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5 from 2 ratings

Tortellini with Brown Butter, Almonds & Arugula

This easy weeknight pasta recipe comes together quickly with the help of store-bought tortellini. Brown butter and lemon zest and juice gives this comforting dish lots of flavor while toasty almonds give it wonderful texture.


  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh cheese tortellini, (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for serving


  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then add a tiny handful of salt. Add the tortellini and cook 2 minutes less than the package instructions suggest. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tortellini to a lightly oiled plate or baking sheet. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
    Boiling tortellini before sauteeing.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the butter is almost entirely melted, add the shallots, garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the almonds and cook, stirring frequently, until the almonds are golden and the butter is browned, about 5 minutes.
    Browning almonds in brown butter.
  • Add the drained tortellini to the skillet along with the reserved cooking water, the crushed red pepper, and the lemon zest and juice. Cook, tossing, until the tortellini are cooked through and coated in the brown butter, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in the arugula and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing more parmesan at the table.
    Mixing tortellini with almonds and arugula


Note: Fresh tortellini can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. You can often find it in the freezer, too, and that will work just fine for this recipe. Most packages are 8 to 10 ounces, which serves 2 people for dinner. That said, if you add a salad and some garlic bread, this recipe could serve 4.
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