This cozy bowl of Creamy Bacon Tortellini with Charred Broccoli is the best any night of the week family dinner. I’m taking fresh tortellini and making it even better with a rich and creamy sauce, charred broccoli, and bacon. Each cute little tortellini has delicious, cozy winter flavors that melt in your mouth. It’s the creamiest bowl of cheese tortellini that’s fancy enough for the weekend, but easy enough to make any night of the week. And most importantly, it’s delicious.
I’m such a homebody at heart, so I’m going to be honest, well I have missed traveling more than I thought, I actually love the fact that I’ve been able to be at home this entire month of December. Usually, December is filled with end of year work travel, especially last year for the HBH book tour. So this year, I’m just feeling grateful to be able to enjoy all of December at home with my family. Anyone else feel the same?
Looking at the positives, you know?!
That said, I’ve managed to add more to my plate thane ever before, which still makes December, per usual, hectic. If only there could be more hours in the day!
With that in mind, I’m always looking for the easiest recipes this time of year. Quick and simple dinners that everyone at the dinner table will eat are what I strive to create. Especially when the people I love most are in town…they’re my favorite to feed!
Enter this skillet Creamy Bacon Tortellini with Charred Broccoli. The simplest pasta dinner, but yet so very delicious!
As a kid, we didn’t grow up eating tortellini or ravioli. It was a pretty strict diet of angel hair pasta or penne, with the occasional bowl of fettuccini thrown into the mix. No one complained…but then we didn’t know just what we were missing.
And then, I started cooking and soon started to test recipes with homemade ravioli. I was loving the cheese-filled pasta and switch up from the usual. But for some reason, I never did anything with tortellini until this year. Once I made this Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Soup I was hooked. How could I not be?
Ever since that soup, I’ve been using tortellini nonstop. I love the smaller shape and our local Whole Foods always has really great fresh cheese tortellini that we all love. They make for the quickest weeknight dinners.
And trust me, this tortellini is quick. I’ve now made it more times than I can count. Which is saying something because with all the recipes I’m creating daily, I don’t often make repeats unless they’re tried and true family favorites. And everyone loves this dish, even the picky eaters…broccoli and all.
When you have a dish that everyone eats and loves, you know it’s good.
It took me a long while to get these photos right. And while I still don’t love them, it’s time to share this recipe. It’s just too good.
The quick and simple details.
Start with tortellini. Use a cheese tortellini for this. You want something simple with good flavor, but not too over powering that will take away from the creamy sauce and salty, crispy bacon.
Once you have the water for the tortellini boiling, start on the remainder of the recipe. This is a one-skillet, one-pot, under thirty-minute dinner.
Cook up your bacon until it’s extra crispy. Now do the same with the broccoli. You want to get the florets nice and charred, but still keep them tender. To do this, avoid stirring for the first four or so minutes of cooking. Once the broccoli begins charring on the edges, toss, and cook until the other side is charred. Then remove from the skillet. This will ensure they stay crispy, instead of just fading away into the buttery creamy sauce.
Onto the cream sauce. Browned butter, garlic, herbs, a splash of wine, cream, and lots of parmesan.
This is easy, brown the butter, add the garlic and herbs, then add a splash of wine and heavy cream. If you want to make this a little lighter, simply use canned coconut milk. Promise you don’t taste the coconut at all.
Once you add the milk, whisk in the cream cheese. This is my dad’s secret when it comes to creating the creamiest pasta sauces. It’s the KEY. My dad used to make his fettuccine with an entire eight-ounce package of cream cheese. It was of course beyond delicious, a rich sauce for sure, but delicious.
Using cream cheese creates a silky smooth sauce every time. I’m only using half the amount my dad would recommend, but it still does the trick!
Finish it up!
Toss in the tortellini, then let it cook in the sauce for a minute to warm through.
And then, serve it up! This is best eaten right off the stove. I love adding the broccoli and bacon to each bowl so they stay crisp. Plus, the broccoli adds a really nice pop of green that’s especially nice with such a white pasta sauce.
Oh and lots of fresh black pepper too! Simple, but delish.
Really excited to have this easy recipe in hand for these busy nights. My brothers are getting in for Christmas next week and I already know they’ll love it too. My oldest brother, Creighton, has already given it the Gerard Seal of Approval!
Looking for other simple family dinners? Here are my favorites:
Lastly, if you make this Creamy Bacon Tortellini with Charred Broccoli, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Creamy Bacon Tortellini with Charred Broccoli
Calories Per Serving: 671 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1 pound fresh cheese tortellini
- 4 thick-cut slices bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup dry white wine such, as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc (or chicken broth)
- 1 cup heavy cream or canned full fat coconut milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
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- 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to package directions until al dente. Drain.2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain onto a paper towel. Add the broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the broccoli is crisping on the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss the broccoli, add the olive oil, and cook another 2-3 minutes, until crisp. Remove the broccoli from the skillet to a plate.3. To the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, cooking until the butter begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, oregano, thyme, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Cook one minute, then pour in the wine. Simmer 2-3 minutes. Add the cream and cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes, until thickened slightly. Stir in the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in the tortellini and cook 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat.4. Divide the tortellini between plates and top with charred broccoli, and bacon. Eat and enjoy immediately.