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This post for Creamy Tuscan Tortellini Bake is brought to you by Crystal Farms Cheese. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Food, Folks and Fun.
We’ve been in full-on back-to-school mode for nearly a month now (wow, has it been that long already?). I have quite the little routine down, one being dinner! I love delicious, easy weeknight meals. Especially slow cooker and casserole dishes. I love both of these types of recipes because they’re easy, affordable, and I can usually stretch them over 2 days (yay, leftovers!). Today I’m sharing my newest casserole creation with you, my Creamy Tuscan Tortellini Bake.
The inspiration behind this casserole recipe was this recipe for Zuppa Toscana. I took its classic flavors and made them into this Creamy Tuscan Tortellini Bake. The casserole is made creamy by a homemade béchamel-type sauce that I added Parmesan and Crystal Farms cream cheese to it.
Cook’s Note – Creamy Tuscan Tortellini Bake
- I used 2% milk in this recipe. I do not suggest using skim milk.
- I used mild Italian sausage, but feel free to use hot if they’re more to your taste.
- 1 lb mild ground Italian sausage
- 2 small russet potatoes scrubbed and dried
- 1 lb tortellini from the refrigerator section
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 oz block Crystal Farms cream cheese softened
- 1 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch (or 3 quart) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat cook the Italian sausage. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook for about 8 minutes or until fully cooked. Drain on paper towels; set aside.
- Cut the potatoes in half length-wise, then cut in half again to make quarters. Slice the potato wedges 1/8 of an inch thick (they should make little triangles). Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 3 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk constantly until combined. Continue cooking and whisking for 2 minutes to thicken. Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to a low boil and continue to whisk for about 2 minutes until the mixture thickens. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Bring to a low boil again and whisk for about 2 minutes to thicken the mixture.
- Add the garlic powder and stir in the cream cheese until melted and combined. Add the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper and stir until the cheese is melted.
- In a large bowl add the sausage, potatoes, tortellini, kale, and creamy mixture. Stir to combine, then pour the mixture the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- While the casserole bakes, in a small bowl combine the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, and olive oil. Give it a quick stir to combine; set aside.
- Once the casserole has baked for 30 minutes uncover it and sprinkle the bread crumbed mixture evenly over the top. Return it to the oven for another 8 minutes. Once out of the oven cool for 5 minutes then serve!