Fresh Gluten Free Tortellini

Fresh Gluten Free Tortellini

Get this tested recipe for fresh cheese filled gluten free tortellini pasta made from scratch—easy as can be. Have fresh pasta again!

Get this tested recipe for fresh cheese filled gluten free tortellini pasta made from scratch—easy as can be. Have fresh pasta again! Let’s be real. I don’t make fresh gluten free tortellini, or any sort of fresh pasta, every day. Who has time for such things?! But every time I do make fresh pasta, I’m struck by a few things that I may as well share with you, since the other real thing is that, of course, I’m looking to convert you if you aren’t inclined to make it yourself

If you’re feeling nervous about making fresh pasta, be sure to check out my how-to video on how to make gluten free pasta.

Get this tested recipe for fresh cheese filled gluten free tortellini pasta made from scratch—easy as can be. Have fresh pasta again!

1. You can do it in stages. You don’t really want to wait too long after making the dough before you shape and cut it, but after that? You can stack it up, wrap it tightly and freeze it for months, even. Just defrost in the refrigerator before using it. You can even shape and fill it, freeze it in a single layer on a baking sheet and then pile it into a zip top freezer bag and stick it in the freezer. Then, boil it right from frozen. 2. It’s quite meditative. Particularly when you’re filling cheese tortellini, it’s a task you can lose yourself in quite easily, and in a very good way. Finally 3. The filling part is definitely something you can train small children fingers to do. Currently, I have no small children at home (all 3 at sleepaway camp for a few weeks), but if I did, you’d better believe all 30 fingers among them (3 children—sorry about the math) would be pressed into tortellini service.

Get this tested recipe for fresh cheese filled gluten free tortellini pasta made from scratch—easy as can be. Have fresh pasta again!

Oh, and one more thing: You can’t do a tortellini search on the Interwebs without finding some tutorial or other about how to shape tortellini, but none of them (until now!) tells you what I believe to be the most important part of tortellini shaping. Here goes: after placing filling in the center of the fresh pasta round and folding the round in half, you have to pinch the shape right in the middle of the filled center before drawing the edges together. You have to! See the step by steps above, and read through the instructions below thoroughly, and then get your hands on some fresh gluten free pasta—and you’ll see just what I mean. Trust me. I’m a professional and stuff.

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: About 160 tortellini


Fresh Pasta*
2 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons (375 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter), plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

45 grams (about 5 tablespoons) Expandex modified tapioca starch**

2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) + 2 egg yolks at room temperature, beaten

1 tablespoon (14 g) extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lukewarm water, plus more by the quarter-teaspoonful as necessary

**For information on where to find Expandex, please see the Resources page. For information on how to replace Expandex with Ultratex 3, readily available in most countries outside the United States, in the gluten free bread recipes in GFOAS Bakes Bread, scroll to #6 in Resources. I have not yet tested Ultratex 3 in this recipe, but I would recommend trying a mix of 405 grams all purpose gluten free flour + 15 grams Ultratex 3 in place of the blend above. Ultratex 3 is at least 3 times as strong as Expandex.

*For a fresh gluten free pasta recipe that doesn’t use Expandex, please see this post.

8 ounces low moisture ricotta cheese

10 leaves fresh basil, chopped fine

For serving
2 medium fresh zucchini

1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Coarse salt, to taste

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  • Make the pasta dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum and Expandex, and whisk to combine well with a separate handheld whisk. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, olive oil and 1/4 cup warm water, and mix to combine. The dough should come together. If there are any crumbly bits, add more remaining warm water by the quarter-teaspoonful until the dough holds together well when squeezed with your hands. Knead together until the dough is smooth and pliable. If it feels stiff, add a few more drops of water and mix in until pliable. It should be, at most, slightly sticky but mostly just smooth.

  • Cut out the pasta. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it tightly and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. The dough will absorb more water and any remaining stickiness should dissipate. Unwrap the dough, divide it in half and return half of it to the plastic wrap and wrap tightly to prevent it from drying out. Place the remaining half of the dough on a very lightly floured surface, sprinkle very lightly with more flour and roll into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.* Flip and shift the dough often to prevent it from sticking, sprinkling only very lightly with more flour as necessary to allow movement. Continue to roll out the dough until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Remove and gather the trimmings, and reroll them as possible. If you sprinkle the dough with too much flour during shaping, you won’t be able to reroll the trimmings. Repeat with the remaining dough.

    *For instructions on how to roll out the dough using a hand-crank pasta machine, please see this post.

  • Fill and shape the pasta. Place the filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Place about 1/4-teaspoon of filling in the center of each round of pasta. Moisten the edges of each round with water in your fingertips, and fold each round in half, sealing in the filling, and making sure to squeeze out any air that might get trapped. Gently pinch the filled pasta in the middle, right in the center of the filling, and bring together the edges, forcing the filled center to further pucker. Moisten and press the edges together to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and filling.

