Loaded with fresh mushrooms and deep homey flavours that are synonymous with Thanksgiving, this vegetarian tortellini is the ultimate fall comfort food! Who can resist mushrooms fried in butter? That’s only the start for this Thanksgiving Mushroom Tortellini!
I wish I had thought of this Thanksgiving Mushroom Tortellini a few years ago! It would have made preparing Thanksgiving dinner for John.e so much easier! Of all of the dinners I have prepared over the past 8 years of our relationship, Thanksgiving is by far the most taxing on my nerves!
Growing up in a home where Thanksgiving dinner meant a huge roasted turkey, the thought of facing every Thanksgiving without one was not something I was able to do. Rather than compromise his vegetarian lifestyle choices, I found that I could still prepare a turkey dinner and whip up a dish like this for him. It literally takes no time at all, so there was really no excuse to stress about it.
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Many times holiday meals can be stressful. Personally, I think those stresses are brought on by two things. First, we overthink and over plan the meal. If you roast a turkey and prepare just two sides with a good gravy, that’s all you need. Don’t go making five or more side dishes. There’s absolutely no need for it.
Secondly, we invite people we don’t really want around our table. We all have one or two family members who cause our blood pressure to rise. I say invite your chosen family! After all, it’s your home and your turkey! Do whatever makes you happy!
WHAT IS THANKSGIVING WITHOUT LOTS OF SIDES?
For me, Thanksgiving dinner is all about a perfectly roasted turkey with all of the fixings. I always prepare Sauteed Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots and Rosemary Roasted Radishes. And, of course, my favourite side, which is Baguette Stuffing with Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onions.
Of course, there must be mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and gravy too! So, here we have all of this food and I would always feel guilty that John.e could not completely indulge. In recent years, I’ve prepared a Tofurkey too so that he’s not left out.
If I had thought of this Thanksgiving Mushroom Tortellini pasta dish in the beginning, it would have made my life so much easier. I might have been able to completely avoid the emotional breakdown. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it was stressful!
FOOD, FAMILY, AND MEMORIES – THEY ALL TIE TOGETHER NICELY
Looking back, all holidays were the same for me as a child. I grew up in Newfoundland where eating is a religious practice. We all know that eating brings family and friends together. But, when referring to traditional Newfoundland culture, preparing meals for holiday time was a big ordeal. And nearly every household celebrated with food the same way.
Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and even New Year’s Day, were all days when my mom would prepare a traditional Newfoundland meal. And depending on the season and what was readily available, the meal was always the same.
She would cook a huge turkey and stuff it with bread-based stuffing. The stuffing is prepared with savoury, which is a traditional Newfoundland spice. (Many people will suggest that summer savoury is the same thing. But, a true Newfoundlander will argue that it is not! You can get the real stuff here if you want to try it: Savoury.)
The turkey was served with boiled potatoes, turnips, cabbage, carrots, etc., which were all cooked in the same pot with salt beef. I’m getting off-topic… The point here is that this pasta dish reminds me of those holiday flavours. The flavour of vegetarian tofurky influenced this pasta recipe.
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INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Mushrooms – Use good meaty mushrooms like cremini.
- Salted Butter – You can use unsalted butter too. Just be sure to taste the mushrooms and add more salt if needed.
- Olive Oil – Use just a little. Since it has a higher smoking point, it will prevent the butter from burning.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
- Soy Sauce – Use low sodium soy sauce. You can always add extra salt if needed.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This adds so much flavour to mushrooms!
- Chives – These add freshness, colour, and lots of flavour.
- Thyme – Fresh thyme leaves are the best option. They add an earthy, slightly minty and lemony flavour.
- Dried Sage – You can use fresh sage if you wish.
- Frozen Cheese Tortellini – If you are not preparing this dish to be vegetarian, you can use any tortellini you choose.
FRESH MUSHROOMS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
It took me years to figure out that I actually did like mushrooms, and that I had been brainwashed into thinking that mushrooms were these pale, brown, slimy, button-looking things that came out of a can. Once I began to experiment with fresh mushrooms, my opinion of them changed rather quickly.
My mom can’t be blamed for not using fresh mushrooms. I grew up in Newfoundland, and I know that canned mushrooms were all my parents could purchase at the time. I remember it well – there were sliced mushrooms, or if you were being very frugal, you could get stems and pieces in a can too.
Mom would often fry canned mushrooms with chopped onion together in her cast iron skillet. It would just be those two ingredients with a little butter, some salt, and ground black pepper. She would spoon it over the top of fried or grilled steak or pork chops. It looked so good, but I wouldn’t even try it. Fresh makes all the difference because now I like mushrooms.
HOW TO MAKE THANKSGIVING MUSHROOM TORTELLINI
1. Browning the Mushrooms
Melt the butter with the olive oil into a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and sprinkle over the salt and ground black pepper. Cook the mushrooms until they turn a deep, woodsy, brown colour.
You have the option of frying the mushrooms to your liking. You may not want your mushrooms to be so well done. However, if you choose to fry them less than I have, please be warned that the extra moisture content in the mushrooms will seep. What this means is that the water content left in the mushrooms will leak out into the finished pasta dish. This isn’t a bad thing; I just don’t care for brown mushroom water in the bottom of my bowl!
2. Preparing the Pasta
While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the cheese tortellini according to the package instructions. My only piece of advice here is to slightly undercook the pasta. The pasta will be eventually added to the mushroom mixture and will continue to cook a little bit there. If you fully cook it now, it will become mushy.
Once the pasta is almost cooked, drain it well and set it aside until you’re ready to add it to the skillet with the mushrooms. Now, speaking of mushrooms, let’s get back to them!
3. Adding More Flavour to the Mushrooms
Once the mushrooms are cooked and browned to your liking, reduce the heat to medium and add the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, fresh thyme leaves, dried sage, and half of the chives. Stir well, making sure everything is well incorporated. Sauté this mixture until the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce is absorbed. It will take very little time, just a minute or two.
4. Finishing Up
Go ahead and add the cooked tortellini to the mushrooms. Toss well to coat. Over medium heat, continue to cook the mushrooms and tortellini together until the pasta is re-heated thoroughly.
Turn off the heat and plate. Garnish with extra chives and serve immediately.
This particular Thanksgiving Mushroom Tortellini dish is so easy to prepare and may be served to the fussiest vegetarian. And, while the rest of your family and friends indulge in that delicious turkey, your vegetarian counterpart can enjoy a wonderfully tasty meal of their very own. (Not like years before when you gave them a plate of raw carrots and celery!) With this particular recipe, you’ll have one very happy – and included! – vegetarian at your dinner table. Congratulations! You’re a considerate and gracious host!
Do You Like This Recipe?
You should consider trying these other delicious recipes too!
Thanksgiving Mushroom Tortellini
- 4 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 800 grams frozen cheese tortellini
- Start by melting the butter in a large skillet on medium heat.
- Once the butter is fully melted and begins to bubble, add the olive oil, mushrooms, salt, and ground black pepper. Stir and saute the mushrooms until browned.
- In the meantime, cook the tortellini in salted water, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Once the mushrooms are really deep brown, add the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, fresh thyme leaves, dried sage, and half of the chives. Stir well, making sure everything is well incorporated.
- Add the cooked tortellini to the mushrooms and toss to coat. Over medium heat, continue to cook the mushrooms and tortellini together until the pasta is re-heated thoroughly.
- Serve and garnish with chopped chives and fresh thyme leaves.
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