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Creamy Sausage Mushroom Fennel Tortellini

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This creamy sausage mushroom fennel tortellini is packed full of all your favorite Italian flavors. Ready in just 45 minutes and perfect for the weeknight dinner rush.

Who doesn’t love a Monday that starts with pasta? Not just any pasta though. This pasta is PACKED full of spicy Italian sausage, mushrooms, fennel, spinach and of course instead of boring pasta I used cheesy tortellini. Basically I just made your Monday about a billion times better.

Now, in other news the time has changed and it’s November. This basically means people will be ditching pumpkins for tinsel and it’s about to get all Christmas up in here. Well…not here. Mostly because I still believe in the whole “we don’t get excited for Christmas until after Thanksgiving” camp. I guess you could say I’m living it up old school. Oh and the whole time change nonsense I mentioned before – HATE IT! It’s currently 8:30pm but feel like it’s midnight. Will it ever feel normal again?


Ok wait. I lied to you.

As much as I hate all the holiday decorations in the store, Christmas music on the radio and people ringing for bells asking for change before Thanksgiving there is one thing I love – super cheesy holiday movies. You know the ones. You can find them on Hallmark, ABC Family and sometimes Lifetime. I will happily sit back and watch these movies all. year. long. I know they are predicable but thats part of the joy. I know what I’m getting into when I start them.

PLUS I’m such a sucker for the Christmas movies where people get to see a life they could have had if things worked out differently. They bump their heads and wake up in an old life. It’s so great when they realize they really love their old life and just want to go home. If you’re rolling your eyes at my right now it’s ok. I’m fully aware that my choice in movies can be described as somewhat horrible.

Now, something this is not horrible is this tortellini dish. {Notice that awesome segue?}

I don’t use fennel a lot in my cooking but that just might have to change after making this dish. If your worried it will taste like eating a black jelly bean don’t worry it doesn’t. It does have a slightly mild anise flavor but nothing overpowering. It adds that little “what is that that I taste in this dish?” to the dish.

The other great thing about this dish is that it re-heats lovely. The sauce doesn’t break and it stays nice and flavorful with each and every bowl.

{Looking for more pasta dishes? Try my creme fraiche mushroom gnocchi, Italian sausage and kale pasta or my spicy penne alla vodka.}

Creamy Sausage Mushroom Fennel Tortellini

This creamy sausage mushroom fennel tortellini is packed full of all your favorite Italian flavors. Ready in just 45 minutes and perfect for the weeknight dinner rush.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 medium sized head fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced (chop fronds for topping)
  • 1 pound sliced white mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound cheese tortellini, cooked
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves

Source: Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit


In a large skillet set over medium heat add olive oil. When the oil is hot add in the sausage, break up with your spatula and brown. When the sausage is about half way cooked add in the fennel and sliced mushrooms. Cook together until soft and the meat is fully browned.

Add in garlic and Italian sausage and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Pour in chicken stock and heavy cream and cook for a few minutes just until it's thickened a tiny bit. Since it's dairy you don't want to scotch the sauce so turn down the heat if needed.

Once the sauce is ready remove from heat and add in cooked tortellini, shredded Parmesan cheese and baby spinach. Stir to combine and give it a few minutes so the spinach can wilt in the sauce.

Serve with fennel fronds and shredded Parmesan cheese on top if desired.