Asiago Tortellini Alfredo with Grilled Chicken



This recipe is the epitome of comfort food – a symphony of textures and flavors that will leave you feeling warm and satisfied. Imagine plump, cheese-filled tortellini bathed in a luxuriously creamy Asiago Alfredo sauce, all nestled beneath juicy, herb-infused grilled chicken. It’s a dish that’s as easy on the eyes as it is on the soul, perfect for a cozy weeknight dinner with loved ones.

Ingredients Overview:

We’ve kept the core ingredients of this recipe simple, allowing the quality of each one to shine through. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need:

  • For the Tortellini: 20 oz of refrigerated five-cheese tortellini – the pre-made kind is a lifesaver in this recipe!
  • For the Herb-Grilled Chicken: Olive oil, Italian herb seasoning, salt, pepper, and boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets. We’ll infuse the chicken with a delightful herbal aroma using a simple marinade.
  • For the Dreamy Alfredo Sauce: Salted butter, fresh garlic (minced!), garlic powder for extra depth, all-purpose flour as a thickener, whole milk and heavy cream for that luxurious texture, and of course, grated Parmesan cheese for a touch of sharpness.
  • For the Golden Crust: Seasoned breadcrumbs, shredded Asiago cheese (the star of the show!), olive oil, and fresh chopped parsley for a pop of color.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions:

Prep the Stage (10 minutes):

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). This ensures the chicken cooks quickly and the topping gets beautifully browned.
  2. Cook and drain your tortellini according to package instructions. While it cooks, get ready to transform those chicken breasts!
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, Italian herb seasoning, salt, and pepper. This aromatic marinade will infuse the chicken with delicious flavor.

Grill the Chicken to Perfection (15 minutes):

  1. Coat your chicken breasts in the prepared marinade, making sure they’re evenly coated. Let them marinate for at least 5 minutes while you preheat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat (around 425-450°F).
  2. Grill the chicken for 7-8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. This ensures the chicken is cooked through and juicy.
  3. Pro Tip: Use a meat thermometer for guaranteed perfect results!
  4. Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a plate and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in incredibly tender chicken.

Whip Up the Creamy Alfredo Sauce (10 minutes):

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the salted butter. Patience is key here – don’t let the butter brown!
  2. Add the minced garlic and garlic powder, and sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Don’t burn the garlic – you want it to be soft and aromatic.
  3. Whisk in the flour and cook for another minute, creating a roux (a thickening agent).
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. This ensures a smooth and lump-free sauce.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. You want the sauce to coat the back of a spoon without being too heavy.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Let the cheese melt, stirring constantly, until fully incorporated.

Assemble and Bake to Golden Perfection (15 minutes):

  1. Pour the creamy Alfredo sauce evenly over the cooked and drained tortellini in your baking dish. Make sure every tortellini gets a good coating of that cheesy goodness.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the seasoned breadcrumbs, shredded Asiago cheese, and olive oil. This will create a delightful golden crust for the casserole.
  3. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the Alfredo sauce and tortellini.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and bubbly. The casserole should be heated through at this point.

Serve and Savor (Enjoy!):

  1. Serve the hot casserole directly from the baking dish, topped with sliced grilled chicken and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.
  2. Dig in and enjoy this comforting and flavorful dish!

Helpful Tips for Enhancing the Recipe:

  • Elevate the Aromatics: For an extra flavor boost, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the marinade for a touch of heat.
  • Spinach Surprise: Add a layer of fresh spinach or baby kale between the tortellini and the sauce for a pop of color and added nutrients.
  • Roasted Veggie Medley: Roast your favorite vegetables like broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, or asparagus alongside the chicken for a more well-rounded meal. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper before placing them on a separate baking sheet in the oven while the chicken cooks.
  • Shrimp Scampi Twist: Swap the chicken for peeled and deveined shrimp for a seafood twist. Marinate the shrimp in the same way as the chicken, then grill or saute them until pink and cooked through before adding them to the assembled casserole.
  • Creamy Dream Variations: If you don’t have heavy cream, you can substitute with all milk, but the sauce will be slightly thinner. For a richer flavor, use full-fat milk instead.
  • Gluten-Free Twist: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs for the topping to make this recipe gluten-friendly.

Popular Questions and Answers:

Q: Can I use pre-cooked chicken?

Absolutely! To save time, you can use pre-cooked grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken, shredding it before adding it to the casserole.

Q: How can I tell if my tortellini are done cooking?

Follow the cooking instructions on the package of your tortellini. Most refrigerated tortellini only need to cook for a few minutes in boiling water until they float to the surface.

Q: My sauce seems too thin. What can I do?

If your sauce seems too thin after simmering, you can create a slurry by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water. Whisk this slurry into the simmering sauce and cook for another minute or two, until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.

Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes! You can assemble the casserole completely (without baking) and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake according to the instructions, adding a few extra minutes of baking time if needed to heat through completely.

Secrets for Achieving Culinary Perfection:

  • Use high-quality ingredients. Fresh herbs in the marinade, real grated Parmesan cheese, and flavorful tortellini will make all the difference in the final taste.
  • Don’t overcook the chicken. Grilled chicken is best when juicy and tender. Use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Temper your cream. When adding the milk and cream to the roux, whisk them in slowly over low heat to prevent the sauce from curdling.
  • Don’t skip the resting period for the chicken. Letting the chicken rest allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in more flavorful and tender meat.
  • Broil for a crispy finish. If you like a bit more texture on your topping, broil the casserole for the last minute or two of baking, watching closely to avoid burning.

With these helpful tips and secrets, you’re well on your way to creating a restaurant-worthy Asiago Tortellini Alfredo with Herb-Grilled Chicken that will leave your family and friends wanting more. So, grab your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to experience a weeknight dinner dream come true!

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