May 27, 2014

Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake

This Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake is brimming with fresh vegetables like sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, carrots and sweet bell peppers all baked alongside cheese-filled tortellini in a creamy mushroom sauce.

This decadent Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake is brimming with tons of sweet vegetables like sugar snap peas, carrots and cherry tomatoes baked with cheese tortellini in a creamy mushroom sauce

When I think of casseroles, I don't usually think vegetables.  Like word association, you know?  For instance: I say ice, you say cream.  I say peanut butter, you say jelly.

I'd be willing to bet though, if I say casserole, you're not gonna say vegetables.  Maybe cheese, or rice, but I bet the first thing that comes to mind isn't sweet delicious garden fresh vegetables.  This casserole is different though.

Because the vegetables steal.the.show.

Like, for real.

Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake | thetwobiteclub.com

And I'm not just talking about when you throw a cup of vegetables into your casserole to help ease your mind and make you feel like you healthified your creamy cheesy casserole-y comfort food.  (You're not fooling anyone, by the way.  Still not healthy.)

I'm talking about my whole cutting board full of colorful fresh goodness.  I honestly didn't know how I was going to fit them all into one dish!  I did though.  And it was just perfect.

Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake in a creamy mushroom herb sauce.  Delicious!

I've been teaching my daughter lately about eating the colors of the rainbow because naturally bright colored fruits and vegetables are so good for you, and this meal really drove that concept home!

All of the bright colors grabbed her attention right away.  (Point for mom!)

Granted, she did want to eat them uncooked off of the cutting board more than after they were cooked, but I'm ok with that.  Point made, veggies ingested.  Win, win.

Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake | thetwobiteclub.com

And can we just talk about the mushroom cream sauce for one minute?  Holy cream cheesy, herby, earthy goodness.  It was the perfect sauce for the tortellini and vegetables.

My (meat-eating, where's-the-beef, casserole-hating) man even had thirds.  Thirds, people.  I think that's all I need to say!


Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake

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Ingredients
  • 2 (9 ounce) packages refrigerated tortellini
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 12 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsps snipped fresh oregano or 1 1/2 tsps dried oregano
  • 2 tsps flour
  • 3/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small orange, red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions, adding the carrot for the last 5 minutes and the sugar snap peas for the last minute.  Drain and return to the pot you boiled it in.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Shake together the chicken broth, oregano, flour, garlic salt, and pepper in a jar with a lid until smooth.  (I couldn't find any of my lids, so I used one of my workout water bottles.  Improvise!)  Add the chicken broth mixture and the milk to the pan with the mushrooms.  Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.  Add the cream cheese and cook until it is completely combined.
  5. Add the mushrooms sauce, lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers to the pot with the tortellini and gently toss to coat.  Turn into an ungreased casserole dish.  (An 8 x 11 or 9 x 13 would work.)  Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until the casserole is golden and bubbly.

Notes
  • The original recipe called for diced chicken to be cooked alongside the mushrooms.  I decided to omit the chicken and double the mushrooms.  I wanted the vegetables to be the star of the show and I felt like it would make a fabulous and filling vegetarian meal.  I was right!  We didn't miss the chicken at all!
  • Source: Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

4 comments:

  1. I like the idea of this. I would eat it as described. But my picky picky husband would not. I'm going to make this but I'm going to have to make some changes for the 40 year old child I have :\

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's tough when there's a picky eater in the house. I hope you enjoy it with whatever changes you make! I'd love to know how it turns out for you!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the recipe, I will try it out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm assuming this freezes well ? I'm looking for casserole ideas to make for my in-laws.

    ReplyDelete

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