Sometimes you just need a break.
A moment to catch your breath. A few minutes to collect your thoughts. A night of peaceful sleep. An evening of lounging on the couch.
A homemade dinner every day of the week is not in the cards for most of us. I meal prep on Sundays, and even then I take a lot of shortcuts and breaks. Who’s got time for pureeing a vegetable medley or whisking together a sauce from scratch? I’d like to buy that time away from you, if you have it.
Homecooking is all about taking those little breaks, those minor shortcuts, to get the end result. Just because you cut a few corners doesn’t mean your meal isn’t going to taste good. Your marinara sauce doesn’t have to simmer in a pot for 8 hours—let’s be honest, if you dress up a jarred marinara with some spices and other ingredients, it will taste exactly the same in less than half the time.
One of my favorite shortcuts to use in the kitchen is what I like to call “pantry dump” meals. I’ll raid the cabinets for whatever I have that’s been sitting for too long and then whip it all into a casserole to bake. One thing that’s usually up there: jarred alfredo sauce.
Everyone knows alfredo sauce goes well with just about anything. This meal is no different. My raid of the cabinets yielded the sauce and a can of artichoke hearts. To make my life even easier, I bought a rotisserie chicken to raid for meat for this meal. See? Cutting corners is easy, and far less time-consuming.
In the end, I had a hearty meal put together with little effort. This bake will last me through the week, and will be something to actually look forward to at dinnertime.
Tortellini Alfredo Bake
A simple weeknight dinner with tortellini, spinach, artichokes and chicken.
- 1 (16 oz) jar alfredo sauce
- 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 1 (16 oz) package refrigerated tortellini
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
- Handful of basil, roughly torn
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Make tortellini according to package instructions. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir together cooked tortellini, chicken, artichoke hearts, spinach, basil and alfredo sauce. Pour mixture into a greased 13×9″ baking dish. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is slightly melted.
Make tortellini according to package instructions. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together cooked tortellini, chicken, artichoke hearts, spinach, basil and alfredo sauce.
Pour mixture into a greased 13×9″ baking dish. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is slightly melted.