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This tortellini al forno uses a luscious cream sauce with cheese-filled tortellini topped with bacon. The added pepper Jack cheese adds a delightful spicy kick that takes the flavor up a notch, adding a bit of a spicy kick.
If you prefer to not have a spicy kick, you can substitute Monterrey Jack cheese instead of the pepper Jack without any problem.
Making this recipe is quite simple, but there are a few tricks to help you make it a success!
First tip is to no overcook your tortellini. It’s a bit fragile due to the pinching together process, so cook it gently.
This is a quick dish, so be prepared to stand by and observe so it doesn’t overcook.
The lemon juice is pretty important for flavor. You won’t end up with tart lemon flavor – just enhanced flavor – trust me on this!
The cream cheese adds to the creaminess and flavor. The spinach is a great nutrient booster as well as color enhancer.
All in all, this tortellini al forno pasta dish is creamy, cheesy, and satisfying! I hope you and your family feel the same!
How to Make Tortellini Al Forno
First, you will heat your Dutch oven to medium heat (about 5). Then you will cook your bacon for about 10 minutes or until browned. The bacon will then be removed from the pan to drain while cooking the other ingredients.
You will use 2 tablespoons of the remaining bacon fat to cook the basil and garlic for a couple minutes. The lemon juice will then be added and cooked briefly to reduce down. (This reduction adds subtle flavor that really makes a difference – trust me!)
You will next add the stock or broth and bring to a boil. It’s important to bring it to a boil before adding the tortellini, as you don’t want to boil the tortellini too hard that it breaks down and separates.
Once it’s boiling, you will reduce the heat, add the tortellini, and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
The last steps are adding the cream, cheeses, and spinach. You will then stir the mixture and cover for 5 minutes to let the cheeses melt and the spinach to soften.
After uncovering, add the crumbled bacon, stir, and serve right away.
Tortellini Al Forno (with a kick)
- 8 slices lean bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 tsp dry basil
- 2 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 6 garlic cloves)
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice (juice from 1 large lemon)
- 3 cups chicken stock or broth
- 20 ounces cheese-filled tortellini (refridgerated)
- ½ cup cream
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
- ½ cup pepper Jack cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup baby spinach (packed down)
- Heat Dutch oven on medium heat (5).
- Cook bacon (about 10 minutes or until browned). Remove to drain on paper towels.
- Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
- With Dutch oven still on medium heat, add basil and garlic. Stir and cook 2 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and stir. Cook for 1 minute (which reduces the lemon juice liquid a bit).
- Add stock/broth and bring to a boil on high heat (watching closely).
- Add tortellini, reduce heat to low (1-2), and cook 10 minutes (uncovered).
- Turn off heat and cream, cheeses, and spinach. Stir and cover 5 minutes.
- Crumble bacon over top and serve right away.
Don’t Forget to Pin For Later!