How I imagine the average food bloggers’ dinner routine goes: She opens the kitchen windows to let the sunshine and smells from her garden soak into her house. She inhales deeply and smiles as she reaches for the vegetables she’s grown herself, then slowly, precisely chops them as woodland creatures poke their little heads through the window to watch. Though many women are overwhelmed by the hungry questioning of their families and the nagging voice of approaching deadlines, she hears only the tranquil sounds of nature and the rhythm of her knife against the chopping block. Just a woman and her seemingly-endless supply of ingredients, working in harmony.
How my dinner routine goes: Yeah… almost comically the opposite of that.
And you know what? That’s okay. Because the whole “charmed life” thing probably isn’t what you’ve got going on, either. But that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less when you’re feeding yourself and your family. Even if your typical weeknight involves a whole lot of chaos, you can still make a delicious dinner using fresh, vibrant ingredients. And get this– you can do it in just 30 minutes.
This 30 Minute Chicken & Broccoli Tortellini Alfredo Bake is one of those recipes that your family is going to beg you to make over and over again. They don’t have to know how easy it is to make, by the way. Go on and bask in all of that praise and all of those “thank you”s. You deserve it.
The backbone of this recipe is plenty of fresh, delicate pasta. I love Buitoni’s Three Cheese Tortellini, because it’s easy to find, tender and airy, and of course, filled with three luscious cheeses. And we’re not talking about just any cheeses here. No, we’re talking about international gold-medal winning cheeses. I kid you not.
This tortellini tastes exactly like what you’d imagine getting from your nonna. You know, if you had one of those, and if she happened to be an renowned chef with a state-of-the-art test kitchen. That’s right, this ain’t amateur hour, friends.
Now, like I said, Buitoni is all about fresh pasta using fresh ingredients, so I decided to throw some fresh broccoli in with the tortellini as it boiled, right at the end. I’m not typically a gigantic fan of broccoli but I have to say that it was the perfect compliment for those tortellini, and of course for the juicy chunks of chicken that I mixed in, too. Chicken that — by the way– I cooked as the tortellini boiled. Because it’s chopped up into bite-sized pieces, it doesn’t take long to cook through at all!
I told you this was a quick and easy recipe. You know I’d never lie to you.
After much deliberation, I also opted to skip the jarred stuff and create my own Alfredo sauce from scratch for this recipe. You might be nervous to try to make Alfredo on your own, but it only requires three simple ingredients: heavy cream, butter, and parmesan cheese. You don’t have to be a top chef contestant to nail this one, I promise.
However, if you want to have your sauce already ready to go, feel free to substitute in Buitoni’s Alfredo Sauce or Light Italian Sauce and save yourself a couple of minutes. Take it from someone who has– dead seriously– devoured four containers worth of Buitoni sauces in the past 2 weeks: their sauces are as good as store-bought sauce can get. Special shout out to the pesto, which I managed to incorporate into my lunches for thirteen days in a row.
By the way, if you decide to mix a little pesto into this sauce, I bet it would be fantastic. Go on, get creative with it.
Okay I’m getting a bit side-tracked here, sorry.
Anyway, after you whip together the Alfredo sauce (which takes less than 5 minutes), melt in some mozzarella cheese for good measure and then pour it all over your baking dish full of chicken, broccoli, and tortellini. Toss it all up, top the soon-to-be pasta bake with more mozzarella, and then send it off to the oven to get gooey and golden and bubbly on top.
Just like that. Mmmm.
If you think this 30 Minute Chicken & Broccoli Tortellini Alfredo Bake looks good, just wait until you taste it. You won’t be able to believe that it took less than an hour of time, and that you were able to make it on a hectic weeknight schedule. Seriously, let’s recap for a second: velvety tortellini + creamy, homemade Alfredo sauce + juicy chunks of chicken + tender broccoli florets + toasty, golden melted cheese, all in 30 minutes. That’s crazy. I almost don’t believe that this Tortellini Alfredo Bake even exists… and I ate it. This is the big foot of cheesy dinners, you guys.
Except it’s right here, and it’s easily (and non-controversially) photographable.
It’s so photographable, in fact, that you should definitely snap a picture of your 30 Minute Chicken & Broccoli Tortellini Alfredo Bake and share it on Instagram with the tag #hostthetoast. That way everyone will be able to see it on the You Made It page (and on your friends’ Instagram feeds, of course).
And then you can take a few pictures with your family as well, since you’ll have some extra time leftover from your quick and easy dinner to spend with them. Or you can just binge-watch your favorite TV show. Whichever works for you– I’m not judging! 😉
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
- 20 ounces Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini
- 1 stick butter, divided
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts), cut into bite-sized pieces
- Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
- 1 large head broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- 2 cups finely grated Parmesan
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- Parsley, chopped, to top
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to package directions. 2 minutes before the tortellini finishes cooking, add the broccoli to the pot.
- As the tortellini cooks, prepare the chicken and alfredo sauce. Melt half of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until well-browned all over and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the heavy cream and place the remaining butter in the skillet. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Whisk in the parmesan cheese, until fully melted and thickened. Whisk in half of the mozzarella cheese.
- Place the chicken, tortellini, and broccoli in a 2.7 quart baking dish. Pour over the Alfredo sauce and toss to combine. Top with the remaining mozzarella.
- Bake 10 minutes, or until the cheese begins to bubble and brown. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
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