A plated serving of sausage and pepper tortellini sprinkled with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley leaves

Easy Sausage and Pepper Tortellini (IP)

Sausage and Pepper Tortellini prepared in the pressure cooker is a quick and easy weeknight dinner. It’s perfect for the Summer months when you don’t want to turn on the stove, but you still want to make a delicious dinner for your family. Don’t feel like you need to limit this meal to Summer, though. It’s so simple to prepare that you can make it on a busy night any time of the year. The most complicated part of this recipe is browning the sausage. Easy Pressure Cooker Sausage and Pepper Tortellini really is easy to prepare, and it’s a new family favorite.

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What was my inspiration for this recipe?

My inspiration for this recipe was my Baked Ravioli and Ravioli Lasagna Recipes. One of Baker’s Man’s favorite dishes is sausage and peppers, so I decided that it was a good idea to try and combine the two in some way. There was also another motivation for using the pressure cooker (in this case, my Instant Pot).

My oven has been broken for quite a while which means that all the recipes that I bake are either made in a toaster oven or in the ovens at various friends’ houses. As a result, I was looking for a way to prepare a similar meal in the Pressure Cooker, or more specifically, in my Instant Pot. It would be nice if I could prepare these delicious meals without the oven, especially now that Summer’s right around the corner.

What will you need to prepare this recipe?

From the Pantry

  • Rigatoni
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Tomato Sauce

From the Refrigerator/Freezer

  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Italian Sausage
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese

From the Root Cellar

  • Brown or Yellow Onion

The ingredient list isn’t very long, but this dish is loaded with flavor. In fact, it’s become one of our family favorites, especially during cooler weather when we love to bake things in the oven.

What is the process for preparing baked rigatoni?

1. Put salted water on the stove to boil the rigatoni.

While you’re waiting for the water to come to a boil, you can begin on the sauce and other ingredients. Just make sure to set a timer if you drop the pasta into the boiling water before the sauce is finished. Overcooked pasta is mushy and won’t taste good in this dish. You want the pasta to be cooked al dente because it will cook longer with the sauce in the oven.

2. Chop the bell pepper and onions and grate the cheese.

I like to dice the onions and pepper into fairly small pieces to distribute their flavor throughout the sauce and the final Baked Rigatoni. It also helps slip the vegetables past any children who might be reluctant to eat them. Sometimes, I buy my cheese already shredded, but other times, I shred it myself. The motivating factor is the price of the cheese.

3. Cook the Peppers and Onions with the Meat

This may seem obvious, but not everyone does this. By cooking these aromatic vegetables with the sausage, you help to improve the overall flavor of the recipe.

4. Put the pasta in the boiling water and set a timer.

Like I mentioned before, it’s easy to get caught up in the cooking process and forget that you need to watch your pasta. I despise mushy pasta, so it’s really important to set a timer for this. You don’t want overcooked pasta.

5. Build your sauce.

While the pasta is cooking, now’s the time to add the tomato sauce, pasta sauce, and water to the meat and vegetable mixture. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, and allow it to simmer for at least five minutes.

6. Build the layers of the Baked Rigatoni in a 9X13 inch pan.

I realize that the instructions in the recipe might sound backwards because I have you put down cheese and then top it with sauce, but I promise you that this helps to make the sauce extra cheesy and is part of the delicious charm of this recipe. If you absolutely can’t fathom cheese under the sauce, go ahead and do it the other way, but it tastes so much better this way.

7. Bake the Rigatoni and let it rest before serving.

You’ll know when this dish is done when it’s bubbly around the edges. How crispy you like your noodles will determine how long you allow it to bake. One thing that’s important is that you absolutely have to allow this dish to rest at rom temperature for about 10 minutes before digging into it to allow it to firm up a bit.

