Frugal Family Feast: Cheese Tortellini Alfredo

This delicious, fast and easy recipe will feed a family of four or more for less than $15.

Pasta is a go-to meal for many of us. This week’s Frugal Family Feast features a fast, easy, affordable cheese tortellini Alfredo with salad and homemade crostini.

Chef Rey De La Osa, resident chef at Publix Aprons Cooking School, shared his technique with Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson. Watch the video and read on for the recipe.

Cheese tortellini covered with creamy Alfredo sauce just screams comfort food. Add a salad and homemade crostini and you’ve got a complete meal. The final bill for this Frugal Family Feast was $11.59 to feed a family of four, with leftovers.

Chef Rey started by warming a jar of pre-made Alfredo sauce. If you have the time and ingredients on hand, you could always make your own sauce. But today, we’re keeping it simple and fast.

Next, cook the tortellini according to the package instructions. Frozen pasta is a busy person’s friend and you can find it in most grocery or warehouse stores. When the tortellini are ready, drain them or scoop and drain with a slotted spoon and put them into the warm Alfredo sauce. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Now it’s time to move on to salad and crostini.

If you’ve never made homemade crostini or croutons, you’re in for a treat. Chef Rey took a baguette and sliced it thinly on an angle. He then drizzled olive oil on each piece. You can use as much or as little oil as you’d like. Season with salt and pepper. You could also add a little garlic powder to them for extra flavor. Then bake at 450 degrees for a few minutes, watching for your desired doneness. Take them out when they look good to you.

How you serve the salad is up to you. Chef Rey tossed a bagged salad blend with ranch dressing before serving and put some scrumptious crostini on top.

This meal takes only about 20 minutes to prepare.

Cheese tortellini Alfredo – courtesy of Publix Aprons Cooking School


  • 1 (19-ounce) bag frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 (8-ounce) crusty white baguette
  • 1 (15-ounce) jar creamy Alfredo pasta sauce
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag classic salad blend (iceberg lettuce, carrots, red cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing

To prepare tortellini:

  • Prepare tortellini following package instructions.
  • Warm Alfredo sauce in a pan for five to seven minutes.
  • Drain tortellini and add to Alfredo. Stir to coat the tortellini. Simmer for about five minutes and turn the heat off.

To prepare crostini and salad:

  • Slice the baguette. Drizzle olive oil on the bread slices. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake bread at 450 degrees for three minutes or until they’re as brown as you prefer.
  • Combine salad blend and dressing; toss until evenly coated.

After you try this recipe, go to our Facebook page and let us know how you like it.

Stacy Johnson

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  • Mary Beth

    “F” again. No dietary fiber, too much salt. Too much fat. Eating like this is not frugal. It is cheap. And, at the expense of your health, quite costly in the long run.

  • SusanH

    Don’t bother with jarred Alfredo sauce. While the tortellini are boiling, melt one stick of butter. Mix together one egg yolk with 2/3 cup heavy cream (or half and half to save a few calories). Drain the cooked tortellini and put into a warm serving bowl. Immediately pour the butter over the tortellini and gently toss to coat. Add egg mixture and toss again. Season with pepper and serve with parmesan cheese. The hot tortellini will cook the egg.

  • disqus_K5TTGBgafB

    Totally gross. Typical, fat-American recipe.

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