Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini Bake

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeA friend of mine had a baby recently, so today I dropped off this casserole. Yes, really, this very one. “Sorry about the missing piece, I had to take a picture of it.” Nothing says I love you quite like offering up half-eaten food.

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeThe salad I brought her had also been photographed (coming soon!).  She’s coming out with an ebook soon, “The Dangers of Having a Food Blogger Friend and Other Tips For Dealing With Super Awkward People.” I’ll let you know when it’s up for sale. I swear guys I just get classier by the minute.

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeWelcome to your next 45 minute no-brainer meal. Only 15 minutes of prep time, by the way, and that’s if you’re slow. I mean, you don’t even have to boil the tortellini first. I love these meals that you can just crank out, you know?

It is definitely going up on my Get Dinner Done Pinterest board. I love stuffed shells and French onion soup, but sometimes my mind decides to shut down at 5pm, and that’s where this Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini Bake comes in. I like it because all you do is dump a bunch of stuff in a bowl, mix it, then bake in a dish. Thaaaaaat’s it. When you find a recipe this easy that also tastes fabulous, then you know you’ve won.

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeThe only thing you have to chop is the asparagus, which really doesn’t take long. The asparagus in this casserole is firm; it is not blanched or roasted before baking. I like it that way, I prefer a little resistance in my asparagus, but if that’s not your thing I’ve included blanching instructions on the notes to the recipe. It will only take an extra couple minutes.

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Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini Bake

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-oz) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup baby spinach, packed
  • 2 cups mozzarella, divided
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • dash salt
  • 1 (24 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini, uncooked
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, or another 1/4 cup mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, add the Alfredo sauce, drained tomatoes, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, basil, crushed red pepper, and a few shakes of salt. Stir together with a rubber spatula.
  3. Add the uncooked tortellini and use the spatula to break them apart. Stir it all together so that each tortellini is covered in sauce.
  4. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus, discard, and chop the rest into bite-size pieces.*
  5. Layer the asparagus on top of the tortellini. Sprinkle another 1 cup of mozzarella over the top, then sprinkle the 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  6. Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. If the edges are looking brown but the cheese in the center isn't browning, broil it for 1 minute.
  7. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, then serve. (With a big salad and breadsticks! Yum)

Notes

*The asparagus in this recipe is very firm because it is not cooked before baking. I like it that way, but if that's not your thing, then blanch the asparagus first: Trim and chop the asparagus and add it to a pot of well-salted, boiling water. Cover and let boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water. You can either layer it on top of the tortellini or mix it in with the sauce.

I know that many stores sell tortellini in 20-ounce packages. I've never tried that amount with this recipe, but I'm pretty confident that it would work just fine. Also, it doesn't have to be cheese tortellini, any kind will do.

Another note on tortellini: I did not boil my tortellini before baking it. It went straight from the package into my oven. If you don't trust me, then by all means boil first! It will still taste great. The recipe calls for refrigerated tortellini, but if you want to use shelf-stable tortellini, I would definitely boil it according to package instructions.

http://thefoodcharlatan.com/2014/05/20/easy-cheesy-asparagus-tortellini-bake/

Source: The Food Charlatan

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeAny kind of Alfredo sauce will do. I used good ol’ Newman’s.

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeDump and stir!

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeAdd in the tortellini. I used half of one of those double Costco packs, which was 1 1/2 pounds. I know at the normal grocery store they sell them in 20 oz packs though, and I think that would still work just fine. Maybe increase your spinach a little to make up for it.

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeThrow some asparagus on top. Blanch it first if you want it soft.

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeAnd of course cheese.

Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini BakeVoila!

Comments

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Comments

  1. says

    I love tortellini, not so much asparagus, but in this recipe it looks so delish! So great when you only need 15 minutes prep time for your dinner and get something as special as this dish… YUM!!
    Oh and I wouldn’t mind if you brought me this dish with a missing piece… haha. :)

    • says

      Tina, the asparagus can totally be traded out for something else. Like broccoli or peas, or something else green. May as well leave the spinach because you can’t eve taste it. Which is why spinach is so awesome!

