christmas Recipe Collection 2012 «

  5. Pingback: 20 Super Bowl-Worthy Recipes «

  6. I have a package of tortellini from Costco that I need to use up and this is the perfect way! Love it!

    • The best thing would be to freeze em. Here’s what you need to do:
      1) cook and fry tortellini as directed.
      2) let cool COMPLETELY
      3) seal in an air tight bag and freeze
      4) the day you want to serve them: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread tortellini in an even layer on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake until warm all the way through and crisp, about 30 min.

Comments are closed.