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Start With a Bag of Frozen Tortellini

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Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

spinach tortellini waiting to become something wonderful

spinach tortellini waiting to become something wonderful

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.

However

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.

The Recipes

Ham and Cheese Tortellini

Ham and Cheese Tortellini

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"

Crock Pot Tortellini "Lasagna"

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

Creamy One-Pot Tortellini Soup

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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

Greek Tortellini Salad

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

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 12, 2017:

Julie, it IS so tasty. I've made it several times and it is always a hit with the family. It is my pleasure to share great blogs.

Julie @ Running in a Skirt on September 12, 2017:

Thanks for sharing my Greek Tortellini Salad! So tasty!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 15, 2016:

Bravewarrior - Oh my, isn't it strange how these things come together some times? Glad you got a good laugh, and happy that you liked the recipes.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on November 15, 2016:

I love tortellini and see nothing wrong with using the frozen variety. That and mini cheese ravioli are always in my freezer when I don't want to spend a lot of time getting a meal together. All of these recipes sound delicious and definitely worth a try.

I had to laugh when I first opened the link to this article, Diva. The ad at the top of the page reads: "How to Remove Eye Bags". Then comes your title, "Start With a Bag of Frozen Tortellini". Too funny, huh?

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 02, 2016:

Happy Mommy - Thank you for stopping by and for your support. I hope you enjoy these.

Amy from East Coast on November 02, 2016:

I am a big fan of anything that has to do with tortellini. I am going to try one of your soup recipes. Great for the cold weather. I will share this hub!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on November 01, 2016:

My pleasure, Carb Diva. I do love your recipe hubs. Food for thought.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 01, 2016:

Kristen - Thank you so much. Although I love to spend time in the kitchen there are days that I've just too many other things to do to allow that luxury. That's when I love having something like frozen tortellini on the ready.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 01, 2016:

Rachel, yes we have certainly moved into "soup weather". We had record-breaking amounts of rainfall in October, and this month doesn't look any more promising. I'm glad you liked these and hope you have a chance to try them.

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on November 01, 2016:

I love your recipes for tortellini. The picture of the Greek tortellini salad looks so inviting. That is something my family would love. Also the soup is perfect for this time of the year. Thanks for sharing your ideas and recipe.

Blessings to you.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 01, 2016:

Eric, I do hope that you try one of these and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on November 01, 2016:

I love these recipes, Carb Diva. I'll be making them this fall and winter as soon as I head to the store. Quick and easy to make and delicious to eat, too.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 01, 2016:

OK, these are all right up my alley. Tomorrow for dinner - I will let you know.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 01, 2016:

Flourish - thank you so much! We had the Tuscan soup last night; I had hoped there would be leftovers for lunch today, but...there were no survivors. Thanks for stopping by.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 01, 2016:

Bill, it's so wet I saw a slug clinging to the siding of the house. Honestly, when the slugs are seeking higher ground, you know we're in trouble.

Now, as for your compliment (?) dear one we all start at the same place. I didn't come out of the womb knowing how to whip eggs or julienne a carrot. I strive to give pretty darned good directions. Give it a try and then report back to me.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 01, 2016:

Here's the problem I have reading your food articles: I know that, no matter how hard I try, mine won't turn out to look as good as yours or taste as good as yours. You've set the bar so high I'm afraid I'll never reach it. :)

That was a compliment in case you couldn't tell.

Is the rain ever going to stop?

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 01, 2016:

What a fabulous collection of ideas for dinner! Wow! I find that occasionally getting out of my comfort zone can yield amazing results. Thanks for these.