Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cheesy Tortellini Bake

Cheesy Tortellini Bake
from Dinners for a Year and Beyond

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, about 1 1/2 pounds total
salt, pepper
olive oil
4 cups broccoli florets
2 packages(about 10 ounces each); frozen or fresh cheese tortellini
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 and 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch backing pan. Set aside.
2. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool and then cut into 1-inch chunks. Set aside. Increase the oven to 425 degrees.
3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 - 5 minutes until it is still crisp but a little tender. Drain into a colander and set aside.
4. Prepare the tortellini according to package instructions cooking the pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.
5. While the tortellini is cooking, make cheese sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter. When it just begins to sizzle, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking for 3 - 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Off the heat, stir in the mustard powder, 1 and 1/4 cups of the cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. In a large bowl, add the chicken and tortellini. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir to evenly distribute the sauce. Add the broccoli and gently stir to combine.
7. Pour mixture into the baking dish. Scatter remaining cheddar cheese over top and sprinkle with the panko. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes (uncovered) until hot and just bubbling. Remove from oven and serve.

*I cut this recipe in half, only filling an 8x8 dish. It was a pretty good weeknight meal. I feel like it needed a little more seasoning and flavor but we really enjoyed it and my girls loved it! I served breadsticks and corn with this meal.

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