I’ve decided to embark on a project that I will likely regret. Why? Because casseroles are the worst to photograph. But casseroles are—in my opinion—one of the tastiest foods to make. And yet, there aren’t enough casserole recipes out there that work well for fewer servings. So, despite my inner food stylist pleading me not to, I will be publishing a series of casseroles recipes meant for the 8×8″ pan—perfect for two. First on the docket is this chicken tortellini bake.
Now here’s the particular thing to note about this new crazy series of mine: I’m planning on blowing your mind with new casseroles to try. Forget what you know about casseroles—like tuna noodle casserole or the popular broccoli cheddar rice casserole. These casseroles are going to be completely unique. Stuff you truly haven’t seen before.
Why? Because honestly, I’m sick of doing what everyone else is! I feel like I’m just regurgitating the same type of recipes instead of truly making up stuff that I want to, and I’m kind of done with that. Do you really need another recipe for green bean casserole? Or tater tot hot dish? Didn’t think so.
Instead, I’m going rogue, and I’m taking you with me. These recipes are the perfect thing to whip up for dinner for a house of one or two. While the recipes will all be meant for two servings (yes, only two), you can make it for one and enjoy for two nights. Pretty simple, right? Because if you’re cooking for yourself, you should get some casserole love this winter, too.
This chicken tortellini bake is a nod to chicken alfredo—but better. In this recipe, I teach you how to make a roux—a white sauce that is used as the base for a lot of great creamy recipes, like this buffalo chicken mac and cheese.
The roux is transformed into a cheesy alfredo made with parmesan. You then mix in cooked chicken, tortellini, spinach, and some extra mozzarella to make it super cheesy. We even top this thing with mozzarella before popping it in the oven to bake.
It only needs to bake for 15-18 minutes! I give you a range because those last 2-3 minutes at the end are meant for the broiler, where you get your melted cheese on the top all golden-brown.
As for serving, it’s easy—just split it down the middle. Scoop one half in one bowl, and one half in the other.
I’m excited to share more of these fun 8×8″ recipes with you. I’ve even decided to start a section on my blog so you can bookmark the page to reference for later.
Oh, and as you may see, this series isn’t just for dinners (although that will be a huge focus). This will also be for dessert and breakfast recipes as well! So if you don’t have one already, snag yourself an 8×8″ casserole dish. This one has a lid—super practical for storing! Or just splurge on a cute one like this.
Enough blabbing. Here’s the recipe!
Chicken Tortellini Bake
- 2 cups cheese tortellini
- 1 tbsp salted butter plus some for the casserole dish
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk preferably 1% or 2%
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/2 lb. cooked chicken
- 2 cups spinach loosely packed
- 1/2 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella separated into 1/4 cups
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Sprinkle in some salt, then cook the tortellini according to the package instructions (usually only have to boil between 5 to 10 minutes). Drain.
- In a large skillet, melt the 1 tbsp of butter over medium-low heat.
- Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine.
- Slowly pour in the 1 cup of milk as you continually whisk. This will form a thin white sauce (also known as a "roux").
- Sprinkle in the parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine.
- Add in the cooked chicken, spinach, tortellini, and 1/4 cup of the mozzarella. Stir to combine.
- Grease an 8×8" casserole dish with some butter.
- Scoop in the chicken tortellini mixture.
- Sprinkle the top with the other 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and the Italian seasoning.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Switch the oven to broil and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the mozzarella becomes golden brown on top.