Italian Herb Baked Cheese Tortellini

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So, as many of you know, I’m huge and pregnant. This baby should be making his appearance by the end of the month! Holy cow. Did that just sneak up on me? I think yes. My baby belly is seriously getting too big in front of me… so much so that I have to stand sideways to do dishes and/or cook anything in the kitchen. Basically, I’ve capped my dinner-making ability at 30 minutes. If I can’t get it done in that time, then we go get pizza —> I’m not even kidding.

Well, conveniently, Land O’Lakes asked me to participate in their Weeknight Wins Blogger Challenge using their brand-new product called Sauté Express® Sauté Starter—basically a one-stop shop (aka magical butter and herb squares) for throwing yummy and easy dinners together in under 30 minutes. Just what this momma needs! I’m going to be using this brand-new product to develop some new dinner ideas that are fast and simple and you’re going to love!

This first week, four other bloggers and I were challenged to make a dinner with Sauté Express® Sauté Starter that would please the pickiest of eaters. Along with the recipes I’ll be sharing on Lauren’s Latest, you can follow the challenge on Pinterest and pin your favorite recipes. Check it out over at the Weeknight Wins by Sauté Express® Sauté Starter Pinterest Board. Plus, each week there will be a sweepstakes to enter. Yay!
Do you know how I deal with feeding picky eaters? I yell at them and then throw them out of my house.


I mean… just kidding.

Only some of them get kicked out.

I deal with picky eaters with CHEESE. Oh, and pasta.

It always works! I have no idea why every kid loves cheesy noodles, but somehow it’s embedded in their DNA to love all things Italian. Is that just a “my family” thing? I don’t think so. Anyways, I made some Italian Herb Baked Cheesy Tortellini using the Italian Herb Sauté Express® Sauté Starter and got it done in 30 minutes! It was cheesy, delicious and super filling! My 4-year-old gobbled it up!
Here’s how you make it:

First things first. Get some water boiling for that tortellini! It’ll only take two minutes to cook, but you want to give the water a head start. Pretend I took a picture of that. ANYWAY, now you can start out with some Italian Herb Sauté Express® Sauté Starter…


Four little squares to be exact! Get those melting into your pan over medium heat.IMG_0202

Add in some diced onion and sauté for 3 minutes.


Next add your zucchini and cook for another 3 minutes.IMG_0209

You’re going to want to cook off some cheese tortellini at some point too. IMG_0218

Back to the sauce. Add in a can of petite diced tomatoes and salt and pepper if you’d like. Since all the flavoring is in the Sauté Express Sauté Starter, I just added a tiny bit of salt! Easy peasy! No messing around with bottles of basil or oregano! See what I mean about one-stop shop?IMG_0221

Ok, so once your sauce has cooked down and the veggies are tender, stir in that cooked tortellini with some shaved parmesan cheese.IMG_0224

Then top the whole thing with a healthy layer of mozzarella and place under the broiler.IMG_0228

Two minutes later and dinner is done!

Hello cheesy goodness!IMG_0232

So yummy, you guys!! IMG_0272

Feel free to top with more cheese and a little parsley if you want to be fancy.IMG_0278So, in about 30 minutes, I had this dinner on the table! Not too shabby if I say so myself! My husband and I loved it and through a little convincing so did my 4-year-old! {The layer of melty cheese won her over.}

Here’s the printable! Enjoy!

tortellini bake
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Italian Herb Baked Cheese Tortellini

Cheese Tortellini dish comes together in a snap with a little Sauté Express Sauté Starter! Found in the dairy section at your local grocer.
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 lb cheese tortellini fresh or frozen
  • 4 cubes Italian Herb Saute Express Saute Starter
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 small zucchini diced
  • 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes 1 can
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • parsley for garnish optional


  • Bring large pot of water to boil. While waiting for water to boil, prep veggies. Heat deep skillet over medium heat and saute onion, 3 minutes. Stir in zucchini and cook another 3 minutes until onions and zucchini are tender. Salt water and cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Stir tomatoes, salt and pepper into softened veggies. Simmer lightly for 5 minutes. Stir in cooked tortellini and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese and place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot.


Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1097mg | Potassium: 539mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 720IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 571mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Cheese Tortellini

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Land O’Lakes for an exclusive endorsement of
Sauté Express® Sauté Starter. This blog post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. All opinions are my own.

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167 Responses
  1. Diana

    Pasta and lasagna are my go-to meals for my picky boyfriend; I would love to experiment using sauté express to add to my veggie-packed homemade meat sauce for lasagna! Mm, I can smell it now!

  2. Jill

    I agree cheese makes everything better! My son will even eat broccoli if it has cheese on it! My son is not too picky of an eater but if I want to make it a “win” dinner just make it mexican and it is a “win” everytime!

  3. Amy Tong

    Any pasta with lots of cheese and mushrooms is always a weeknight win for the picky eater in my house. This Sauté Express® Sauté Starter would make my dinner preparation a lot more easier and I’m sure, more tasty as well. 🙂

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  4. Cheryl Newton

    Spaghetti is always a winner. The sauce already counts as veggies (well, at least it has lycopene from the tomatoes) but I up the nutrients by adding spinach to the sauce, or a jar or two of baby food like squash or carrots.

