Roasted Zucchini and White Bean Lemon Tortellini: Making Frozen Tortellini Taste Fresh

20181014_174401The classic tortellini with marinara sauce that many make on a lazy or stressed day is always comforting, but sometimes you want to switch things up. Thinking of other ways to use tortellini can be daunting, but it can be something as simple as adding in new fresh flavors (especially if you don’t want tomatoes all the time).

I have seen tortellini added in to bean and vegetable soups, so I thought a variation on that idea using roasted zucchini and white cannellini beans would be refreshing. I could have taken the easy way out that day and just made it with canned tomatoes, but what fun would that be?  An entire head of garlic roasting in the oven fills the kitchen with a lovely aroma, and the brightness of fresh lemon zest and juice gives the beans and zucchini the zing it needs.


Mashing up the roasted garlic into a paste with the lemon juice infuses all of the tortellini and other ingredients with a rich yet light flavor of sweet garlic and lemon. The beans and zucchini even created a type of creaminess that lended a pseudo sauce to the dish. I normally try not to have pasta too often but on days when you might not know what to make and you have tortellini in the freezer, then try out this recipe!

Roasted Garlic, Zucchini and White Bean Lemon Tortellini

Servings: About 4 main dish servings          Prep Time: 35-40 minutes


  • 1 bag frozen tortellini- 16 oz bag
  • 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 2 small zucchinis (or one large), chopped into half moon shapes
  • 1 whole head of garlic, wrapped in foil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Drizzle the head of garlic with some olive oil and wrap tight in foil. Also, place the zucchini on a baking dish/sheet and toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the garlic for 30 minutes and the zucchini for about the same time, flipping/tossing them halfway through until lightly browned.
  2. Put a pot of water to boil. Once boiling, cook the tortellini according to package instructions. Drain and set aside in a large bowl for mixing.
  3. Have the garlic cool before popping the garlic cloves out. Mash the roasted garlic with the lemon juice and half of the lemon zest to make a paste.
  4. Combine the zucchini, cannellini beans and tortellini. Add in the oregano and rest of the lemon zest.
  5. Drizzle in the garlic lemon mixture and toss everything until coated through. Enjoy!

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