Cheesy Chicken Tortellini Bake

baked tortellini with chicken(2)

If you haven’t noticed I tend to post more simple, comfort food type of recipes than exotic dishes with exotic ingredients and names. Not that I don’t enjoy experimenting and making those types of dishes, but I’m not rich and if I have to go out and get special ingredients for every meal then I might as well eat out every night.

I also think we all need to go back to our roots and start living a little more simply. I also don’t feel the need to impress anyone with my “new and unusual” recipes. I want to encourage more people to cook at home, sit down and eat with their families without distractions from TV or phones. These are dishes that my kids grew up on, sitting at the dining room table talking about school, friends, even the news or them asking me silly questions. Dinner time was always a great bonding time and we still enjoy getting together and eating at the table even though they are all grown.

This is another family favorite, another comfort food dish.  The recipe calls for cooked chicken and I guess it’s really whatever mood I’m in that day on how I’ll cook the chicken. Sometimes I’ll throw it in some chicken broth and boil it for about 20 minutes or so with some seasonings like black pepper, garlic powder, maybe some seasoning salt. I have a great garlic and pepper seasoning mix I love using for everything. You just need to be careful not to add extra salt because the broth and the seasoning mix have plenty to go around.  Or you can bake the chicken breasts at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. I usually season it with my garlic and pepper seasoning mix. Let the chicken cool a bit before cutting in to pieces.

You can also use a rotisserie chicken or it’s a great dish to use leftover chicken or turkey from the night before.

baked tortellini with chicken

Cheesy Chicken Tortellini Bake

adapted from The Pampered Chef Stoneware Inspirations Cookbook

Pasta Mixture:
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16 oz) jar white Alfredo pasta sauce
2 (9 oz) pkgs refrigerated cheese-filled regular or spinach tortellini
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbls snipped fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Crumb topping:
1/4 cup (1 oz) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 Tbls butter or margarine, melted
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat; add onion and garlic. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in pasta sauce, tortellini, chicken, milk, water, peas and black pepper. Heat until mixture just comes to a boil; remove from heat. Stir basil and Parmesan cheese into pasta mixture.

Meanwhile, for crumb topping, place bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in small bowl. Add melted butter and stir until bread crumbs are coated. Spoon pasta mixture into baking dish. Bake 15-20 minutes and then sprinkle bread crumb topping over pasta mixture. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until bread crumbs are browned and crispy. Makes 6 servings.