Elements of Food

Cheesy Veggie Tortellini Bake

I’m just going to go ahead and caveat that this is not exactly the healthiest of recipes…I mean, it is overflowing with yummy vegetables which is wonderful, but they are definitely hidden in a rich, cheesy carb party…but it’s definitely a party I want to attend. This dish is super family friendly. My toddler absolutely loved it! She could eat it with her fingers which is great… because in her awesome toddler world, we are boycotting forks. Anyways…I found this recipe on Pinterest of course, and the original recipe can be found here.

I used a few different veggies than the original recipe, but you can pretty much use whatever you have in your fridge, that’s what I love about it. I have written the ingredient list below with my modifications…but please visit the original recipe developer’s blog for step by step instructions! Enjoy!

  • 1 package (19 ounces) frozen cheese-filled tortellini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup trimmed sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cups of bell peppers (we love bell peppers…so we did more than the original recipe called for)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
Creamy base:
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
Top it off:
  • 1/4 cup freshly-grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

Veggie Tortellini Bake 2

Veggie tortellini BakeVeggie Tortellini Bake 3

Elements of Food

Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Pork Chops

Sometimes the best recipes come from when you think you have nothing to eat in your house…We have been out of town SO much this past month that we haven’t been to the grocery store in weeks. Whenever this happens, I find that taking out the good ol’ Better Homes and Gardens cookbook solves all my problems. The recipes are classic and pretty basic so you can almost guarantee that you’ll have all the ingredients somewhere in your house! And if you live in our house…Basil Pesto is a staple and always in full supply! Sometimes cookbooks overload you on ingredients and things you most definitely don’t have on hand and honestly, who has time for that. We almost always take advantage of the Lunds BOGO deals, and apparently a couple months back we bought a bunch of pork chops, so I figured I should use them:) B LOVED this recipe and it was so incredibly easy and packs more flavor than just grilling up your basic chops with a little salt and pepper. This takes 20 minutes to prep. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of and adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook


  • 3-4 Tablespoons Crumbled Feta Cheese (We buy the giant block from Costco, so just shave off a few tablespoons if you don’t have crumbled. (I say the more cheese the better on this one…)
  • 3 Tablespoons Basil Pesto
  • 1 Tablespoon Toasted Pine Nuts (just toast them up in a frying pan on medium high heat for a couple minutes)
  • 4 Thick Cut Pork Chops. You want the thick cut so you can stuff them easily. We used boneless, I think that works best.
  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar


  1. For the filling, mix together the feta cheese, basil and toasted pine nuts.
  2. Create a pocket in the pork chop by cutting horizontally down the middle of the chop starting on the fatty side.
  3. Divide the filling between the chops and secure them with toothpicks. (I didn’t and the filling stayed in just fine)
  4. For the rub, mix together the pepper, oregano, red pepper, garlic and thyme.
  5. Coat each pork chop in the rub and place in a shallow roasting dish. Brush the chops with a little olive oil so they brown in the oven.
  6. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the thermometer reaches 165 degrees (about 30 minutes) and juices run clear. During the last 5 minutes, brush each chop with balsamic vinegar.

Serve immediately. These are seriously so flavorful and easy! And I didn’t have to buy a thing. For those of you who care, these have 358 calories per serving.