Let me give you some options here: you can go out to some chain restaurant, sit with a bunch of people you don’t know, and order an overpriced meal that will probably be sub-par, or you can make this Baked Tortellini & Broccoli Alfredo in the comfort of your own home for less money and less hassle.
The choice seems simple to me.
Not to mention, this casserole is absolute heaven. Tender tortellinis and crisp broccoli are coated in a rich and smooth alfredo sauce then buried in breadcrumbs and baked until bubbly and golden brown. I love Olive Garden’s alfredo as much as the next guy, but I’m sorry, mine has theirs beat by a mile. It’s so creamy and cheesy, made with simple and fresh ingredients.
This is a crowd-pleasing meal. Whether you’re feeding family, friends, a significant other, or the cats (really, I tried), they’re going to love this dish. Everyone adores alfredo, and you can’t go wrong with a cheesy baked casserole. It tastes like a decadent dish from a favorite restaurant, except much better. But if you make this once for somebody, expect to be asked to make it again and again.
The versatility here is great as well. You can make this as an easy but comforting weeknight meal, or serve it as a special occasional dish. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as when you sink the spoon into the golden brown crust and pull away a creamy mound of pasta and cheese. We can all appreciate the double-cheese power at work here: cheese-filled pasta covered in cheese.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- You want to make sure your tortellini is slightly undercooked since it will bake more in the oven.
- Similarly, you want to have more sauce than you actually need since it will thicken up slightly while baking.
- Use whole wheat tortellini to make this better for you.
- This is a must-have alfredo recipe. Save it for pasta, dipping breadsticks in, and more.
- The breadcrumbs are optional, but they add something really special.
- Buy the best quality parmesan you can. It really makes a difference.
Baked Tortellini & Broccoli Alfredo
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side
- 30 oz. fresh tortellini (you can get 1 20-oz. pack + 1 10-oz. pack)
- 16 oz. frozen broccoli florets
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups + 1 cup heavy cream, divided
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
For the topping
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp. butter, melted
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Cook tortellini until they float to the top, about 3 minutes. They should be al dente because you still have to bake them. Drain.
- Place broccoli in a large microwave-safe dish and fill halfway with water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 ½ minutes. Stir and microwave 3 minutes more. Drain.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Whisk in flour until well-combined then immediately whisk in 3 cups cream until free of lumps. Cover and let simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn down the heat if it starts to boil.
- Whisk in ¾ cup cheese, salt, and pepper until cheese is completely melted. Stir in remaining cream.
- Turn off heat and fold in tortellini and broccoli. You might not want to add it all at once; make sure there’s plenty of sauce first. You should have excess left because it will dry as it bakes.
- Pour tortellini into a 9×13 in an even layer. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup parmesan over tortellini.
- In a small bowl, mix together melted 1 tbsp. butter and breadcrumbs until evenly combined. Sprinkle over dish in an even layer.
- Bake just until breadcrumbs are browned, about 10 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy.
*If you let the dish sit for a while before baking, and it cools, bake it at 350, and keep it covered until warm in the center. Then remove cover and let brown.