There’s no denying the appeal of dairy in home cooking. Dairy helps make foods silky, creamy and more satisfying. Cheeses in particular can make meals more rich and more flavorful, so much so that they can be truly addictive.

Layering cheesy goodness can set any meal apart. That’s just what happens with “Cheesy Chicken Tortellini Bake” from “The Pampered Chef® Stoneware Inspirations” (The Pampered Chef® Ltd.) by The Pampered Chef® Test Kitchens. Freshly cooked chicken and homemade tortellini can be used for this comforting casserole, but cubed, pre-cooked chicken and refrigerated tortellini also works.

Cheesy Chicken Tortellini Bake

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Serves 6

Pasta mixture

  • 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) white Alfredo pasta sauce
  • 2 packages (9 ounces each) refrigerated cheese-filled regular or spinach tortellini
  • 1½ cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

Crumb topping

  • 1 ounce grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 F. For pasta mixture, chop onion. In a 4-quart casserole, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onion and garlic pressed with a garlic press. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in pasta sauce, tortellini, chicken, milk, water, peas, and black pepper. Heat until mixture just comes to a boil; remove from heat. Stir basil into pasta mixture.

Meanwhile, for crumb topping, grate Parmesan cheese. Place butter in a small microwave-safe dish, microwave on high 30-45 seconds or until melted. Stir in bread crumbs and cheese; mix well.

Spoon pasta mixture into a baking dish; sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake 15-20 minutes or until edges are bubbly and topping is golden brown.

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