I am so loving one-pot meals these days.
I mean, what’s not to love? They’re easy, quick, delicious, and only require you to dirty ONE POT! It’s busy-life perfection.
I am a BIG fan given how hectic life has been lately (like, HOW is it already mid-September?!), and I’ve heard from a lot of you that you’re big fans as well, especially after I shared this and this. There was an resounding “MORE PLEASE!” after I shared those recipes. And I totally get why.
So, I’m here to deliver another one-pot meal today. And this one just might be the fav thus far.
I’ve talked about this at length in the past, so I’ll keep it short this time around: I am a big fan of chorizo sausage. Like, huge. I have never been a fan of sausage because I don’t like fennel seed, and that seems to be the dominant flavor in so many sausages. Or maybe I’m just sensitive to that flavor? I don’t know. All I DO know is that chorizo is an awesome alternative for me. Well, chorizo and bacon, that is. Bacon for liiiiiiiife.
Not only is there zero fennel flavor in chorizo, but it adds a spicy, colorful twist to just about anything you add it to. And you can pretty much find it anywhere these days. Usually right next to the “regular” sausage!
For this pasta bake, I switched things up a few different ways. First, I went with a cheese-filled tortellini as our pasta base. Yesss. I may never go back to anything else when making these one-pot pasta meals. Such great flavor AND texture with the tortellini. Plus, um, there’s cheese INSIDE. Always a good decision. Using frozen tortellini ensures the perfect, not-overcooked texture, too. Just throw ‘em in the pot frozen and let the oven work its magic.
I also added in the last of our summer corn stash (I froze about a dozen ears’ worth last week to try and make it last as long as possible), and it adds a wonderful sweet note to the situation. Chorizo + corn = the best of friends. I’m convinced (see here and here if you don’t believe me).
Here’s how it all comes together. Render the chorizo until crispy in a large, oven-safe skillet. Add in some onion, tomatoes, stock, and other flavorings and bring to a simmer.
Then add in your corn, along with some baby spinach (which totally makes this a health food, right?), and the frozen tortellini. Top it off with some more (!) cheese and bake it off in the oven until it is bubbly and gorgeous. And just like that, dinner is freaking served, baby! You can get right back to your hectic life.
All this needs is a light side salad and maaaayyybe a glass or two of wine (for the antioxidants, of course).
Oh! And maybe a crusty knob of baguette for soaking up the glorious sauce. Yeah, that should do it.
Welcome to Cozy Town, folks.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb chorizo sausage, casings removed and crumbled (you can sub in any kind of sausage you like here)
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
Drizzle of heavy cream (optional – I like a creamy tomato sauce)
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 (20-oz) package frozen cheese tortellini (you can use any flavor you like)
1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a large (at least 12-inch) oven-proof skillet or shallow pan over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil.
Add the chorizo and cook until rendered and browned, breaking up bigger chunks as it cooks. Drain off any excess grease.
Add the onion and cook with the chorizo for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add in the tomatoes, stock, sugar, and herbs and stir to combine, scraping up the bottom of the pot with your spoon to get all the brown bits off the bottom. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then drizzle in the cream. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Add in the spinach, frozen tortellini, and corn and stir to combine.
Top the skillet with the cheeses and then place in the oven for 20 minutes. The cheese on top should be melted and browned in spots and the liquid should be bubbling around the edges.
Remove the skillet from the oven and garnish with chopped parsley or basil. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving (it will firm up a little bit and be easier to serve and eat).