Baked Rigatoni

That’s all it takes to put a delicious Baked rigatoni on your dinner table. Do you have a favorite pasta dish, or a favorite type of noodle? I have really fallen in love with rigatoni lately. It’s true that the low price is how we became acquainted, but the texture and versatility are making it fast become a favorite. Let us know your favorites by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

Baked Rigatoni

This is a simple and delicious baked pasta dish that's perfect for a family meal or to serve to company. The recipe is made from simple to find ingredients and has become a family favorite. The total cost for this meal is
Prep Time 29 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8


  • 1 pound Dry Rigatoni Noodles cooked according to package directions ($0.99)
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage hot or mild according to your preference ($2.99)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper diced ($0.78)
  • 1 Medium Onion (Yellow or Brown) ($0.20)
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar or can Pasta Sauce ($1.59)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can Tomato Sauce ($0.34)
  • 2 cup Water
  • 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese ($1.99)
  • 1 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese ($0.89)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Put water on stove to boil for cooking the pasta.
  • Once the water is boiling, cook pasta according to the package directions.
  • While you're waiting for the water to come to a boil, cook the sausage with the onion and bell pepper until the meat is thoroughly cooked and lightly browned.
  • Once the sausage is cooked, add pasta sauce, water, and tomato sauce to the pan with the meat mixture and stir well to combine.
  • Bring to mixture to a boil and reduce heat.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes
  • Place 1 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9X13 inch pan.
  • Now, you will begin layering the baked rigatoni dish into the baking dish
  • Place one-half of the cooked rigatoni on top of the sauce.
  • Sprinkle one cup shredded Mozzarella and 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese evenly on top of the noodles.
  • Evenly distribute two cups of the meat and pasta sauce mixture on top of the cheese.
  • Spread the remaining pasta on top of the sauce.
  • Add the remaining cup of Mozzarella cheese evenly distributed on top of the pasta.
  • Finish the dish by carefully spreading the remaining meat sauce over the top of the cheese.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 – 45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Keyword bell pepper, brown or yellow onion, garlic, ground beef, Italian Sausage, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, pasta sauce, rigatoni, tomato sauce

In order to simplify the preparation of this Easy Pressure Cooker Sausage and Pepper Tortellini, I have opted for several “convenience foods” as ingredients–frozen cheese tortellini, frozen peppers and onions, which at my store was called pepper stir-fry, and a jar of already prepared pasta sauce.

The steps to prepare this recipe are simple

First brown the Italian sausage in your pressure cooker on saute mode. You want to cook it until it’s almost entirely finished. If you’re using turkey or chicken sausage, you might want to add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking due to the decreased fat content.

Sausage browning in the Instant Pot

When the meat is cooked, add the bag of frozen peppers and stir to combine it with the sausage.

Assorted bell peppers and onions are added to the instant pot with the meat.

Cancel the saute function and add the bag of frozen tortellini to the pot.

Frozen Tortellini are added on top of the tortellini

Finally, add the jar, or can, of pasta sauce, and fold gently to combine.

The tortellini, sauce, peppers, and sausage have been mixed together.

Once everything is all mixed together, put the lid on your pressure cooker, turn the valve to sealing and set the timer to 1 minute. (My bag of frozen tortellini said that it cooked in 2 – 3 minutes on the stove top. Since I have been told that pasta cooks in half the time in the pressure cooker, I set the timer to 1 minute, and the tortellini were perfectly cooked.)

When it’s finished cooking, release the pressure (Do a quick release.) and at this point, you have two choices.

The top of the finished tortellini has been topped with shredded Mozzarella cheese.

You can, as I did in this photo, stir the Sausage and Pepper Tortellini then sprinkle the top with a mixture of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Replace the lid on the pressure cooker, and allow it to set for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted, OR simple stir and serve the Tortellini and sprinkle each individual serving with cheese.

The Mozzarella Cheese has melted on top of the sausage and pepper tortellini

In testing the recipe for Easy Pressure Cooker Sausage and Pepper Tortellini , I have served it both ways, and my family is divided. My preference, though, is to sprinkle each serving of the Sausage and Pepper Tortellini liberally with cheese before serving. Doing it that way ensures that everyone gets and equal amount of cheese on their serving.

A plated serving of sausage and pepper tortellini sprinkled with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley leaves
Yes, I am using a Christmas plate in June. The other dishes were dirty. Please, don’t judge me.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to add more water for this to work in the Instant Pot?

Adding more water to this recipe is unnecessary. As the frozen peppers cook, they release extra liquid. The combination of the “pepper water” and the pasta sauce is enough to prevent the pesky burn notice.

Can I use a different type of tortellini?

I have only tested this recipe using frozen tortellini. Surprisingly, fresh tortellini has a longer cooking time than frozen, so the cooking time would need to be lengthened, but I haven’t tested this to ensure it would hold up to the pressure cooker. Dried tortellini need significant water to be rehydrated. Dried tortellini would have to be cooked first before being added to the recipe. Since I haven’t tested these, I would stick with frozen tortellini.

