Spinach Tortellini Bake

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.

Serves 4

Time: 30 – 40 mins

Ingredients

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

Directions

– 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.

It looks kinda gross at this stage, but be patient.

– 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.

It ain’t easy being cheesy.

– 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.

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