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Creamy Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake

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The Andersen family is loving all things Spring right now–our hyacinths, and primrose are in full bloom, the peach blossoms are just starting to pop, and the tulips should be opening up any day now. It is Spring Break this week and we have been finishing up the final touches of our never-ending house repairs. It feels so good to have our whole house put back together and the yard and garden cleaned out.

Tonight’s dinner is a really easy fix after a full day of working in the yard. It has all my favorite Springtime vegetables including sugar snap peas– which I should be harvesting from the garden within the next 6 to 8 weeks. Oh, I just love living in the Rocky Mountains, with its changing seasons. I hope this recipe brightens your table like it did ours. Enjoy!

Creamy Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake

Spring vegetables and cheese tortellini in a cream cheese bechamel sauce
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author heartysmarty

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces refrigerated tortellini
  • 1 cup carrot thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups sugar snap peas halved crosswise
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano crushed
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese cubed
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked chicken see notes
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated

Instructions

  • Cook tortellini in boiling water according to package directions. Add the carrots during the last 5 minutes of cooking, the zucchini during the last 3 minutes, and the sugar snap peas during the last 1 minute of cooking. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, shake together chicken broth, oregano, flour, salt, pepper, and milk in a screw-top jar until smooth.
  • Heat butter in a separate pot. Add garlic, and cook just 60 seconds until fragrant. Add broth mixture, and cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cream cheese. Cook and stir until cream cheese is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice.
  • Add pasta mixture, chicken, tomatoes, and sweet pepper. Toss to coat. Turn into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking dish or shallow 3-quart casserole.
  • Bake, covered, in a 350 degrees F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Stir mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Notes

I use my pasta pot and strainer set to eliminate too many dishes. After the tortellini and vegetables are cooked, I pull the strainer pot from the stockpot of water and set it aside. Then I dump the water and use the stockpot for making the sauce.
Also, I use cooked rotisserie chicken that I always have on hand in the freezer. Learn how I do that here.

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