Our recipe for Cheesy Baked Tortellini provides all the favorite flavors of a classic Italian dinner. Tomatoes, mild cheese, and delicious pasta are all incorporated into this easy to create casserole dish that even a school-aged child can create. This recipe is the perfect one for busy evenings after work.
Some of the worst moments as a family can happen in what some people call the “witching hour.” This is the time period that happens in the forty-five to sixty minutes between when you walk in the door and dinner is served. Generally, everyone is tired and hungry; mom and dad are trying to open the mail, prepare dinner, and get the kids started on homework. Tempers are generally short, the kids are whiny, and nobody has any patience. Recipes like this one for Cheesy Baked Tortellini are a must for nights like this.
Easy Cheesy Baked Tortellini Recipe
This recipe for Cheesy Baked Tortellini is a quick, easy family favorite for nights when you may have arrived home just a little bit late. The recipe takes no special cooking techniques, comes together in a flash, and satisfies everyone’s appetites for something filling and delicious.
4ouncesCream Cheeseor half of an eight-ounce block
1 1/2cupsShredded Mozzarella
30ouncesTomato Sauceor 2 cans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a nine by thirteen baking pan with cooking spray.
Bring a large saucepot of water to a boil and cook the frozen cheese tortellini for about two minutes on the stovetop.
Drain the water from the pasta by pouring the pasta and water through a colander.
Place the drained pasta in your greased baking pan.
Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Drain the grease from the meat.
Put the beef in the saucepan that you used for cooking the pasta. Add the tomato sauce and the Italian seasoning to the beef and stir to combine.
Bring to a low boil over medium heat.
Cut the cream cheese into half-inch cubes. Stir the cream cheese into the hot tomato sauce and continue stirring until it melts into the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir the pasta until it is coated in tomato sauce. Spread it evenly throughout the pan and top it with the shredded cheese.
Bake the tortellini in the preheated oven for twenty minutes. Set the oven to broil and watch it carefully as the broiler browns the cheese. This typically only takes three to five minutes, so stay close and keep an eye on the pasta.
Remove the Cheesy Tortellini from the oven, allow it to cool for about five minutes, and serve accompanied by garlic bread and a tossed salad.
Even if you don’t have anything made ahead, you can have this recipe put together and baking in the oven in less than fifteen minutes. However, with a little forethought, you can create a few shortcuts to ease the prep. Have you ever noticed that many dinner recipes begin with the words, “Brown a pound of ground beef…”?If you’re thinking ahead, you can brown and drain several pounds of ground beef and store one pound each in zip-top freezer bags. Press out all of the air, seal the bags, and store them in the freezer until you need the beef. You can thaw them by placing them in the refrigerator before you go to work. Then, when you get home, the first step of this recipe will already be complete.Another way of creating this recipe quickly is to assemble the whole dish in the baking pan the evening before or the morning before you go to work. Cover the pan with aluminum foil or a plastic lid if you have one for the baking pan.When you get home from work, all you have to do is to uncover the baking pan and slide it into the preheated oven. You may have to add an extra five or ten minutes since you will be starting out with a colder dish, but it won’t be long and you will smell the delicious fragrance of tomatoes and cheese coming from the oven.Our recipe uses frozen cheese tortellini, but if you prefer to use fresh refrigerated tortellini or dried tortellini that is fine too. All you need to do is follow the cooking instructions on your package of tortellini. If you can’t find tortellini and you can find ravioli, feel free to substitute the ravioli in this recipe. Just follow the instructions on the package to cook it before you incorporate it into the dish.Our recipe uses the very basic flavoring of Italian seasoning, but if you want to increase the flavor of the sauce, you can incorporate whatever classic spaghetti seasonings you like. Garlic, onion, or even red pepper flakes will only add to the flavor profile of this dish. For a more sophisticated dish, you may want to stir a half cup of thawed, drained frozen spinach into the tomato sauce.This recipe for Cheesy Baked Tortellini has all of the ingredients that make a family favorite. Tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and mildly flavored cheeses bring to mind your favorite Italian restaurant or even pizza night. Even the pickiest kids love pasta, and the tortellini in this dish has protein and calcium-rich cheese inside the pasta. Serve the Cheesy Tortellini with a side salad and garlic bread for a full Italian dinner.
Keyword Cheesy Baked Tortellini, Recipe, Side Dish
April Freeman enjoys creating all kinds of recipes for her friends and family from her country kitchen in Middle Tennessee. She and her family raise beef cattle, chickens, and all sorts of fruits and veggies on their farm, and she specializes in featuring farm-fresh foods in the recipes that she creates and serves. April says that her slogan is “Are you hungry?” and she feels that one way of showing love and connecting with others is to serve delicious favorite foods to others. Her favorite thing to cook is pies of all kinds.