This creamy pesto tortellini bake with mozzarella is creamy, it’s cheesy, it's full of pesto, and it’s super hearty.
- Cheese Tortellini, Frozen: 28 Oz
- Olive Oil: 2 Tablespoons
- Fresh Garlic, Minced: 2 Cloves
- Pesto: 1.5 Cups
- Heavy Cream: 1.5 Cups
- Spinach: 4 Cups
- Mozzarella Cheese: 2 Cups
- Black Pepper: 1/4 Teaspoon
- Parmesan Cheese: 1/4 Cup
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 425° F. Grease a 9x13 rectangular baking dish and set it aside.
- Pasta: In a large pot filled with water, cook the tortellini per the instructions on the package. If there is a range for timing, cook it for the lesser amount, or cook it for 2 minutes less than specified. Before draining the pasta, reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta back to the large pot away from the heat.
- Sauce: In a small pot, add the olive oil and minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Add the pesto and heavy cream and bring the sauce to a boil on high heat, stirring occasionally. Add the reserved pasta water and simmer on low for 1 more minute. Remove it from the heat and stir in the spinach.
- Bake: Pour the sauce over the cooked tortellini and mix it until fully incorporated. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish, and evenly sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top. Bake the pasta for 10-15 minutes until the cheese begins to get bubbly and melt.
- Serve: Sprinkle the black pepper and parmesan over the pasta bake, and wait 10 minutes before serving to give the sauce time to thicken.
The pasta is going to be cooked twice in this recipe; first, it's boiled, then baked. To ensure it's not overcooked, you should aim to boil the pasta for a couple of minutes less than specified on the package. If there's a suggested time range for cooking it, choose to cook it for the lesser amount because it still needs to cook while it bakes.
Once you boil and drain the pasta and put it back into the same pot you boiled it in, you should remove it from the burner you originally cooked it on to avoid the pasta from continuing to cook or sticking to the pot.
You can use either frozen or fresh tortellini in this pasta bake. You just need to follow the instructions on the package and boil it for slightly less than specified to ensure it doesn’t overcook when you bake it.
To avoid a runny pasta bake, give it at least 10 minutes to rest before cutting into it. The resting period will give the sauce time to thicken and make it easier to cut into.
Nutrition facts are estimates only.
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- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: lunch, dinner, pasta, casserole
- Method: stove top, bake
- Cuisine: american, italian
Keywords: pasta bake, pasta casserole, pesto tortellini bake