The weeks leading up to the year’s biggest holidays can be a bit of a jungle. If you’re hosting events, it’s even more of a frenzy to get things ready. I know this firsthand, because I do it to myself every year.
Yet, we’ve still gotta put dinner on the table for our hungry peeps on any given Manic Monday, right?
But really, one easily finds themselves pressed for time to cook on any weekday of the year, holidays or not.
That’s precisely where this Cheesy Baked Tortellini Casserole comes in. It literally takes me maybe thirty minutes to get this baby in the oven. Just like my old friend, this wildly popular, super easy Cheesy Baked Ravioli Casserole.
Weeknight dinners are all about being fuss-free yet delicious…
Not long after this Cheesy Baked Tortellini Casserole gets tucked into the oven, that appetite-inducing aroma of cheesy pasta wafts through the air.
Kids come running and professing their hunger. Grown-ups suddenly appear, asking if they can “help.”
This tortellini casserole couldn’t be easier, with the usage of frozen tortellini, straight from the freezer – no need to mess with boiling or cooking beforehand.
The tangy sweetness of tomatoes blends perfectly with the creaminess of melty cheese. We like to add ground meat (beef, turkey, or sausage all work well) for the meat-lovers at our table, but you can easily leave the meat out for a vegetarian dish. The result is a mouthwatering, satisfying meal that takes hardly any effort at all.
This Cheesy Tortellini Casserole is hard to beat, if you’re looking for a quick and easy yet totally scrumptious weeknight meal. Make it meatless, if you like.
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (turkey or sausage work well, too)
- 1 package (20 oz) frozen or refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 1 jar (26 oz) tomato-based pasta sauce
- 1 can (28 oz) plain diced tomatoes, with juices
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 TB onion powder
- 1 TB white sugar
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups shredded (not powder) parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cook ground meat with a pinch of salt and pepper (omit salt if using ground sausage) in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Continually stir and break up pieces until browned and cooked through. Drain excess grease, and turn heat to low.
- Add red pasta sauce and diced tomatoes with juices to the pot. Add garlic, oregano, basil, onion powder, and sugar. Stir to incorporate. Remove from heat.
- Spread one-third of the sauce mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 9×11 or similar sized baking dish. Arrange half of the frozen tortellini over the sauce. Sprinkle one-third of both the mozzarella and parmesan over the tortellini. Repeat layers. You should end with the last third of sauce on top, followed by the last third of cheeses.
- Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with oil, and lay the oil-side down loosely over casserole. Bake 40 minutes for frozen tortellini; 30 minutes for refrigerated ones. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes, or until cheese turns bubbly and golden.
- Note: Casserole may be assembled the night before, covered tightly, and stored in fridge. The frozen tortellini will become defrosted, so reduce bake time to 30 minutes in this case.
Source: Chew Out Loud