Tortellini Casserole

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Creamy vegetarian Tortellini Casserole is packed with veggies and coated in a light, tasty cream sauce.

Pair this dish with a light side like this mandarin orange salad or quick Italian salad.

 

Overhead image of the Tortellini Casserole

Tortellini Casserole

This casserole is one of our favorites for a lighter dish that feels like total comfort food. It’s packed with veggies, which add a wonderful freshness — something you don’t often find when the word “casserole” is included.

Tortellini Casserole is simple and quick to make; the veggie prep is nothing too time consuming. And one of the best things about this casserole is how easy it is to customize to your personal preference! The veggies can be swapped out and if you’d like to add in some protein, that can be done as well. More details below!

Process shots-- images of the tortellini and veggies being cooked; everything being added to a casserole; the cream sauce being poured over it.

Tortellini Casserole variations

  • Swap veggies: If you aren’t sure about some of the veggies in this casserole, swap them out for equal amounts of another veggie you do enjoy. Other ideas that would work well:
    • chopped broccoli florets (boil for 2 minutes with the tortellini)
    •  summer squash for zucchini (sauté it with the mushrooms)
    • diced onion and/or garlic (sauté in the skillet before adding in the mushrooms, squash, and peppers)
    • sweet peppers for a green bell pepper
  • Add in meat: To add in some protein, I recommend tossing in some shredded or chopped rotisserie chicken. Other alternatives:
    • chop a small chicken breast or a few thighs, sauté with salt, pepper, and a few seasonings, and add into the dish. (I would not bake the sautéed chicken, because it will dry out. Instead, stir it into individual portions).
    • leftover chopped grilled chicken. Again, stir it into individual portions instead of baking.
  • Cheese: We love freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top, but if you’d prefer a different cheese, try a sharp Cheddar or Italian blend instead.
  • Add some basil pesto: We make pesto all the time and the last few times we’ve made it, I’ve had some pesto lingering in the fridge — it’s delicious in this tortellini casserole! If you love pesto and have some lying around, try it!
  • Lighten up the sauce: The sauce is fairly light tasting (it’s not a heavy cream sauce), but if you’d like to lighten it even more, use Neufchâtel cheese instead (see quick tip below!)

QUICK TIP

Neufchâtel is sometimes labeled “1/3 less fat than cream cheese.” Cream cheese and Neufchâtel cheese are extremely similar, but the Neufchâtel keeps this sauce on the lighter side.

Overhead image of creamy Tortellini Casserole fresh out of the oven.

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Tortellini Casserole

5 from 8 votes
Creamy vegetarian Tortellini Casserole is packed with veggies and coated in a light, tasty cream sauce.
Print Recipe

Tortellini Casserole

5 from 8 votes
Creamy vegetarian Tortellini Casserole is packed with veggies and coated in a light, tasty cream sauce.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Tortellini Casserole
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 226kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $6.47

Ingredients

  • 1 package (19 oz; 538g) cheese-filled tortellini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Veggies:

  • 1 cup (104g) sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup (134g) sliced carrot (~1 medium-sized)
  • 1 cup (62g) sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup (50g) sliced mini sweet bell peppers
  • 1 cup (205g) sliced and halved summer squash
  • 1 cup (164g) halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup (124g) frozen corn

Creamy base:

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons white flour
  • 1/3 cup (77g) vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 cup (258g) 1%, 2%, or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: roasted garlic powder, fine sea salt, freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: dried basil, Italian seasoning
  • 1 package (8 oz.; 226g) full-fat cream cheese

Top it off:

