Do you guys have a favorite food?

Tortellini Mac and Cheese // Warm Vanilla Sugar

For me, it’s hard not to have a collection of favorites as an obsessive list maker. My absolute favorite food of all time is french toast – I can’t live without it.

Next in line? Mac and cheese. I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to it!!

Tortellini Mac and Cheese // Warm Vanilla Sugar

I know I’m not the only one with a deep love of this mixture of pasta and creamy cheese. But this recipe? This recipe is special thanks to its creator Izy. She had the idea to use buttermilk and cream cheese in and amongst your average mac and cheese ingredients. Genius, really.

Tortellini Mac and Cheese // Warm Vanilla Sugar

PLUS! There is tortellini AND regular pasta in here. We need to keep things exciting here, yeah??

Tortellini Mac and Cheese // Warm Vanilla Sugar

I could eat mac and cheese every freaking day.

Tortellini Mac and Cheese // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Sending all my love to you this week! xx

Tortellini Mac and Cheese

Serving Size: 4-6


  • 1 1/2 cups of dry pasta of your choice
  • 1 ( 9 oz/250 g ) small package of fresh tortellini
  • Cheese sauce:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk (I used 1%)
  • 5 oz of grated Cheddar cheese (I used a mixture of Gruyère and Cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Breadcrumb topping:
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • about 1 oz of Parmesan or Cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Cook the dry pasta until al dente (usually 2 minutes less than instructed on the packet). (Do not cook the tortellini). Drain, and set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. To make the sauce: add the butter and garlic to a medium saucepan and stir over a medium heat for about a minute. Whisk in the flour until you get a smooth paste. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Very gradually, add the first 1/2 cup of milk to the pan, whisking constantly. Mix in the cream cheese, then slowly add the rest of the milk. Continue to heat the mixture, whisking frequently, for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Stir in the buttermilk, and the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir the pasta into the sauce, then pour into a 9x9-inch (or other large) baking dish.
  6. Make the breadcrumb topping by melting the butter in a small frying pan, add the breadcrumbs, thyme and salt and pepper. Toast over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until crisped. Scatter the grated Parmesan and/or cheddar evenly over the surface of the pasta, followed by the breadcrumbs. Bake for 10 minutes until golden.


Recipe adapted from Top with Cinnamon

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23 Responses to Tortellini Mac and Cheese

  1. Kathryn says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one with a mac and cheese pinboard! Love the sound of this and that inspired buttermilk substitution. Can’t wait to try this!

  2. Jaclyn says:

    This is making me so hungry!! It looks so good!

  3. Laura says:

    This looks good, good, good! Do you think 1/2 a bag or so of frozen veggies (peas, corn, carrots) would be ok mixed in? We’re trying to add more nutrition to our meals :)

  4. I’ve never thought of mixing pasta with tortellini… looks sooooo yummy. I can see from these beautiful pics how tasty this cheese sauce is…

  5. Meredith says:

    Amazingly delicious!

  6. Looks absolutely delicious. I’m intrigued by this combination of ingredients. Must investigate further ;)

  7. laurasmess says:

    My husband is just as obsessed with mac n’cheese as you are. It is definitely delicious… I mean, carbs wrapped in cheese sauce? I can think of very few things that are better! Loving the herbed breadcrumbs on this dish. Definitely going to make it! x

  8. Joanne says:

    My favorite guilty pleasure restaurant meal is tortellini alfredo. And this is like that. But better.

  9. You honestly just made my mac and cheese dreams with this recipe! This dish looks like the ultimate comfort food esp. because mac and cheese is my favourite food ever ! Thx for the amazing recipe!

  10. This looks iiiiincredible! So many great ways to make your mac’n’cheese just a little bit healthier, mmm :D How many people does this recipe serve? x

  11. Julia says:

    Yuuuuum! Gosh I love tortellini!

  12. Ashley says:

    I love that you have buttermilk in the cheese sauce! Sounds and looks so good!

  13. Aggie says:

    Oh my gosh, I just want to dig into this! Your pics are mouthwatering!!

  14. Yum, this looks so warming and delicious!

  15. Izy says:

    Looks perfect <3 mmm

  16. Perfect late winter dish! Chasing the last tail of winter by making this..

  17. It is a never ending surprise at the variations of Mac and Cheese. I am in heaven. Just a few years ago who would have guessed that this old favorite would have such a resurgence that it is now found on so many restaurant menus—–up scale restaurants too. Is it all the baby boomers who are pushing this? I am in that category. Maybe we are trying to re-educate the young that mac and cheese in a box is NOT mac and cheese and should have another name. Laughing

  18. Emma says:

    I really can’t believe I have never thought to do this!! This looks insanely good. Unfortunately I gave up cheese for lent (probably explains why I am so drawn to this recipe…!), so I am pinning it for later. Yum!

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