  • Cook the pasta and prepare for serving. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a rolling boil. Place the filled and shaped tortellini pasta in the pot and stir to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Depending upon the size of your pot, you may have to cook the tortellini in batches to prevent crowding. Boil for about 2 minutes, or until the tortellini float in the pasta water and have become more yellow in color. Using a slotted spoon or spider strainer, remove the cooked tortellini from the pasta water, drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat. To serve over zucchini, trim the zucchini ends and cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler, and toss the zucchini ribbons with olive oil and coarse salt to taste. Also using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into ribbons, and toss with the zucchini. Place the cooked tortellini on top of the zucchini and serve immediately.

  • Adapted from the Fresh Pasta recipe (page 43) in the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring (Copyright © 2011) and the Flour Tortillas (page 203) in Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread (Copyright © 2013).



P.S. Don’t have your copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread yet? What are you waiting for?! :)

Comments are closed.

  • anna
    July 30, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    I use to make these using a recipe that called for bean flour… It was good when i first diagnosed and desperate for cheese-stuffed pasta, but lately i cant stand the taste of bean flour, even when im hard core craving ravioli or tortellini. Your recipes never disappoint so these are definitely getting bumped to the top of my to-make list. Thank you!

  • Ann Stewart
    July 28, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Hello, Is the Expandex necessary… I live in Canada & don’t know where to get it & I am also wondering if it is made with GMO corn?…TY

    • Anneke
      July 29, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      I don’t know about the GMO issue, but I am sure the Expandex (or Ultratex3) is necessary. Nicole’s fabulous bread baking method requires using the ingredients she suggests, and it is well worth it.

  • Wendy Polisi
    July 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    These look like they would be fun to make with my boys! I can’t wait to try them. They look great!

  • Judy Morin
    July 28, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Did you mean 368 Grams flour + 1 Grams Ultratex? Otherwise we are about 100 grams short!

    • July 28, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      Hi, Judy, sorry about that. I fixed the numbers. I had copied and pasted the paragraph from another recipe on my blog, and I hadn’t versioned the numbers properly. Fixed!

  • Barbara
    July 28, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Exactly what we have been missing since going gluten-free! Thank you for your time and efforts in sharing this recipe with us! :-)

  • Mare Masterson
    July 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    I love you!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

  • youngbaker2002
    July 28, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    o my gosh nicole,you are amazing! What will you come up with next?

  • Phoebe
    July 28, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    I’m trying this tonight. Also, if you don’t mind a bit off topic, I made stuffed breadsticks this weekend and they were absolutely perfect. Thank you!

  • Jennifer S.
    July 28, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    I was just thinking about this, on Friday night as I sat and rolled out wonton wrappers. With every square I thought, this dough would be AWESOME for fresh pasta. Alas, it is. I don’t think I can do it any time soon though because after rolling 59 (I was one short!) wonton wrappers, my back was killing me. Then I went and screwed up 24 with a not so flavorful filling — but we are eating them anyway.
    Also, please post about sending your celiac to camp. is it a special camp just for celiacs? this is giving me a lot of anxiety for my own GF son — who’s not overnight camp age yet but will be…..

    • Mare Masterson
      July 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      Jennifer google “camp for kids with Celiac” and you will find resources.

  • Anneke
    July 28, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    This appeals to me! I probably won’t make it today or anything, but it will be on my list. Thanks, as always, Nicole!

  • Michele Miller
    July 28, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    I can’t wait to make this! I also just received my new biscuit cutter set with different sizes. Too excited. I just stocked up on my better batter flour, about 25 lbs worth. It is their slow season, so stock up my GF friends! They have lots of sales.

    • July 28, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      That’s good to know about a sale on Better Batter, Michele! Love those cookie and biscuit cutter sets, don’t you?

      • Mare Masterson
        July 28, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        Yes, I just stocked up too!

  • Lucy
    July 28, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Nicole these look amazing! I have never made pasta from scratch ever…
    I may have to enroll 20 little fingers to help out… :)

    • July 28, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      It’s the least those little fingers could do for you, Lucy! ;)

  • Paula
    July 28, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    I’m so glad to have found this! My family has been wanting a rustic tortellini soup and we’ve been unable to have it. GF tortellini is hard to find and when you do find it, it’s expensive! Now we can enjoy it! I LOVE your recipes. Sometimes eating GF feels like a punishment, but your recipes are amazing! All the flavor and the correct texture, but without the gluten. Thank you so much!

    • July 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      That’s the best, Paula, that you seem to be feeling such a sense of possibility. I think that so much of our enjoyment of eating comes from textures, at least as much a flavors. We will sacrifice nothing! :)

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