Tortellini Casserole for a Busy Day
May is always such a busy month with end of the year school activities, graduations, and parties to attend. It is so easy this time of year to end up getting fast food because it is quick when you are short on time. I have a casserole for you today that is so easy to prepare yet so delicious, at least for one night, you won’t need to hit the drive-thru. Even if I make something that is easy and quick, I still want my weeknight dinners to taste good, otherwise, why bother. But this casserole has the advantage of being quick, easy, and tasting great!
The thing that I love about this dish, besides the flavor, is that it uses tortellini instead of the more traditional pasta you might find in this type of casserole. And, you don’t even have to cook the tortellini in a separate pan. It just goes right into the pan without cooking it. If you have a large skillet that can also go into the oven, you won’t even have to dirty more than one pan, but if not, no worries. Just transfer everything to a casserole dish.
The tortellini gives this casserole such an amazing texture. All the little nooks and crannies fill with cheese and sauce, and it is total comfort food. This time of year, a little comfort food can go a long way to making your life easier to handle when you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Or is it just me that resembles a chicken without a head this time of year?
When I first looked at this recipe, I wondered if it would be good because it doesn’t even have any spices in it. But I decided to make it because the pictures of all the cheesy goodness kept calling to me. I was so pleasantly surprised at how flavorful it is. Onion and garlic can go a long way to adding incredible flavor to a dish. And if you want, you can always throw some spices in, although I never have because it truly has delicious taste just the way it is.
This makes a great casserole to take to someone who is sick or a family that has just had a baby, also. If you don’t need it this month, save it for next fall when the kids start back to school. I hope it helps you when you are stressed for time or need a little comfort food in your life or just don’t feel like cooking. It really is a multi-purpose main dish that I am so thankful to have in my recipe file and hope you will be too!
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. hamburger
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
- 1 tsp. pepper or to taste
- 1 (24 oz.) package of fresh cheese tortellini (Costco has it very cheap in the refrigerated food section)
- 3 c freshly grated jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet, saute onions on medium-low heat until almost soft.
- Add garlic and saute until softened, about 2 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t burn.
- Add hamburger and cook until done, stirring often. I don’t drain the hamburger as this is what gives it such good flavor.
- Once hamburger is cooked through, stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce.
- Add salt and pepper and mix well.
- Stir in uncooked, fresh tortellini and 1 1/2 cups of the grated jack cheese. Transfer all to a greased 9×13-inch casserole dish. Press down so tortellini is down in the sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
- Cover casserole dish tightly with foil so the steam doesn’t escape. (This helps cook the tortellini).
- Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes until tortellini is soft and cheese is melted.
- Refrigerate any leftovers.
Recipe by Cook AZ I Do, originally found on No. 2 Pencil