HOWEVER… it is nice to be here at summer and already enjoying some very summery foods 🙂 I broke out the healthy zucchini bread last week along with a few frozen desserts (this lemon berry slush being my favorite!) already. I’m in full-blown summer mode now!
And the babe is loving summer. He’s outside pretty much all the time and loves exploring AKA throwing dirt and rocks everywhere. We’ve also got to babysit my in-laws little dog (Mazie) while they are vacationing and he’s absolutely crazy about her. Even if the affection is not quite returned… In fact, poor Mazie is terrified of little Grey.
Tons of summer veggies (that could be coming from your garden if you are super cool like that!), a lighter creamy base, and pasta in it’s very best form (tortellini obviously!).
Plus it’s a pretty simple meal which is perfect for summer when you really just want to be outside enjoying the weather instead of inside slaving over a meal all day.
If you are not, pick your favorites and just increase the amounts to the total amounts I have listed in the recipe.
Annnd for the creamy base. It’s a pretty standard and easy cream base, but with CREAM CHEESE added which is such a delicious change to your typical cream base. Plus it complements those cheesy tortellini’s quite well!
In the recipe, I’ve called for vegetable or tomato broth to ensure this recipe is vegetarian, but if you aren’t concerned about having a completely vegetarian meal, chicken broth will work fine as a replacement for that broth.
And, on the flip side of a vegetarian meal, you can definitely add some chicken to this dish if desired. I’ve made it with chicken just by cutting up small chunks of chicken and cooking them all the way through. Then just add the cooked chicken chunks to the veggie tortellini mixture. Truth be told though, both the husband and I preferred this dish without the chicken – the real star is all those veggies and of course the cheesy tortellini!
- 1 package (19 ounces) package frozen cheese-filled tortellini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 1 cup carrot (~1 medium sized)
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 3/4 cup sweet bell peppers (2 small sized)
- 1 cup summer squash
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) corn
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons white flour
- 1/3 cup vegetable stock or broth
- 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 package (8 ounces) full fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly-grated mozzarella cheese
- 3-4 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish and set aside.
Prep the veggies: trim the snap peas, peel and coin the carrot, thinly slice the mushrooms, chop the peppers, chop the summer squash, halve the cherry tomatoes, and rinse & drain the corn.
Prepare the tortellini according to package directions. In the last minute of boiling the noodles, add in the sugar snap peas and carrots.
Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet. Over medium heat sauté the mushrooms, peppers, and summer squash until crisp tender.
Drain the tortellini, snap peas, and carrots and return to pot. Add in the sautéed mushrooms, peppers, and summer squash. Add in the cherry tomatoes and can of corn.
In a small pot (or use the same skillet you used to sauté the veggies if it will work), melt the butter over medium-heat.
Whisk in the flour until a paste is made. Slowly whisk in the broth and stir until completely smooth. Then gradually, whisk in the milk and stir until smooth. (Add broth and milk slowly to allow the sauce to thicken). Add the garlic salt, pepper, and dried basil. Cook and stir until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
Add in the cream cheese and stir until smooth and the sauce is thickened.
Pour the sauce over the veggies and tortellini. Transfer the mixture to the prepared 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, add the mozzarella and parmesan cheese and broil for 2-3 minutes watching carefully until the cheese is melted on top.
Recipe adapted from BHG tortellini-vegetable bake
More meals with tortellini: