This is an easy and extremely tasty recipe for those nights that you want a nice creamy pasta. If that’s not good enough for you, it’s also pretty cheap (less than $12 of ingredients to feed four adults). I adapted this recipe from here with a few tweaks.
Time: 30 – 40 mins
1 20 oz. package frozen Three Cheese Tortellini (or your favorite kind)
1 8 oz. pack plain cream cheese (Do not use whipped cream cheese, it won’t work. Just get a cheap block of regular cream cheese.)
12 oz chicken or vegetable stock (Let’s be serious though, use chicken stock.)
A bunch of spinach (I literally mean a bunch tied together, but you can add as much spinach as you want if you want to go full Popeye.)
1 cup Colby Jack or mozzarella cheese, shredded (You can use cubes, but it works way better shredded)
Chili flakes to taste
1 tbsp of dried basil (optional)
Parmesan cheese to taste
– Start by cooking the tortellini according to package instructions.
– Meanwhile, in a large, oven proof skillet, simmer the cream cheese in chicken broth for about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll want the cream cheese to melt into the broth and be a bit less lumpy. Have a beer while you do this since it’s the most laborious part.
– Preheat the oven to 400F.
– Add rinsed spinach to the cream cheese sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally. As the spinach begins to wilt, you’ll want to make sure it’s fully mixed in the sauce and covered.
– Add cooked tortellini and mix well until the cream sauce is covering everything. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. If you’re using cubes, try to space them out evenly.
– Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese melts. Cook it a bit longer if you want the bake to be more like a casserole. At the 5 minute mark of baking, I like to add a dusting of Parmesan cheese to the top and let it bake for another 5 minutes.
– Remove the skillet from the oven and serve. Remember the handle for the skillet is hot, so don’t be a hero/moron.
Notes & Pro-Tips:
– You don’t have to remove the stems of the spinach if you want to really be lazy.
– For stirring the cream cheese, I recommend using a silicone spatula.
– This goes well with garlic bread. If your garlic bread requires being heated at 425 F, split the difference at 415 F and cook the tortellini bake for 7 minutes instead of 10.
– The cream cheese/chicken broth mix will probably look terrible and you’ll think you’re doing it wrong for the first 4 minutes or so. Just keep the heat low while simmering and stir occasionally and you’ll be just fine.
– Feel free to add grilled or pan seared chicken if you want some protein in this.