This easy, cheesy crock pot tortellini is the ultimate fall comfort food dish. Plus, it practically makes itself!
It’s hard to believe how many people quickly turned from “SUMMER BERRIES! TOMATOES! ALL THE ZUCCHINI!” to “PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING!” as soon as Labor Day passed. Trust me, I get it. I’m a basic b who loves all things fall too. (You should see the extensive collection of scarves, boots and cardigans I own, it’s uncomfortable). But, as I said here in this berry frozen yogurt post, I’m not a fan of wishing away seasons while we’re still in them.
However, I am a fan of cheesy and hearty carbohydrates, and for that, I’m happy #winteriscoming.
I mean, look at all that cheese! I’m pretty sure this photo was why the heart-eyed emoji was created.
As excited as I am for fall and winter, I’m also a *little* stressed. As crazy as summer was for travel (just look at my Instagram), fall and winter are going to be even busier. I’m currently floating in the middle of the Arctic sea in Greenland, and from here, I go to China, Spain, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Australia, Mexico, Belize and then Nepal. Just reading all of those countries has me in a dizzy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely thrilled at the prospect of visiting so many new-to-me places and revisiting places I’ve fell in love with, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely bummed to miss my favorite season in its peak.
That’s the life, though, of an intrepid and adventurous travel writer and I’ll never complain about the life I’m blessed (and have worked HARD) to have. It’s actually these insanely busy months that make the moments at home even more meaningful. Plus, after 8+ weeks of eating out for every meal, there’s nothing that tastes better than something you’ve made yourself.
I have this routine when I get back from a trip. First, I do all of my laundry (self explanatory), cuddle the heck out of my dog, spend a few hours catching up with my mom and then immediately get to meal prepping and planning. I write down every single dish I’ve dreamt about making when on the road and then immediately start planning a grocery list. When your ilfe is so void of any sort of normalcy, there’s nothing more exciting than going to a grocery store, shopping for food and then making the dishes you’ve spent the past 8 weeks dreaming about.
Like this easy, cheesy tortellini. Even though it’s not fancy or complicated, it’s homemade. And when you’re on the road for weeks on end, nothing is more comforting than a taste of home.
Easy, Cheesy Crock Pot Tortellini
Serves about 4.
Prep time: 5 – 8 minutes
Cook time: 7 hours
- 1 pound ground turkey or chicken*
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 cups marinara sauce (homemade or store bought)
- 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup chopped red and green bell pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted Italian), drained
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 package (9 ounces) tortellini (you can even make your own if you’re feeling brave)
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- Fresh basil chopped
**Can substitute soy-based meat or tempeh if you’d like.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground meat and break up with a spatula. Add Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is golden brown and crumbly. Remove from heat and drain the fat.
- Spray the bottom of a 4 – 5 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the meat, marinara, mushrooms, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, onion and garlic together. Mix in the tortellini and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and cook on low for about 6 1/2 – 7 hours, stirring occasionally. Add in the chopped mozzarella and parmesan and cook an additional 30 – 40 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.
Nutritional information per serving:
Fat: 26.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 61 grams
Fiber: 3.2 grams
Protein: 37 grams