Can I make a freezer meal out of this recipe?

This recipe is perfect for a freezer meal. Simply brown the sausage then add the peppers and onions, tortellini, and pasts sauce. Store in the freezer until you want to use it, then allow to thaw overnight in the fridge and proceed to cook as instructed below.

I don’t have a pressure cooker, can I still make this recipe?

It’s very simple to prepare this recipe on the stovetop if you don’t have a pressure cooker. All you need to do is add the pepper and onion mixture to the cooked sausage and saute it until tender. Stir in the pasta sauce, then carefully stir in the tortellini. Allow the sauce to come to a boil, lower the heat, and saute for 3 minutes to allow the tortellini to cook.

A plated portion of Sausage and Pepper Tortellini with parmesan cheese and parsley sprinkled on top.

Can I make this into a casserole?

It’s very simple to turn this into a casserole. Once the tortellini has finished cooking, Pour the contents of the pressure cooker into a three to 4 quart baking dish. Sprinkle the top with a mixture of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted. You can store the assembled casserole, covered tightly, in the refrigerator for three to four days before baking.

We really hope that you give this recipe a try. It’s simple, delicious, and as I said before, it’s become a new family favorite around here. I love that it’s made it one pan, so there’s less mess to clean up after dinner, too.

Have you ever made Sausage and Pepper Tortellini? Have you made it in a pressure cooker? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

Easy, Pressure Cooker, Sausage and Pepper Tortellini

A quick and simple recipe that can be prepared entirely in the pressure cooker. This recipe cooks so quickly, that the toretllini was ready before the garlic bread that I was broiling. The total cost of this recipe is $11.36 or about $2.27 per serving.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5
Calories 608 kcal


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Optional, but needed if using turkey or chicken sausage due to the lower fat content.. ($0.32)
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage Use turkey, pork, or chicken sausage, hot or mild, according to your preference. ($3.98)
  • 1 (16oz) package Frozen Bell Peppers and Onions At my store these were called pepper stir fry. ($1.87)
  • 1 (19 oz) bag frozen cheese tortellini ($2.58)
  • 1 (24 oz) jar or can tomato based pasta sauce Use your favorite. ($0.95)
  • 1/4 cup water Use this to rinse out the jar of pasta sauce.
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese ($0.99)
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese ($0.67)


  • Turn pressure cooker to Saute mode.
  • Once pot is hot, add olive oil to pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Add Italian sausage and saute until the sausage is cooked through.
  • Add the bag of frozen peppers and onions to the pan and stir around for a minute or two.
  • Cancel the Saute Mode and add the frozen tortellini and the jar of pasta sauce to the pressure cooker.
  • Add 1/4 cup water to the pasta sauce jar, put the lid back on top and shake well to ensure that all of the pasta sauce is loosened from the side of the jar. If you're using canned pasta sauce, skip this step and simply scrape all of the contents of the can into the pan. (Canned pasta sauces tend to be thinner than jarred ones.)
  • Pour the water and pasta sauce mixture into the pressure cooker.
  • Gently fold the tortellini and pasta sauce into the sausage and pepper mixture until well combined.
  • Place lid on pressure cooker and turn the vent to the sealing position.
  • Pressure cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
  • Once the cooking time is complete, do a quick release of the pressure.
  • Stir the tortellini mixture gently with a spoon and serve topped with shredded cheese.
  • OPTIONAL STEP: Instead of serving, sprinkle the top of the stirred pasta with shredded cheese, replace lid on pressure cooker and allow cheese to melt on top with the heat from the "keep warm" mode.
Keyword frozen cheese tortellini, frozen pepper and onion blend, Instant Pot,, Italian Sausage, mozzarella, Parmesan, pasta sauce, Pressure Cooker

Nutrition Information was calculated for one serving (1/5th) of Easy Pressure Cooker Sausage and Pepper Tortellini using Pork Italian Sausage and Olive oil, prepared according to the recipe above.

Disclaimer:  Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at cronometer.com or verywellfit.com.  We make every attempt to ensure that the information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates.   Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe.  In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases, and the algorithms used.   You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.  Under no circumstances will PattyCakesPantry.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information provided. 

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