Start With a Bag of Frozen Tortellini
I Love To Cook and Bake
One can purchase a loaf of artisanal bread at the local market, but isn't the aroma of homemade sourdough in your oven exhilarating?
Reliably good turkey broth can be purchased just about anywhere, but utilizing the frame from your Thanksgiving bird is not just thrifty—it's wholesome and nourishing.
Fresh pasta can be found at most grocery stores, but an afternoon spent rolling dough and stuffing ravioli is just so darned satisfying.
Sometimes there just isn't time for exhilarating, thrifty, or even satisfying. Sometimes you just need to get dinner on the table. Without a huge amount of planning, an exhaustive list of ingredients, or an endless amount of free time.
In other words -- NOW!
That's when a bag of frozen tortellini can be not just a platform, but an absolute lifesaver.
Now, of course, you can simply boil the pasta and dump a jar of spaghetti sauce on top and call it a meal. But here are a few more ideas for how to use that bag of salvation in your freezer and create a meal that your family will enjoy and you can be proud of.
Ham and Cheese Tortellini
Kevin and Amanda (at KevinandAmanda.com) have created a satisfying meal-in-a-pan that doesn't even require pre-cooking the pasta. Everything goes into one cooking vessel. Fast, easy, and it looks so yummy!
Crock Pot Tortellini "Lasagna"
Everyone loves lasagna, but who has the time? Kelly of Mostly Homemade Mom has greatly simplified this popular dish by using tortellini in place of the lasagna noodles and cheese filling. Her version of lasagna spends 3 to 4 (unattended) hours in your slow cooker. Sounds to me like a perfect weekend dinner plan.
By the way--I noticed that several people who commented on this post were disappointed (?) that one has to brown the ground beef before placing it in the slow cooker; I came up with a solution. I used leftover meatloaf in place of the ground beef.
Problem solved (and we used up another leftover).
Creamy One-Pot Tortellini Soup
Katerina is the creator of the blog Diethood and the inventor of a creamy spinach tortellini soup. This meal takes only 30 minutes to put together—perfect for a cold Autumn evening.
Tuscan Tortellini Soup
This one is mine. I love the flavors of Tuscan cooking as you can see from the links below. When the weather is chilly, I think there is nothing more satisfying and comforting than a steaming bowl of soup.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups of water
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen chopped kale
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon basil pesto
- 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen cheese tortellini
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add the onion, carrot, and celery; sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook 1 minute more or until garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in remaining ingredients except for the tortellini; bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tortellini and simmer until the tortellini is cooked, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Greek Tortellini Salad
Julie Wunder is a meteorologist, physical fitness enthusiast, a self-proclaimed fashionista, and creator of the blog Runningwithaskirt.com where she shares ideas on travel, fun, fitness, and food.
She developed (and beautifully photographed) an easy, six-ingredient recipe for a Greek Pasta Salad, using cheese-filled tortellini in place of the usual penne pasta.
© 2016 Linda Lum