Slow Cooker Sunday: Mushroom Spinach Tortellini

This is one of my favorite type of slow cooker recipes… set it and forget it. I actually made it overnight and then woke up in the morning and finished it. Granted, the one downfall of making something in a slow cooker overnight is that you are awoken by the smell of something delicious cooking. The downfall isn’t the deliciousness, but, the interrupted sleep of course. Especially on the weekend when you are trying to get the few extra minutes you can’t afford to get during the week because of work, school, life, etc.

To start, cook mushrooms and onions in a greased slow cooker insert (I sprayed mine with cooking spray) along with butter, vegetable broth and spices for about 7 to 8 hours, until the veggies are tender. Next, stir in refrigerated tortellini and cubed cream cheese and cook, covered, for an additional 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Stir in the spinach and let it stand (covered) for an additional 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, stir in parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and enjoy!

If you plan on reheating this, add some vegetable broth to it prior to doing so. Doing so will give you a creamier sauce. The first time I heated it up I didn’t and while it was delicious, it didn’t have the same creaminess it did when it was done cooking initially. So, the second time I added a little broth and that did the trick.

Slow Cooker Mushroom-Spinach Tortellini

Ingredients:

8 oz. Mushrooms (I used baby bella)

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2  teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoons onion powder

3/4 teaspoons garlic powder

3/4 teaspoons dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon black powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups vegetable broth

20 oz. package refrigerated tortellini (I used Buitoni three-cheese)

8 oz. package cream cheese cubed, at room temperature

6 oz. bag of baby spinach

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

 

*Original recipe called for 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of Garlic & Herb Seasoning (Mrs. Dash)

 

Directions:

Spray the insert of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the mushrooms, onion, spices, butter and vegetable broth. Give everything a good stir and cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the tortellini and cream cheese and continue to cook on low, covered, for an additional 30 minutes. Stirring once halfway through.

Stir in the spinach and let stand for an additional 5 minutes, covered. Sprinkle with the cheese and parsley then serve.

Recipe slightly modified from Tiny Kitchen Capers

Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Every now and then I do make a pumpkin dish that is not a dessert. I’ve actually made this dish quite a few times (I mentioned it in a post way back in 2013, but, never actually blogged about it) but, this was the first time I followed the recipe and used tortellini as opposed to another type of pasta – usually penne – and I must say it made a huge delicious difference! Some dishes are just better with a little extra cheese in them. One thing though, the leftovers of this dish do taste good, but, it’s much better when you eat it right after you make it because the sauce is super creamy then.

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Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:

2 9-ounce packages cheese tortellini*

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin

1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Freshly ground pepper

Kosher salt

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.

While the tortellini is cooking, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring until slightly soft. About 2 minutes, making sure not to burn the shallots.

Add the pumpkin and the nutmeg and continue cooking for about another minutes. Stir in the cream and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer while stirring until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Finally, add in the cheese and continue cooking until thick. Season with the salt and pepper.

Add the tortellini to the skillet with the pumpkin sauce and toss to coat, adding some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce**. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

*I used a 20oz. package of Buitoni Three-Cheese Tortellini

**I used about 1/4 cup of the reserved water

Recipe from Food Network