Tortellini Spinach Bake with bacon, spinach and creamy sauce is one of the most delicious and easy dinners to make on busy weeknights that your entire family with love!
The other night I made a dinner that I had pinned from Pinterest, originally from Our Best Bites. When Lover Boy came home he was really excited to see the tortellini because he figured I was making my bacon alfredo tortellini dish that I made up after being on a business trip back in the day (apparently I’ve never posted that here…I’ll dig through my pictures and post it soon). Quickly he was disappointed when I told him it was not said dish. Anyway, I thought this dish was good and really liked the lemon zing! Lover Boy thought it was OK and it was too spicy for the kids. Bummer for them, great for me! I would definitely encourage you to give it a try sometime.
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Here’s how you make it:
Cook the tortellini according to the package and mix in raw spinach
In a large skillet make the sauce
Pour it overtop the tortellini
Add in parmesan and mozzarella cheese
Add cooked chopped bacon (there should be way more bacon but Little Finch took the plate off of the counter, set up camp with Laughing Coyote and the dogs and went to town on it!) 🙂
Cover with tin foil and bake
Then uncover and bake for a few minutes longer.
Enjoy some wine 🙂 Lover Boy bought these the other day (am yet to blog about that meal!)
|Tortellini Spinach Bake|
- 12 oz bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortelini (find them in the dry pasta aisle)
- 4 oz bacon or pancetta, (about 4 strips bacon)*
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed in garlic press or finely minced
- 2 Tbs flour
- 2 C milk
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp dry basil
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp or more if you like spicy)
- 1 medium lemon
- 2 C loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- ¾ C grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- ¾ C grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.
- Place bacon in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.
- While sauce is heating, use a microplane grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to zest lemon. Then cut lemon in half and remove juice. Add 2 teaspoons zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to sauce. (Note: I really love lemon so I added this to my tastes. If you don’t want as strong of a lemon flavor, I suggest cutting it down to 1 teaspoon zest and 2 teaspoons lemon juice) . Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan and also crumbled bacon.
- Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- * For a vegetarian meal, omit bacon.
- Serves 4-6