This Air Fryer Crispy Tortellini is a super tasty appetizer for tailgating snacks month! It’s easy! Kid tested & adult approved! Pasta lovers will flip for these crunchy, “fried” bites, especially when served with marinara or pizza sauce!
But be warned: they’re addictive.
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Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. I read all the comments myself and I try to help as soon as I can. I have readers from all levels of comfort and experience in the kitchen on my site, and I’ve tried to answer some of your questions already in the post. But if I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment and ask.
Fun and yummy
Nothing compares to biting into crispy pasta filled with a creamy cheese. These tortellini are versatile and can be served as an appetizer, lunch, or main dish for dinner with a nice salad and garlic bread.
Because they’re air fried, you don’t have to worry about them being greasy and heavy.
What if I don’t have an air fryer?
Well, then you really need to buy one! Seriously, I love mine and use it all the time! Here, hop over and buy one with my affiliate link.
But, if that’s not an option, these can be baked in the oven if you don’t have an air fryer. They don’t get quite as crispy or yummy, but it will work. Just preheat your oven to 350° F and bake for around 8-9 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Serve these crispy fried tortellini as a main dish paired with a nice green salad and some garlic bread.
Or serve it as an appetizer!
What kind of tortellini should I buy?
You’ll find the best tortellini to use for this dish in the grocer’s refrigerator section.
Refrigerated tortellini is nice and fresh. I mean, you could make it homemade from scratch, but who has time for that?
Also, grab the largest tortellini you can find. My store also carries mini tortellini that are a lot of work to batter and fry. So, grab the bigger ones.
Frozen tortellini won’t work as well, as the batter won’t stick very well, so I don’t recommend going with frozen.
Why do you have us soak the pasta?
You want the pasta to be nice and moist and supple. Almost al dente when you go to air fry it. If your pasta is already supple, you can omit the soaking and drying step.
If you air fried the tortellini straight from the package, it would be tough and difficult to eat.
Also, you don’t want to overcook the pasta, so the soaking step makes it just right for air fryer.
Make sure you don’t overlap the tortellini in the Air Fryer.
If you overlap the tortellini, they won’t cook evenly, and the pieces that touch can remain soggy.
Cooking the tortellini in batches helps to make sure that everything is cooked nice and crispy.
I wanted to see if I could make the dipping process easier. Dipping each tortellini into the egg mixture and then into the bread coating can be tedious. So I wondered if I could batch toss them into the beaten egg and then into the bread coating.
Yes, it absolutely works. They may not be quite as pretty and well coated, but it works. So, if you are in a hurry, or if you just don’t want to take so much time in coating them, you can pour the soaked pasta in a large bowl. Pour the beaten egg over the top, mix to coat. Then toss the whole kit and caboodle with the breadcrumb mixture. Still cook them in a single layer in batches though.
This isn’t my preferred method, but it works. You will get some nuggets of breadcrumb coating without any pasta. (And yes, those were tasty too!) So, you can decide how you want to make them.
I also tested cooking the tortellini with cooking spray, and cooking it without cooking spray. Honestly, I didn’t see a difference in the golden color of the final crispy tortellini. So, I’m inclined to skip the spray on this recipe. I mean, you don’t need to do it, it saves time, and it saves some calories.
How to reheat leftovers
Got leftovers? Store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days.
These tortellini are great popped back into the preheated air fryer at 350° F for about 5 minutes.
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Air Fryer Crispy Tortellini
- 9 ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 1 cup Panko
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- pinch cayenne pepper
- pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- Cover the tortellini with boiling water, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain well. Gently blot the tortellini with paper towels to dry.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350° F.
- In a bowl combine panko with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, basil, cayenne pepper, and salt, and stir well.
- In a separate small bowl, beat eggs.
- Dip tortellini in egg mixture, then dip into panko mixture, coating the tortellini all over, patting to help coating adhere.
- Working in batches, place the coated tortellini in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and air fry at 350° F for 9 minutes, shaking the basket half way through frying.
- Remove the fried tortellini, and serve hot, garnish with a sprinkling of dried oregano and some additional shredded Parmesan if desired. Don’t forget the dipping sauce.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.