one pot tortellini with meat sauce

with daylight savings time now in full force and the sun setting later and later, we're making a conscious effort to get the boys to sleep earlier. which means i am on the lookout for simple meals appropriate for adults, a toddler, and a finger-foods-eating baby that can be on the table from start to finish in a max of 30 minutes. most one pot pasta recipes i've tried fit these requirements, but don't always taste great or usually, don't have enough liquid and i end up with too hard pasta and burnt sauce. not good. this one pot tortellini is not one of those meals. while the three of us gobbled it up with our forks, the finger-foods-eating baby was the clear winner: we had to cut him off after three bowls.

looking for more one pot meals? here are some of my favs: if you've got an hour, there's apple chicken chili. if you've got 45 minutes, there's chicken and pearl couscous with tomato and lemon and of course, risotto - risotto with peas & chicken, baby tomato & spinach risotto, three cheese risotto (and two of my favorite uses of leftovers, risotto cakes & risotto stuffed portobello mushrooms), chicken marsala risotto, tomato & corn risotto, tomato basil risotto, risotto with bacon, peas & leeks, and last but not least, gruyere risotto. (i can't believe, that for someone who loves risotto so much, the last time i made it was june 2012! i better get on that...)

one pot tortellini with meat sauce
adapted from yellow bliss road
30 minutes, serves 4-6

1 pound lean ground beef
1 small or medium onion, diced
20 ounces fresh tortellini (check your grocer's refrigerated section)
28 ounces diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until most of the pink is gone. add the onion and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through. drain fat from the pan. 
  2. return the pan to medium-high heat and add the tortellini, tomatoes and chicken broth. season with salt & pepper and bring to a boil. turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer until the pasta is cooked, 12-15 minutes. 
  3. turn off the heat and stir in the cheeses. cover and let stand for about 5 minutes and mix until thoroughly combined. serve hot.

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