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Key Differences Between Tortelli and Tortellini

As you walk through the pasta aisle of grocery stores, you’d come across a lot of pasta varieties. Some are stuffed pastas consisting of a filling wrapped around the pasta dough.

These stuffed pastas could have varying shapes, and they could also be filled with a wide range of ingredients 

Tortelli and tortellini are both varieties of stuffed pasta widely popular in Italy   

The names of these pasta varieties were derived from the word “torta” which means cake 

These two pasta varieties may seem alike as their pasta dough is made from the same ingredients; however, their origins, shape and fillings differ.

In this post, we take a look at these varieties of stuffed pastas and highlight the features that set them apart.

Tortelli Vs. Tortellini

As mentioned earlier, these two varieties have different shapes and fillings.

Tortelli can take different shapes. It can be Square, hat shaped or semi-circle while tortellini is typically ring shaped

The fillings of tortellini usually consist of meat, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, egg, and vegetables. Tortelli often has a pumpkin filling but can also be filled with other ingredients as well. 


A stuffed pasta variety widely popular in Italy 

The stuffed pasta variety comes in different shapes and also different sizes 

It may even resemble other stuffed pasta varieties such as like ravioli or anolini

It can be square shaped, semi-circle, this pasta can also be shaped like a hat about 2 inches in size or larger  

Tortelli has a variety of fillings which are shaped into a ball. The exterior is typical pasta dough, and the dough is rolled into a small circle which is folded over the filling.

There are regional variations of the stuffed pasta, and the fillings are made up of the different ingredients

One of the popular varieties of this pasta Tortelli con Zucca is filled with pumpkin.

It can also be filled with meat.


A variety of filled pasta from bologna 

It is popular in Italy and also worldwide.  

Tortellini is typically ring-shaped, although the fillings vary from one region to another.

It could be made with a wide range of fillings including meat and vegetables. Cheese or egg is used as a binder for the filling

The larger sized tortellini pasta is known as Tortelloni.

Tortellini is easy to make, the dough is first formed into a circular shape after which the filling is placed in the middle  

The dough could have natural coloring to give this pasta different colors 

Tortellini can also be served in different ways. Traditionally it is served in a capon broth, it can also be paired with variety of thick sauces.

This pasta can also be used to make soups or salads.


It’s easy to make these stuffed pastas fresh, however if you want them ready-made, they can also be found in the Frozen section in grocery stores that sell Italian food products.

They can also be commercially produced in the dried form  

For the dry pasta, the ingredients that make up the filling of this pasta are usually dehydrated.

The fresh version is preferred for most recipes although the dry version has a longer shelf life compared to the fresh ones.