This chicken cheese tortellini is a comforting weeknight dinner recipe that even helps you get ahead on meal prep! Makes 2 – one for now, one for later.
You know That Feeling that strikes you on Those Days? Sometimes That Feeling is good, and sometimes it’s not so good, but recently in Godmotherland, That Feeling has been beautiful, and in turn, humbling.
Remember last month when I shared my goals for 2014? I wanted to simplify so I could better appreciate the wonderful moments in life. I think it’s happened. I’m typing this post while baby girl is napping on my chest (I can spoil her a bit, it’s okay, she’s only little once), Dolce is curled up on another couch relaxing while The Great Mouse Detective plays. The Godfather will be home in the next hour or so so I can head to flamenco class, I have e-mails and messages with bookings in my inboxes, and I’m here writing this, for you. That’s simply beautiful.
Look around and I bet you’ll see beautiful things too… simple, beautiful moments happening all together to make a perfect life cupcake. Mmmm… cupcakes.
We are not talking about cupcakes right now!
We are talking about casserole, which is funny, because I don’t consider myself a “casserole” person. My mom never made casseroles growing up and because most call for “cream of something or other” processed something, I never really experimented with recipes. But, you know, we’re up for new things, and anything that is baked in a casserole dish counts as a casserole, right?
While I was on maternity leave, a very sweet soul dropped off dinner for us one night, a tortellini casserole that was freezer friendly. We didn’t freeze it, but we loved it and decided we needed to recreate for freezing. 1. it was delicious, and 2. after the Valentine’s Day rush, we realized it might be practical to have a bit more food in the freezer reserves just in case.
On a total side note, did you know that in the 72 hours before and including Valentine’s Day (pickups Wednesday, Thursday and Friday), over 500 items (sugar cookies, French macarons, breads, brownies and cake pops) were baked and sent out of the Godmother kitchen? What a way to come off maternity leave (haha)! Thank you…
The recipe as written will make 2 deep 8×8 inch dishes or moderately full 9×11 inch dishes. I wrote it to make 2 because this is how I make it now so I have one for the freezer and one for the meal. I’ve also made the full recipe when I’m taking a meal to a friend so I cook for both families at once.
Your prep time doesn’t change significantly when you double this chicken cheese tortellini casserole recipe, so you may as well just go big or go home. Or wherever you’d go since you’re already home cooking?
- 48 oz refrigerated or frozen tortellini
- 4 cups pasta sauce (jar or can)
- 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella, provolone, or Italian-blend shredded cheese
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (the refrigerated kind)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Cut the chicken into 1" cubes. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until the garlic starts to soften and is fragrant. Add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
- While the chicken is cooking, place your tortellini (no need to cook) in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the pasta sauce, tomatoes, oregano, and 3 cups of the mozzarella cheese.
- Add the chicken to the pasta and stir to combine.
- Divide the pasta between two 8x8" or 9x11" baking dishes and top with the remaining cup of mozzarella and the Parmesan. At this point, cover both with foil and then either freeze or bake.
- To bake the pasta from fresh: Preheat the oven to 375 F, bake the casserole covered in foil for 20 minutes, and then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until the cheese on top starts to brown a bit. To bake the pasta from frozen: Preheat the oven to 375 F, bake the casserole covered for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15.
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