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!

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 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins


  • 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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Recipe Rating

167 Responses
  1. Maria

    Huge fan of the 30 minute meal! Helps so much when they all say, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” Usually I say, “I don’t know, what are you making!”

  2. Karen

    My go to picky meal is breaded chicken tenders, homemade and baked, but could see lightly sauteing them with the saute express packets instead of baking.

  3. April V

    I usually make a pot of spaghetti to please all of the picky eaters in my house! That’s a night that EVERYONE eats! 🙂

  4. April V

    If I won, the first thing I would try in this saute pan would be your recipe you posted! It looks absolutely amazing!! I think even my picky kids would love it.

  5. Yashica

    For my picky eater, I’ve sauted some chicken breast in the Italian herb Saute Express and he LOVED it!! But I am also totally going to make this Italian Herb Baked Cheesy Tortellini recipe

  6. Shaina

    I know the tricks to pleasing a picky eater, since I used to be one myself…make sure none of the food on your plate touches!!! Although I do it all the time now, I hated mixing the things on my plate. Protein was in one section, vegetables in another, and starch in another spot. Everything was eaten on it’s own! (Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?)

  7. Maggie

    I would absolutely use the Saute Starters to begin making a tasty pot of homemade soup. Saute your onion and veggies in any of the four great flavors, and you’re well on your way to making a delicious bowl of soup in no time!

  8. Krysten Powers

    My husband isn’t necessarily picky (he’ll pretty much eat anything you put in front of him), but my go-to for a quick, healthy dinner is a chicken breast or tilapia filet, seasoned with Tony’s and garlic powder. Bake with a little butter on top, and serve with green beans, and he raves every time!

  9. Athena R

    What would you make with Sauté Express® Sauté Starter? I would love to make a springtime vegetable skillet lasagna.

  10. Mary S.

    My picky eaters will always eat pasta – spaghetti, macaroni & cheese, etc. I use whole wheat pasta and always include a source of protein and a vegetable on the side. Sometimes it may be a boiled egg and carrot sticks, but at least they are getting a balanced meal.

  11. Kim

    I would try some kind of soup with it, my children are grown but my grandchildren love just about any kind of soup! I am sure they would love this also, it looks yummy!

  12. Stephanie

    Mine is tacos. And it’s one of the simplest things in the world to throw together. I even make my own taco shells and i get this meal done in 20 minutes max!

  13. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    I think I have the only kid on the planet who doesn’t like cheese. Well, ok, maybe not the only kid. . but mine doesn’t eat it. It’s crazy. So, for her, my weeknight win is anything Asian-ish. Especially with noodles. so like a lo-mein, udon or buckwheat noodles. These are my go-to meals for my picky eaters. Oh how I wish I could just make mac n cheese.
    Love your tortellini! Looks so delicious! I think I’ll have to go get the Italian Herb Sauté Express® Sauté Starter sauce for me and my husband!

  14. sara

    My daughters love anything with pasta. We also do a lot of quick saute veggies like asparagus and mushrooms then top with a poached egg, and serve with toast.

  15. Laura

    It’s only me and my hubby in the house and he’s not too picky. His mom was a meat, potatoes, vegetables kind of gal, so he enjoys that I like to experiment with different foods. As far as easy, go to meals – usually frozen left overs ; )

  16. Kristen S.

    My weeknight win for my picky eater usually includes pasta and some quickly mixed, oven baked meatballs. I have one child who is picky but he always gobbles up pasta and meatballs.

  17. Jenn Dixon

    My picky eaters line up for my goulash. It takes about 20 minutes to make the whole thing, and then each person can spice it up to their level or add cheese or crackers.

  18. Christina

    Totally agree on the whole cheese and pasta thing. My husband and little man would love this dish! They love anything with cheese lol!

  19. Mary Elyse

    My weeknight win for picky eaters is actually any kind of simple pastas! Red sauce, cheese, and noodles always do the trick! 🙂 This dish looks perfect because it looks like I sneak in some veggies on him! Excellent!

  20. Lindsey

    I would definitely make some yummy seafood dish because my husband thinks it all tastes “fishy” and would rather eat chicken! This would be the perfect beginning to a great seafood dish to convert him!!! Thanks!!!

  21. Lindsey

    For picky eaters I always try to have a pasta base then try and add some pizzazz and spice on top. If it looks like mostly pasta I can get my picky eater on board! Plus I food process my veggies and sauces so they can’t even see what I sneak in! 🙂 Works like a charm!

  22. emily

    my roommate weirdly doesn’t like cheese (among MANY other things) which to me is a crime against humanity. i’d love to make him some kind of pan fried chicken with the saute starters… too easy!

  23. Laura Neff @ Savory Sweet and Satisfying

    Thankfully I do not have super picky eaters in my house. My girls are willing to try anything at least once.

    The saute starters look interesting and I would love to try them in a recipe, just not sure what I would make yet. I do know it would involve chicken, that’s what we eat the most of.

  24. Suze from OR

    I would try out the Lemon Pepper Saute Express Saute Starter on seafood- halibut, shrimp, or maybe even Dover Sole. A side of sauteed fresh veggies along with a little rice pilaf and there you have it! Dee-lish dinner!

  25. Marcia

    My kids aren’t really very picky, and they will try anything. Pasta is always a go to fmily meal here, and this looks delish! I would like to try the Lemon Pepper Saute Express with a nice piece of salmon and new potatoes!

  26. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    What a great meal, product and giveaway! Your cheesy tortellini looks so mouthwatering, I love it! My meal to please a picky eater… well, anything with pasta and lots of cheese! Wins ’em over every time.

  27. Lindsey

    I was the pickiest of pickiest eaters growing up! I was always content with chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese though and think it’s quit the meal for picky eaters! Although I’ve out grown my picky ways chicken nuggets and macaroni still have a soft spot in my heart.

  28. Julia

    I know how that goes when you are at the end of pregnancy and have no energy to do anything! Quick and easy dinners are essential. This looks delicious and easy!

  29. Stacy

    Thankfully my DH is not too picky but anything with pasta or rice sure makes him a happy camper. This recipe looks like it would be a hit in our house if I added some shredded chicken.