Friday, June 7, 2013

Crockpot Spinach, Sausage & Sun-dried Tomato Tortellini

Makes 6 Servings

1 large 32 oz bag frozen cheese-filled tortellini
1/2 bag of fresh spinach
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes
8 oz cream cheese, cut up and softened
1-2 cups chicken broth
1 lb ground Italian sausage, browned
2 cloves garlic, minced
Italian Seasoning
Grated Parmesan


Brown the sausage with the minced garlic and place in a greased crockpot. Add the cream cheese, chicken broth, tomatoes and seasonings. (I started with a teaspoon of each.) Cook on low for 2 hours. Mix well and add the tortellini and cook for another 1-2 hours, until tortellini is warm. Add fresh spinach and cook for another hour. Test tortellini for doneness. Taste and add more seasoning if desired. Serve with fresh grated parmesan.

I've made this so many times with different variations and my kids and husband love it. It's super easy--you just have to remember to toss the ingredients in when needed and give it a quick stir--and when it's done you have a healthy, one-dish meal to serve to your family. I've also used lower fat cream cheese and haven't noticed much of a difference. Sometimes in place of the Italian sausage, I'll use grilled chicken strips or cubed, cooked chicken breasts. This is such a versatile recipe that you can really customize to however you like it. You could use Italian style diced tomatoes in place of, or even in addition to, the sun-dried. You could use Rotel tomatoes & chiles and give it a Southwest twist. Toss in some cumin instead of the Italian seasoning, chorizo in place of Italian sausage and sprinkle with some monterey jack cheese you've got a delicious meal ready for scooping up with tortilla chips. I've used both refrigerated and frozen tortellini as well as ravioli. If you use refrigerated, just add that in for the last hour along with the spinach. I love crockpot meals! No rush at dinnertime, yay!

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