Baked Tortellini with Spinach

I’m a sucker for anything with cheese.  Cheese pizza, a cheese sandwich, cheesy pasta, it’s all good.  When I saw a recipe for Baked Tortellini, I was beside myself.  Cheese tortellini itself is good.  Bake it in a light cheese sauce, and we’re golden.  In fact, the dinner I had planned was immediately scrapped so that I could make this!

I decided to add some spinach, which was very welcome and an easy way to boost the nutrition of this dish.  I added a little cayenne pepper to perk things up a bit, and also added garlic.  We can’t have pasta without garlic, right?  Baked Tortellini with Spinach is cheesy pasta perfection, made healthier, with a little kick.

Baked Tortellini with Spinach
 
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups skim milk, heated (I microwave it for about 1 minute)
  • ½ cup fontina cheese, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 16-20 ounces cheese tortellini (I used 2 10-ounce packages)
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  2. Set water to boil in a large pot to cook tortellini.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until flour lightly browns. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, continuing to whisk constantly.
  4. Add hot milk and bring to a simmer, stirring until smooth and slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. While the milk mixture is simmering, add tortellini to boiling water and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or according to package instructions.
  6. Remove milk mixture from heat and add in fontina cheese and cayenne pepper, stirring to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Drain cooked tortellini. Add tortellini to the cheese sauce (milk mixture) and stir until coated. Add chopped spinach and stir until evenly distributed.
  8. Spray 2½ quart baking dish with cooking spray and pour mixture into dish, using the back of a spoon or a silicone spatula to spread evenly throughout.
  9. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Cover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Notes
This can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, up through step 8. When ready just sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake as usual.

Nutrition Facts
Calories: 366
Fat:  8g
Carbs:  46g
Protein:  18.5g

Adapted from Eating Well

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Comments

  1. This looks so good-I love spinach with my pasta. I’m always in need of baked pasta dishes since they are easy to prep in the morning then cook whenever I get home. I need to try this one!

  2. I’m crazy with cheese too, any kind of meal that have a word cheese on it, is like something must to try! and all the cheese at your Tortellini make me droooo…ling

    cheers

  3. This look delicious. I am always looking for ways to sneak some veggies into our daughters diet. Pasta is the best way I have found.

  4. This looks so wonderful!

  5. Mmm, what a treat! I’ve never had baked tortellini, but I love anything pasta with spinach, and fontina cheese is an added bonus 🙂

  6. I love fontina cheese and the spinach makes it healthy. This looks absolutely delish. Great dish!

  7. Yum…no wonder you scrapped your other dinner plan 🙂

  8. I love tortellini, and this looks like a great way to prepare it with veggies!!

  9. Mmm, I love that you added spinach and so many other wonderful ingredients to otherwise pretty plain pasta. I could eat this every night!

  10. I’m a sucker for anything with cheese too! The tortellini looks fabulous. 🙂

  11. Oh, Alida this is terrific! I’d probably scrap my dinner plans to make this right away, too!