Tortellini with Walnut Sage Butter

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Tortellini sauteed in a fresh sage and walnut butter then drizzled with a sweet and spicy balsamic drizzle.

A bowl of tortellini topped with parmesan cheese and a balsamic drizzle on a blue background.

I’m a sucker for a good pasta dish, especially one that is ready in under 20 minutes.   During the week I never want to be in the kitchen for longer than 30 minutes because I only get to see my son for a few hours as it is and making dinner takes away even more of that time.

When I read the recipe for Tortellini with Walnut Sage Butter I was intrigued.   I have a sage plant growing out of control so I was excited to use that but adding in the walnuts was new for me.  I rarely add nuts to pasta sauce. 

The balsamic sauce was another element I was unsure of.   I consisted of balsamic and honey so I knew it was going to be sweet.  When I tried it I found it to be way too sweet so I added in a bit of Sriracha.  You can add chili paste or hot sauce as well.  I just used what I had around the house to add a bit of spice and balance it out.

Pin Image: A bowl filled with tortellini with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, text overlay, a cutting board with a bag of tortellini, balsamic vinegar, butter, fresh sage, and a bowl of walnuts.

I got the sauce started at the same time I began boiling the water which worked out well.  I melted the butter in a skillet and added the sage.  I did a chiffonade cut on the sage which was a good call.   Then I tossed in the walnuts.

I was worried about using too much pasta water so I cut it in half which was another good call.  It gives the sauce some body but keeps the flavors there.  I tossed the tortellini with the butter sauce and served the tortellini.

Then we drizzled the balsamic over top of the tortellini and finished it off with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.   There were so many flavors going on along with a little crunch from the walnuts.  It was a unique but delicious meal and it was ready quickly! 

My husband and I both really enjoyed it and I’ll certainly be making it again.  If you want a heartier dish you could add in some shrimp or chicken but I thought it was great as a vegetarian entree.

A bowl of tortellini topped with parmesan cheese and a balsamic drizzle on a blue background.

Tortellini with Walnut Sage Butter

Yield: serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Tortellini in a sage and walnut butter sauce drizzled with balsamic and topped with Parmesan cheese.


  • 1 lb. cheese tortellini
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 c. sage leaves, chiffonade cut
  • 1 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. pasta water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook the tortellini according to the package direct. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water, and keep warm.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, and Sriracha. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Remove from heat.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add in the sage and walnuts and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of pasta water and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix well.
  7. Add the tortellini to the pan and toss to combine.
  8. Divide the tortellini and sauce between 4 bowls. Drizzle with balsamic sauce and serve with Parmesan cheese.


Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine, April 2019.

A bowl of tortellini studded with walnuts and parmesan on a blue background.

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