It’s time to put your Thanksgiving turkey (or chicken) leftovers to good use in this Baked Tortellini with Turkey, Butternut Squash & Chard recipe.
Let’s set the scene for the day after Thanksgiving. Now that the festivities are over, you’re likely lying on the couch, sweatpants on, rockin’ the bedhead , surrounded by magazines you’ve been hoping to read for months. (Unless you’re one of those ambitious Black Friday shoppers, which I am definitely not.) You did enough cooking the day before to last you a year and now you don’t want to make anything that requires hours of effort or pounds of butter. So, let’s put those turkey leftovers to good use!
If I had to choose my favorite Thanksgiving turkey leftover recipes, it would be a close call between this baked tortellini casserole and my family’s all-time favorite Light Turkey & Corn Chowder. And don’t feel that these recipes need to be relegated to Thanksgiving weekend. They can be made any day of the year with leftover cooked chicken.
If you’re worried about your family’s reaction to this baked pasta dish, since it’s packed with veggies that are typically shunned by the younger set, let me tell you that my boys went back for three (!!!) helpings. They had no idea that there was any butternut squash mixed into the sauce and one of them chose to simply pick around the Swiss chard. That boy will eat salad until the cows come home, but if you cook the greens, he’s out.
The baked tortellini recipe:
This recipe is dead simple to put together. And with only eight ingredients, there’s very little prep involved, particularly if you buy pre-cubed butternut squash at the grocery store.
As far as the tortellini goes, you can use white, green or orange cheese tortellini, or a combination of all three. The more colorful the better!
As good as the tortellini/turkey/squash combo is, it’s the topping that adds something really special. Chop some pecans, then toss them with minced fresh sage and grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on top of the casserole before baking. Crunchy, toasty and a little salty. Perfection!
Other recipes with leftover turkey:
Baked Tortellini with Turkey, Butternut Squash & Chard Recipe
This Baked Tortellini casserole is a fantastic way to use up leftover turkey or chicken. 335 calories and 9 Weight Watchers SmartPoints
- 2 cups butternut squash cubes (about 1/2 inch cubes)
- 16 oz. cheese tortellini
- 3 cups tomato sauce, divided
- 3 cups chopped turkey (white & dark meat)
- 2 1/2 cups Swiss chard (strips cut crosswise)
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the butternut squash cubes and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the squash to a bowl and mash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
Add the tortellini to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than directed by package instructions. Drain the tortellini and transfer to a large bowl.
To the tortellini, add 1 cup tomato sauce, mashed butternut squash, turkey (or chicken) and chard. Stir to combine.
Spread ¾ cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9- by 12-inch (or 9- by 13 inch) baking dish.
Transfer half or the tortellini mixture to the baking dish and spread evenly. Top with ¾ cup tomato sauce.
Transfer the remaining tortellini mixture to the baking dish, spreading evenly. Spread remaining ¾ cup tomato sauce over top.
Sprinkle the topping evenly on top of the tortellini. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve.
In a medium bowl, stir together the Parmesan cheese, sage and pecans.
Weight Watchers Points: 9 (SmartPoints), 9 (Points+), 7 (Old Points)
The post was originally published on November 25th, 2011. Photos and the recipe have been updated.
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