Anyone who comes up with recipes (like a food blogger!) finds random inspiration from various things. Something you eat at a restaurant, something you see on the Food Network, Pinterest (🙌🏻), a dish a friend or family member cooks for you, or other completely random things. This dish has a strange inspiration.
A Lean Cuisine…fancy right?
I got several frozen meals at the grocery store several weeks ago because I like the option for a quick lunch during the week if we don’t have any leftovers. One day I had a veggie and tortellini stir fry type thing with a light tomato sauce, and it was actually pretty dang good. I was into it.
And I thought to myself: Self, let’s make this at home so it’s a billion times better and we can consume it on the reg. Aw, that’s such a good idea! You’re so smart and pretty.
So we ran with it. It has a lot of the same elements as said Lean Cuisine, but it has a bunch more veggies, and the serving size is more than like three pieces of pasta and one tomato…the struggle of frozen dinners. This is the perfect spring and summer weeknight meal! Tons of in-season veggies and minimal hot stove time. This came together for me in just twenty-five minutes, which is supa fast. It feels even faster than it sounds. Once your veggie chopping is out of the way, it’s easy street for you, frands.
Though I’m a big fan of veggies (especially the ones in here), my favorite part of this dish is FA sho the cheesy tortellini. Oh my LAWT, I love pasta. Especially when it’s stuffed with cheese – holllaaaah. I was very pleasantly surprised by these store-bought tortellini. These are my grocery store’s brand (shout out Dillon’s!), but I checked the ounces in this package versus the kind they sell at most grocery stores, and it’s the same amount: 9 oz. So as long as the ounce size is the same-ish, you can use any kind of tortellini your grocery store sells. I’m talkin’ the bag that comes in the refrigerated section – it’s not a dry pasta.
Those little soft, cheese-filled bites of pasta that are folded in all throughout those saucy veggies = LYYFFEE. I’m a fan. A big fan. And now I kind of want to use store-bought tortellini for everything. It’s such a fun little quick weeknight meal hack that brings a whole new level of awesomeness to your dishes. For example, we could have easily just used a regular pasta here – like penne, for instance. But think how much extra flavor and complexity tortellini brings rather than a regular pasta. SO much!
Just in general, this meal contains so many of my favorite things. Pasta – duh. Cheese – obvi. And all my favorite veggies. I basically just walked through the produce section and grabbed everything that I love: zucchini, squash, asparagus, broccoli, shallots, garlic, tomatoes – sluurrpp.
So a couple posts ago, I mentioned the fact that I was blogging from a local coffee shop, Radina’s. It’s super close to where I live, and it gets me out of the house and makes me feel more like a have a job-job since I’m not just sitting around at home all day. Anywho, since then, my Radina’s trips have increased significantly.
I’m literally here every day. And my drink order keeps getting more complicated. First it was just “Snickers Mocha.” P.S. Yasssssss. Tastes like a melted candy bar and is every bit as unhealthy as it sounds. Then it changed to “Skinny Snickers Mocha” because sometimes really sugary coffee drinks hurt ma belly. Then it changed to “Skinny Snickers Mocha with No Whip” – see previous reasoning. And now it’s “Skinny Snickers Mocha No Whip with Half the Syrup.”
My full order in its entirety: Double Skinny Snickers Mocha No Whip with Half the Syrup for Here (if I order if for here, they put it in a really cool locally made pottery-like mug 😍). Yes – I am that person. That person that we judge at Starbucks who reads off a novella for their order. I have transitioned into this role. And it’s not even with a cool, sophisticated drink. It’s a Snickers Mocha…which is probably more milk, syrup, and sugar than coffee. I judge myself.
And I do this every day. This has now grown into my work space. I basically know all the workers by name. And they most likely know me as “massive pregnant lady with 3 minute long coffee order that comes here for hours every single day.” Sigh…
Side note…I’m here at the coffee shop right now, and there are these two people a few tables away who are FaceTiming someone together on one of their phones, and they are literally yelling. YELLING. *Inserting headphones and turning on Pandora.*
Here’s the recipe for this super simple weeknight meal!Print
25 Minute Tortellini and Veggie Saute
This saute could not get any easier (or more delicious)! It takes less than thirty minutes to make, but the flavors taste like you cooked for hours.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 9 ounce bag tortellini (in the refrigerated section – not the dry pasta section)
- 1 zucchini, sliced in half moons
- 1 squash, sliced in half moons
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 small head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets
- 1 bunch asparagus, fibrous ends removed and chopped into 1 or 2 inch pieces
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Olive oil for pan
- Optional garnish: fresh sliced basil
- Bring a medium pot of salted (it should taste like the ocean) water to a boil. When boiling, add your tortellini and cook according to instructions on the package. When done, drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- Meanwhile, prep all your veggies and heat a large skillet over medium high heat with some olive oil.
- When hot, add all your veggies except for the shallot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often, until veggies have softened. After about five minutes, add your shallot and garlic.
- Saute for another few minutes and then add your thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Saute for another minute or two and add your tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Saute, stirring often, for another five or so minutes or until the veggies are tender but still have a bite (exact cook time will depend on your preference on how tender vs. crunchy you want your veggies).
- When the veggies are done, remove the pan from the heat and fold in your tortellini and parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup
- Calories: 364
- Sugar: 13 g
- Sodium: 1116 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 50 g
- Fiber: 9 g
- Protein: 21 g
- Cholesterol: 39 mg
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more super quick weeknight meals? Check these out:
Creamy One Pot Spring Vegetable Fettuccine
Baked Ham and Swiss Croissants with Honey Mustard Sauce
Cheesy Pizza with Lemon Arugula
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
This is SO my kind of dinner. I love everything in here–veggies, cheese, pasta. Yum to every component. PS, I worked at a coffee shop all through high school and college and your order isn’t even close to the longest I’ve ever heard :). Happy Friday!
Annie Chesson says
Agreed, Kelsie! Okay good, that makes me feel better about my coffee order :)!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
Haha!! I have a ridiculously long drink order at Starbucks too. It has just evolved over time!! I love that you used a Lean Cuisine for inspiration! This looks amazing, and definitely worth the extra 23 minutes to make over the frozen kind ;)
Annie Chesson says
Thanks, Katherine! Haha – totally agreed on those extra 23 minutes :).