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Pan Fried Tortellini and Broccoli is a simple, yet incredibly delicious, one pan dinner that’s ready in only 20 minutes. It’s a simple family-friendly meatless Monday recipe great for busy parents and hungry kids! Tortellini is pan fried in butter and tossed with sauteed broccoli, garlic and red onions. Drizzle with olive oil and top with Parmesan cheese for a complete and nutritious five-star meal!
This week’s mission: end each day with as few dirty dishes, pots, and pans as possible.
Why? Christmas is only 19 days away. 19. There are holiday cards to address, presents to buy, presents to wrap, decorations to put up. Plus my daughter’s birthday party is this weekend so there’s that to prepare for. Throw in a teething baby who won’t let me put her down, and the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is stand over a sink piled high with dishes.
That meant as many one-pot, one-pan, one-plate meals as I could think of.
I should really say “pasta meals” since that’s the only thing that seems to get eaten in my house these days.
How could I make a one-pot pasta meal, in less than 30 minutes, without waiting half that time just for the water to boil? Read on to find out!
When we hear “fried”, we think crispy-breaded, submerged in oil and grease. When we hear “pasta” we think soft and tender, a perfect chewy texture.
Pan fried tortellini is a perfect combination of both: lightly crisp on the outside, yet soft and chewy on the inside. And because it’s sauteed in butter rather than submerged in vegetable oil, it’s healthier compared to traditional frying.
I had seen other pan fried recipes before. Their strategy for getting perfectly crisp tortellini was arranging them in a single layer on a griddle or large pan and cooking til golden brown. Then flipping each one individually and cooking that side til golden brown. When that batch was done, they moved on to the next batch. That was way too much work for me!
I wanted to see if I could dump an entire bag of frozen tortellini in a large wok, not in a single layer, and still get that crispy golden brown outside and soft inside.
The answer: yes you can!
Look at how perfect these pan fried tortellini came out. The best part? The entire meal was ready in TWENTY minutes! 20!
To make this pan fried tortellini and broccoli you need:
I find pan fried tortellini to be best when cooked in butter, drizzled with olive oil, and then tossed with salt and pepper. Of course, you can’t forget to sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, because no pasta is complete without it. These light and simple ingredients really let the cheesy flavor of the tortellini shine.
My method is really simple and requires only 1 large pan or wok. How can you get this gorgeous pasta meal on the table for your family in just 20 minutes?
First, saute the broccoli and red onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes, tossing a few times. I chop the broccoli on the small side so that it cooks faster. While the broccoli cooks, mash the garlic (with the salt so that it doesn’t fly out), and then add to the wok, cooking for another minute of so.
Then remove the broccoli/onions/garlic to your serving dish and add butter to the wok. Add the tortellini and cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing a few times so all sides become golden brown and crispy. It’s okay if not all sides are golden. Mine weren’t and they were still deliciously crisp.
Last, toss the tortellini with the broccoli mix and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Once in individual bowls, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.
As hard as I try to get my kids to eat their vegetables every day, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. While this pan fried tortellini and broccoli is already kid-friendly, I still had to remove all the broccoli before my daughter would eat it. The onions and garlic are light enough that they likely won’t be bothersome to kids. And, the broccoli becomes tender enough for little mouths to handle chewing (if they’ll eat it!).
You can also easily substitute other vegetables your family loves for the broccoli. Zucchini, asparagus, spinach, winter squash, and cauliflower would all work great without changing cooking time.
This meal keeps well in the fridge for about a week. It reheats in the microwave well too, without causing the tortellini to lose much of their crispiness.