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When my husband Jack and I go out to eat, we love to try new dishes! In addition to just enjoying great food – restaurant dining is also a great source of inspiration for us as food bloggers, and we sometimes turn that inspiration into recipes we share here on A Family Feast!
But other times – depending on the restaurant – I’ll order the same dish, time after time! For example, we eat out at Bertucci’s on occasion and I almost always order their Baked Tortellini with Chicken Gratinati! So – knowing how much I love that dish – Jack set out to make it for me at home (sweet guy that he is!), and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that his version is EVEN BETTER than the version I get at Bertucci’s!
This baked tortellini with chicken gratinati is actually a very simple dish to make! Just pre-cook some frozen tri-color tortellini, and some bite-sized pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast and then layer it into individual, oven-safe gratin or crème brulee dishes along with some diced tomatoes and a flavorful, cheesy white alfredo sauce. Because we don’t have a wood-fire oven like the restaurant, we also added bacon to our dish – and while it’s a departure from the original recipe, it adds fantastic, smoky flavor that totally makes this dish!
While this isn’t an exact copycat recipe for Bertucci’s baked tortellini with chicken gratinati – if you enjoy that dish at the restaurant, we predict you’ll love this home version even more!
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- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 pound of sliced bacon
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 cups heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano, divided
- 6 ounces shredded fontina cheese, divided
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast ,cut into bite sized pieces
- 13-ounce bag frozen tri-colored tortellini
- Place tomatoes into a strainer over a bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and let sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Cook bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Cut bacon strips into bite sized pieces and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
- In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat and add flour. Cook for four minutes stirring often. While this is cooking, heat cream to hot but not scaled either in a small sauce pan or in the microwave.
- Add the hot cream to the butter and flour mixture one third at a time whisking on each third to form a smooth sauce. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper, nutmeg, ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, 3 ounces of the fontina cheese, fresh basil and minced garlic. Stir to combine, heat to hot and remove from heat. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large saute pan over medium high, heat two tablespoons of bacon fat and cook chicken for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Should be slightly under-cooked as it will cook further in the oven. Remove cooked chicken to a dish or plate.
- Boil a pot of water and cook tortellini according to package instructions but remove from the water before the tortellini is fully cooked, as it will cook further in the oven.
- Depending on the size of your dishes, arrange four to six oven-safe, wide flat gratin-crème brulee dishes on a parchment-lined sheet pan and spray each dish lightly with pan spray.
- Spoon about two tablespoons of sauce on the bottom of each dish and spread to cover bottoms.
- Divide the cooked tortellini, cooked chicken, cooked bacon and the drained diced tomatoes among the individual dishes.
- Pour the sauce over each filled dish, dividing evenly.
- Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and Fontina over the tops of the six dishes.
- Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are browned and bubbly.
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