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: fresh basil pesto

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • VEGGIE PREP: Trim the snap peas, peel and coin the carrot, thinly slice the mushrooms, peppers, and summer squash; halve the cherry tomatoes.
  • TORTELLINI: When the water boils, add 2 teaspoons salt. Prepare the tortellini according to package directions. In the last two minutes of boiling the tortellini, add in the sugar snap peas and carrots. Drain everything and then transfer to the prepared casserole dish.
  • SAUTE VEGGIES: Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, sauté the mushrooms, peppers, and summer squash in 2 tablespoons olive oil until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Pour over the tortellini, peas, and carrots in the casserole dish. Add the halved cherry tomatoes and frozen corn and gently toss everything to combine.
  • CREAM SAUCE: In a small pot, melt the butter over medium-heat. Once butter is melted, whisk in the flour to create a paste and cook for 1 minute. Gradually and slowly add in the broth and whisk until completely smooth. Gradually, while stirring constantly, add in the milk and whisk until smooth and thickened. Add in the garlic powder, salt, pepper, dried basil, and Italian seasoning. Stir. Meanwhile, soften the cream cheese (out of its package) in the microwave. Once soft, add into cream sauce and whisk briskly until completely smooth and melted. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings adding more salt/pepper if needed.
  • BAKE: Pour the sauce over the veggies and tortellini. Stir gently in the casserole dish and then press into one even layer. Add Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until warmed through and cheese is melted on top. Broil for the last 1-2 minutes if desired. Enjoy hot! Lately, we've been enjoying this with a big scoop of pesto if there is some lingering in the fridge -- so good, but of course, totally optional.

Recipe Notes

Storage: This dish is best enjoyed the same day it's made. Leftovers re-heat okay, but sometimes get a bit watery. This dish does not freeze and thaw well because of all the veggies and the dairy in the sauce. Feel free to halve the recipe!
Make ahead: Prepare this casserole as directed but don't bake it. Instead, cover and chill up to 24 hours. Bake, covered, in a 350 degrees F oven about 45-55 minutes or until hot.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 43.5g | Protein: 14.7g | Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 48.9mg | Sodium: 444.9mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 6.8g

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27 Comments

  1. Chelsea this looks so good! I love how perfect this is for summertime, I will definitely have to make this sometime soon (and I love how easily adjustable it is for personal preference!)! 🙂

  2. I loooove stuffed pastas, especially tortellini! This look indulgent and satisfying, yet at the same time, packed with vegetable goodness 🙂

  3. I don’t know what it is about tortellini, but I just adore it. Maybe for it’s cuteness? Maybe for the tiny title jewel in the center?? Whatever the reason, I love them, and I love this!

  4. 5 stars
    Do you think this meal would freeze well? I usually stay away from sauces with dairy in them as far as freezing meals, didn’t know if you had tried it though.

    1. I’m sorry, I haven’t tried freezing this dish. I don’t think it would do particularly well being frozen, but I can’t say for sure.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this exactly according to the recipe and it came out FANTASTIC! The creamy sauce was tasty and not too heavy. A perfect filling dish with summer veggies. You made this vegetarian (and her meat-eating hubby) very happy. Oh, I did roast the halved tomatoes first, that’s the only change I made. Which I recommend. 🙂

    1. Oh that is SO great to hear! Thanks so much for the comment Katie 🙂 And I LOVE the idea of roasting the tomatoes first, I’ll definitely have to try that!

  6. 5 stars
    The perfect way to use the bounty of veggies coming out of our garden right now! I’m a tortellini lover, too.

  7. This looks fantastic and is now in my oven! Can’t wait to taste it! Any tips on turning this into a crockpot meal? Turning on my oven on this hot day was the only downfall.

    1. So glad you tried this! I hope you love it 🙂 I’m sorry, I don’t have any tips for changing it over to the crockpot as I haven’t experimented with this recipe in the crockpot. With all the veggies and the tortellini I’m not sure it would be a very good crockpot meal…the oven really makes the veggies crispy which a crockpot can’t do.

  8. Hey! What are y’alls thoughts on substituting the cream sauce for marinara? Do you think it would still work?

    1. I’m not sure. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but I haven’t tried it ever! It will be a completely different flavor/texture. I’d love to hear how it works out if you try it 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    I just made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious. The creamy sauce is amazing. I added chicken to it, because it needed a little meat for the hubby. Thanks so much!!

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