  2. says

    Hiya Karen! I don’t know how we’ve managed to communicate for such a while via Instagram/Twitter without me leaving a proper comment here. Because can I just say–love your blog! It’s so fresh and after reading your posts, I find myself absolutely enveloped in a summery warmth of food-lovin’. I’m so glad I found your site, and I’m really looking forward to more fun stuff to come! Can’t wait to stay connected via our blogs, have a fantastic week, girl!
    Ala recently posted…Baked Brownies: Guest Post at Gotta Get BakedMy Profile

    • says

      I know Ala, I just visited your blog for the first time yesterday! I need to be better. You’re blog is awesome by the way, I love your about page. Calvin and Hobbes is THE BEST.

  3. says

    I may not have given someone a partially eaten casserole, but I can’t tell you how many things I’ve taken to church lunches and snuck a piece beforehand. Not to photograph, haha, but to make sure it tastes good! ;)

    Asparagus is my newfound love and tortellini is always yummy. This sounds like a fantastic dinner! Yay for quick and easy recipes. :)
    Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake recently posted…Sweet and SaltinesMy Profile

  4. Ashley says

    I made this recipe tonight and it was delicious! I couldn’t find the refrigerated tortellini at the store, so I bought the hard boxes kind. I just followed the directions on the box and cooked them before adding them to the recipe. They are smaller, and I think the big kind would work better, but it tasted great!

  5. says

    Mmmm…cheesy, creamy, baked pasta is the best. So is nice, crisp asparagus. I hate soggy, overcooked vegetables. This is a dream meal, Karen, and you’ve photographed and styled it beautifully. As for the classiness of giving your friend partially eaten casseroles – I do this all the time now and I don’t give a damn. Bringing a cake to a birthday party? There’s always a slice that’s already been cut and then jammed back into the cake. I just say “I needed to take a few photos for my blog”. So what if people stare at me as if I have a second head growing from my shoulder? All in the name of food blogging, lol.
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked recently posted…The Baked Brownie: Guest Post by @wallflourgirlMy Profile

  6. says

    OMG! I am seriously drooling. I absolutely HATED tortellini when I was little, and I feel like I wasted years and years of my childhood avoiding it (and hiding it in napkins) because now I can’t get enough of it. This looks so delicious and it’s going on my dinner menu for this week asap! Pinned!
    Justine@CookingandBeer recently posted…Lighter Buffalo Chicken Hot DogsMy Profile

  7. says

    I made this for dinner tonight (my second time making it!) because it’s just so darn good and easy! I meant to tell you the first time that I made it how much we loved it! It’s such a filling and yummy meatless meal, plus I love all the veggies in it. Thanks for such an awesome recipe, Karen! This is one of our new favorites! :)
    Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen recently posted…Bacon Chicken Corn ChowderMy Profile

  8. michael says

    I was so excited to try this recipe. I used buitoni 3 chesse tortellini and Newman’s Roasted Garlic Alfredo. Finished product looked fantastic. It didn’t taste good. My wife thought maybe it was the alfredo sauce we didn’t like. The pepper flakes added some fire so be cautious about adding more. I expected this would be a weeknight go to dish but it won’t be. Well I’m 1 for 2 on recipes from this website. I’ll keep trying and reporting. Nice website Karen.

    • says

      Thanks Michael! I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you. This continues to be a favorite for my family, I just made it last week. Maybe taste test the alfredo first next time? Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  9. says

    Karen, Just got done having this for dinner. It was fantastic! Loved the crunch of the asparagus, all the gooey cheese, and the perfect amount of red pepper flakes. Total winner in our book! This will be a repeater in our house for sure!
    Thanks for the recipe,
    Stephanie
    Stephanie @ Year-Round Giving recently posted…Lime Cilantro AioliMy Profile

  10. Deb says

    Yum! Ok, I’ll admit it – I do not like Alfredo sauce. Yup, you read that right. :) But my family does….and lo and behold, I just found a recipe for cauliflower Alfredo! So I made that for this casserole and yum! I really pumped up the veggies with the sauce, added frozen spinach to the sauce, then the fresh spinach and asparagus. It was wonderful, big hit. A bit more work making my own sauce, but still quick. Thank you for the yummy recipe!

  11. Julie says

    I made this tonight and after 30 minutes of baking the cheese was nicely browned but the tortellini were nowhere near cooked. In fact they were lukewarm and still pretty tough. I covered it with foil and put it back in the oven. Next time I would probably do maybe 30 minutes covered and then 10 or so minutes uncovered to brown the cheese.

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