  5. D Schmidt

    My weeknight win is a new recipe I found using leftover turkey and combining with many ingredients used for thanksgiving then baking for 30 minutes at 350.

  6. Courtney

    My go to weeknight meal is anything with frozen chicken tenders especially chicken pesto pasta, just cuz my 4 kiddos gobble it up!

  7. Summer

    My weeknight win to please a picky eater is chicken vegetable soup. My son won’t touch any vegetable other than carrots, but he will eat any vegetable if it’s in a soup. I have no idea why, but I make a lot of soup! It’s super easy if you keep pre-cooked shredded chicken in your freezer, cartons of chicken broth, and a couple bags of mixed frozen vegetables on hand.

  8. Melissa

    Breakfast always works for picky eaters-I would use the saute starter for some breakfast potatoes which everyone loves with their order of eggs. I have the italian herb starter in my fridge now for some shrimp scampi later this week however 🙂

  9. Margot C

    I like the Lemon Pepper. I’ve already used it on some chicken with vegetables in a simple saute, awesome and super easy

  10. Callie B.

    We don’t really have any picky eaters in my house…thank heavens! We sure love our crockpot especially for those busy days – my favorite go-to meal is Fiesta Chicken…but, after seeing that delicious tortellini you made – I am on my way to the store! I would love to make all things chicken with the Saute Express Saute Starters!

  11. Melissa B

    My go to for my picky eater is when I make spaghetti – I can take out some of the sausage before I add the sauce, and take some of the spaghetti top with butter and parmesan cheese. These starters look like a great way to make that meal a little differently for the rest of the family!

  12. Nicole MacIsaac

    My go-to picky eater meal is coconut fried chicken! Although it seems fancy, I have gotten a few picky eaters to gobble it up because I convinced them that it was WAY better than the icky chicken nuggets from a bag. I also make a spicy sour cream dip to go with it for the adults. 🙂

  13. Carrie

    Thankfully there are no picky eaters in my house! I will absolutely try the Saute Express Saute Starters and this recipe!

  14. Sara

    What would you make with Sauté Express® Sauté Starter?

    I would probably make this recipe that you posted! Looks and sounds delicious!!!!

  15. Camille

    Lately meatballs and pasta have solved my picky eater problems. That would be great to try with the sauce express starter.

  16. Yvette Novak

    I retired last summer after cooking26 years at a small, private school on the coast of Washington state. I am an expert on picky eaters, but I could always win them over with pasta,sauce, and cheesey recipes.

    As for the Saute Express Saute Starter, I wonder how the Italian Herb would be
    mixed in with either ground beef or turkey for meatballs. Hmm.

  17. Hope

    In that beautiful new skillet I would totally make chicken marsala, first! 😉
    As for picky eaters tip: With our grandson, we make dinner a “occasion”! We find that if he “helps” with the preparation, he is more inclined to try anything we cook! (we also “make-up” reasons for a party…..and that works too!) WHO DOES NOT LOVE A PARTY??? 🙂

  18. BusyCBee

    I don’t think your dish can be improved upon! I agree with the glass of white wine, especially if picky eater is in the houe. 🙂

  19. leah

    I would like to experiment with the Sauté Express Sauté Starter and make grilled shrimp in the starter and then dump the entire thing over some pasta and top with cheese. The Starters sound like a great way to speed up dinner while still including all the flavor of a fancy dish.

  20. Jennifer Appleton

    There’s not really a picky eater in our house… A weeknight win for us is any crockpot meal! One of our favorites is chicken tortilla soup – it’s loaded with veggies and flavor! I can’t wait to try this tortellini recipe!

  21. Becky

    Picky eater tip: they like things deconstructed. A casserole is a no-no, but noodles with separate cheese and separate meat? WIN!

  22. Theresa A from Tulsa

    I use LOL Garlic & Herb Saute Express for cooking boneless chicken breasts to cut up into my salads! Yum!!

  23. Craig

    My weeknight win for a picky eater is spaghetti with meat sauce and if I’m in an especially giving mood, I will add meatballs.

  24. Melinda

    My weeknight thing for my picky kids is always a grilled cheese sandwich.
    Always pleases my kiddos!

    Im making this tonight it looks to good! I lo

  25. mandi

    My picky eaters eat what ever I make for dinner or they don’t eat dinner at all..of course until 9:00 pm rolls around then I start feeling guilty because they are crying that their starving so I usually give in and make them something easy..we probably do this 2x a little guy loves tortalini so I will definitely be making your yummy recipe.

  26. Whitney

    My husband loves tortellini! I might have to surprise him with this! As for what I’d make with one of the saute starter’s, I think I’d pan-roast a nice steak and brussels sprouts with the garlic and herb one. Simple, but wonderful at the same time.

  27. Shery

    Your tortellini looks really delish, so I think I’m going to make that! Been wanting to try these Saute Starters for awhile! Thanks~

  28. Natalie J Vandenberghe

    I agree with you that Cheese and Pasta will please almost anyone and everyone! Tacos is an easy fix at our house, too. i think my husband would love all four flavors of Saute Express. Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. Danielle

    I would totally make that tortellini dish you made!! Theres nothing that I love more than easy 30 minute meals!! Think I’m going to the store tomorrow 🙂