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Bacon and Spinach Cheese Tortellini Bake
With exactly 1 week left until Christmas, my want to be in the kitchen is seriously running on fumes. I’ve been a baking machine. All that meal planning, exhausting. And in a few days, the whole fam will be here. For a week! I know, you’re tired too, huh? The kiddos sill need dinner though. And, since Ethan’s not old enough to cook for himself, well, that leaves me. Still in that kitchen! I’d like to toss a frozen waffle or 2 in the toaster. Maybe some PB&J… The world may not come to a screeching halt, but I won’t be receiving any parent of the year awards. Dinner must go on, right?
I remembered this great Cheese Tortellini Bake my neighbors made all the time when I was a kid myself and wondered… How can I turn that into a semi-homemade meal to save me some time. And, how can I lighten it up a bit and not use a heavy sauce. We’ve got a ton of not so waist-friendly eating coming up! Light bulb went off! I was at Von’s picking up a few more things for our big dinner next week and saw $.75 off of ONE package of Barilla Tortellini with their special in-store promotion. Perfect! Now, to jazz it up with tons of flavor, but no heavy sauce….. BACON! I win!
Bacon and Spinach Cheese Tortellini Bake Ingredients:
- 1 Bag Cheese and Spinach Tortellini (prepare according to package)
- 4-5 Strips of Bacon (cook, chop to 1 inch bits)
- 2 Cups Fresh Spinach
- 1 Cup Grated Mozzarella
- 1 Cup Grated Parmesan
- 2 Cups Milk
- 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 TBS Fresh Basil (chopped)
- 2 TBS Flour
- 2 TBS Butter
- Splash Lemon Juice
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Bacon and Spinach Cheese Tortellini Bake Directions:
We’re going to start this cheese tortellini bake by preheating the oven to *350. While that’s warming up, prepare your tortellini according to package directions. Fry up that awesome bacon, drain grease and chop. Set that aside. In the same pan, add your butter and garlic. cook for 1 quick minute. Add flour and whisk to start a rue. Add milk and whisk until it’s all nice and smooth. No lumps, right!? Toss in your basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Let that simmer for about 4-5 minutes. It will start to thicken nicely. Now drain your cheese tortellini and return to the pot. Add your awesome sauce (see what I did there?) 1/2 of the bacon, all the spinach and 3/4 cups of both cheeses. Let that cook on medium until spinach has cooked down. Throw the whole kit and caboodle into a baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and bacon. Cover with a loose foil tent. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and let it go for 5 more minutes until cheese is ooey and gooey! Done!
And Bam! You’ve got a quick semi-homemade meal you can feel better about giving the small frys than frozen waffles! You didn’t spend forever in the kitchen. It’s way better than popping open a jar of heavy sauce! There’s spinach too! Gotta get those greens! And! Bacon! Hello winning! Also, those Orange Cranberry Cupcakes I made last week would be an Uh.Maze.Ing dessert with this! Just sayin’!
So, what say you? Is this Bacon and Spinach Cheese Tortellini Bake an easy weeknight meal you’d whip up?
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