Creamy Lemon & Spinach Tortellini

5 from 8 votes
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I am kicking off my 20 minute dinners, for 20 days series, with this mouth watering Creamy Lemon & Spinach Tortellini, and if you love lemon and cream sauce, this is a must make!

Creamy Lemon & Spinach Tortellini is easy to make, it’s rich, comforting and fresh. This recipe uses only a few simple ingredients and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. If you are looking to add further protein to this recipe, it tastes fantastic with grilled chicken or shrimp. If you like my Lemon & Boursin Orzo Bake, Asparagus & Pea Lemon Orecchiette, or Lemon & Boursin Pasta, you are almost guaranteed to love this one as well.

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Keep in touch with me on Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest! Also, if you do make this recipe (or any recipe of mine for that matter) be sure to tag #sammymontgoms so I can see your re-creations!

Looking for more 20 minute dinners?

If you are a busy mom, a college student, or someone who just really appreciates a good 20 Minute Dinner, I have so many delicious ones on my site that you need to check out; down below I will list a few of my personal favs:

How to make this recipe in 4 steps

  1. Cook the pasta: Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Add your tortellini, strain, and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Make the sauce: Combine your olive oil, butter, shallot, garlic, cream, lemon juice, seasonings, and parmesan cheese. Bring to a light simmer until the sauce has thickened.
  3. Combine: Add the tortellini and spinach into the sauce and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Serve: Finish with more fresh parmesan, and a fresh crack of black pepper.

Lemon & Spinach Tortellini at a glance

Taste: the overall taste is creamy, rich, zesty and incredibly comforting. 
Time: 20 minutes or less.
Effort: very minimal effort for this one; by the time the tortellini is cooked, your sauce will be ready.
Difficulty: anybody can make this recipe! anyone! I promise! This is also a really great recipe if you have kids who are getting comfortable in the kitchen and they need a few easy recipes to get started.


Here is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make my Creamy Lemon & Spinach Tortellini. For the exact detailed measurements and ingredients, scroll to the bottom of this page to review my recipe card.

  • tortellini 
  • olive oil
  • butter 
  • heavy cream
  • lemon
  • parmesan cheese
  • shallot 
  • spinach
  • garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • reserved pasta water

Substitutions & FAQ’s

Can I use a different type of pasta?
Yes! Any pasta will work in this recipe, just try to keep it similar in size to tortellini for accurate measurements.
What protein can I add to this recipe?
Some delicious protein options that would go really well in this recipe are: chicken, tofu or shrimp!

Storing & reheating

Have leftovers? Lucky you. Store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

To reheat your Creamy Lemon & Spinach Tortellini, simply microwave for 30-45 seconds or add it to a small pan with a splash of cream, and simmer on the stove for 4-5 minutes, or until heated throughout.

Does this recipe freeze well?
I don’t recommend freezing this recipe as the cream and lemon juice tend to curdle once thawed. This one is so quick to make, so its best eaten fresh.

Watch the recipe video

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Did you like this recipe?

If you enjoyed my Creamy Lemon & Spinach Tortellini  recipe, consider leaving me a 5 star rating and review in my recipe card provided below, it means so very much to me!

5 from 8 votes

Creamy Lemon & Spinach Tortellini

By Sammy Montgoms
Creamy Lemon & Spinach Tortellini is so easy to make, it's rich, comforting and fresh. This recipe uses only a few simple ingredients and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. If you are looking to add further protein to this recipe, it tastes fantastic with grilled chicken or shrimp. I hope you love this one as much as we all do!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 people


  • 1 250 gram bag tortellini, 4 cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter, salted
  • 1 shallot, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, start with 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 lemons rind/zest, about 2 tbsp
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cups spinach, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • reserved pasta water
  • fresh basil, to garnish, optional


  • Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to boil.
    Add your tortellini, and cook according to package instructions. Set aside until ready to use.
    *Tip: save 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce to your liking.
  • To a large pan set to medium heat, add your olive oil and butter.
  • Once melted, add your shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
  • Add your garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté for an additional minute.
  • Add your heavy cream and let simmer for 2-3 minutes, until thickened slightly.
  • Add your lemon juice (starting with 1/4 cup) and stir continuously until well incorporated.
  • Reduce heat to low/simmer and add your parmesan cheese and lemon zest, and mix to combine.
  • Taste to see if you need salt or more lemon juice.
    *Tip: I don't add salt to this recipe because I find the parmesan cheese adds enough salt, but if adding use about 1/4 tsp.
  • Add your spinach and cooked tortellini and mix to combine.
  • Use a few splashes of reserved pasta water to thin out to the sauce.
  • Let simmer for an additional minute, or until the spinach wilts.
  • Dish up, and top with more parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Sammy Montgoms
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 people

About Sammy Montgoms

I am so glad you are here. I am a BIG foodie gal. I am one of those people who lives to eat, rather than eats to live. I love to create nostalgic Italian dishes (especially pasta), but I also love to whip up simple and quick recipes for my family. Hopefully, my page inspires you to do the same. Thank you for being here, and happy eating!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was the easiest dinner I’ve ever made and it tasted amazing! 6 out of 5 stars. I laughed at the storing and reheating instructions….like there’s any left!

  2. 5 stars
    My husband loved the dinner.. I added chicken for extra protein. Only used 1/4 cup lemon juice. It is a keeper and will make again.

    1. Hi Christine, so happy you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for taking the time to leave me a review! xo

  3. 5 stars
    12/10 for me 🙂 I didn’t have any shallots and used red onion instead. The sauce is so delicious!! I used bread to soak it up lol. Thank you for the simple and delicious recipe!

    1. Hi Deana, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review. So happy you liked it!

  4. 5 stars
    Second time making this and it turned out better than the first. I opted to add both spinach and kale this time and it was delicious.

  5. 5 stars
    I have probably made this 4 times and making it again for dinner tonight. It’s a family fav, esp my teenage daughter. Thank you so much for sharing this and all your recipes with us! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Great recipe!! I was told it’s a keeper by husband and 14 year old (which is rare if there’s a vegetable involved). 1/4 cup of lemon juice was just right with the zest and no additional salt was needed. Congrats!