Tortellini Spinach Casserole

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This is one fantastic main dish. Cheese tortellini, spinach in a creamy cream cheese sauce with lots of herbs, and topped with an Italian cheese blend of six cheeses make this casserole special. I admit I’ve had to tinker with this recipe quite a bit to get it the way I want it. The original recipe was way too bland. But I’m not the type of person to give up on a recipe when all it needs is a little additional seasoning to give it superb flavor. I’ve amped up the flavor and heat in Tortellini Spinach Casserole by adding several Italian seasonings and red pepper flakes to the sauce so now it is much zestier and enjoyable to eat. Another alternative is to add a few drops of hot sauce to the cream cheese sauce when you make it. Yum.

This is a great way to get your family to eat spinach, too! Tortellini Spinach Casserole is also family friendly and not too difficult to put together. We enjoy this meatless casserole as a main dish in our home, and is a fantastic option for Meatless Mondays since it is so satisfying and filling. I think this recipe could also be made with ravioli and turn out wonderfully. If you’re looking for a way to add veggies to your meals this is a great way to include them. If you like pasta, if you like cheese, if you like spinach, you’ll enjoy this great entrée.

This recipe is a featured recipe at All Free Casserole Recipes–a marvelous blog with lots of great recipes. You can find the post here.

I initially posted this recipe in June 2012 just after I began my blog. I’ve made this casserole several times since then and each time I’ve improved the recipe with small additions here and there. When I served this for company again in May 2014, I decided to retake the pictures since my first pictures were real losers! Our company LOVED this dish and especially that it had so much spinach in it. They enjoy healthier meals and since she grows her own garden this recipe is a new way for her to use spinach. Give Tortellini Spinach Casserole a try. I think you will enjoy all the additions I’ve made to the original recipe. We sure do.

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Tortellini Spinach Casserole is a fabulous meatless entree.

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Here’s a close up so you can see the texture of this main dish.

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Tortellini Spinach Casserole is filled with cheese, tortellini and spinach.

 

Here’s what I did.

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Here are the ingredients I used.

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Melt part of the butter in a large skillet. Wash and slice green or red onions and add to the butter in the skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic.

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Sauté onions, mushrooms and garlic and when done, pour into large mixing bowl with spinach.

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Microwave spinach in box for about 5 minutes (or thaw completely). Drain spinach and press all excess water out of it. Put spinach in bottom of large mixing bowl. Toss the cooked onion-mushroom mixture into the bowl with the spinach.

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In a separate sauce pan melt remaining butter. Add canned milk or heavy whipping cream.

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Add cream cheese that has been cubed and whisk into butter/milk mixture and heat over low heat until thick. Add salt, pepper, and remaining seasonings and heat sauce mixture through until thick. Whisk sauce ingredients together until smooth. 

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Stir and heat until cheese sauce has thickened. 

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Boil tortellini according to package directions (about 2 minutes once boiling). Drain tortellini and toss into bowl with spinach and mushroom mixture. Add the sauce to all the other ingredients in the bowl. Stir to combine.

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Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. I used olive oil cooking spray. My dish is 10×15″. Pour casserole ingredients into sprayed baking dish.

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I added a cup of Italian cheese blend. This includes Mozzarella, Romano, Asiago, Parmesan, Provolone and Fontina cheeses. Cover casserole with foil and bake at 350 until bubbly, about 45 minutes.

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Remove from oven.

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Add another 1/2 to 1 cup of Italian cheese blend and bake another 10 minutes or so until cheese melts.

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Doesn’t Tortellini Spinach Casserole look marvelous?

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Tortellini Spinach Casserole is a wonderful dish you can make earlier in the day, refrigerate, and then heat up an hour or so before you need it ready. Yum.

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The texture is gooey from all the cheese–in the sauce and on top of the casserole.

 

Here’s the recipe.

TORTELLINI SPINACH CASSEROLE

(Recipe inspired from Taste of Home Church Supper Cookbook)

Tortellini Spinach Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Tasty Italian pasta dish that's a great idea for Meatless Mondays. Uses spinach and tortellini in a cream cheese sauce. Extra seasonings provide a nice punch.
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 19-oz. pkgs. frozen cheese tortellini (or you can use fresh tortellini)
  • 1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms (or 8-oz. canned mushrooms, drained)
  • 1-2 tbsp. minced garlic from a jar
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced or ⅓ cup-1/2 diced red onion
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
  • 12-oz. can evaporated milk, half-and-half or heavy whipping cream
  • 8-oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 10-oz. pkgs. frozen chopped spinach, cooked about 5 minutes in microwave and drained really well
  • 8-oz. shredded Italian blend cheese: mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, Asiago, fontina and romano
Instructions
  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms, garlic and onion in ¼ cup butter until tender.
  3. Remove and keep warm.
  4. In another sauce pan, combine milk (or cream) and remaining butter.
  5. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat; stir in cream cheese cubes with whisk.
  6. Add salt, pepper, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, thyme, parsley and red pepper flakes.
  7. Cook and stir at low heat until smooth and sauce thickens.
  8. In a large bowl, mix tortellini, drained spinach, mushroom mixture and sauce.
  9. Spread into a greased 10x15” baking dish.
  10. Top with Italian cheese blend and bake at 350˚, covered, until heated through and cheese melts, perhaps 45 minutes.
  11. Add an extra half cup or cup of cheese and heat an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese melts.
Notes
I think this recipe would also work well with ravioli.

For a more lively taste, add a few dashes of hot sauce to the cream sauce.

 

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Mushrooms, onions and garlic add a delightful savory flavor to this dish.

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The cheesy flavors of this casserole are mouthwatering!

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Tortellini Spinach Bake is a tasty main dish that’s a great option for Meatless Mondays.

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