By now you have probably been inundated with Christmas recipes from so many cookies to appetizers for holiday parties to fresh cocktails to celebrate the season which is why this recipe may seem irrelevant right now…but it’s not! This is a hearty, veggie-filled, one-pot recipe to use on one of those nights where you may not have festivities to attend and need a break from all the food that goes along with them. The whole dish comes together pretty quickly, in about half an hour or so and if you can find a package of pre-cut sweet potato, that will drastically reduce your prep time. (I found organic, pre-cut sweet potato cubes at Costco and bought them specifically for this recipe).
I enjoy this dish because I feel like I can have my pasta and eat it too. The veggies pretty much cancel out the pasta…right? The sweet potato is cooked first and with the addition of vegetable broth and almond milk and more cooking, it breaks down, resulting in a creamy sauce-like texture. The tortellini plump up while the spinach and broccoli wilt into the mixture, boosting the its nutrition. I garnished my bowl with toasted pine nuts for some texture and Parmesan cheese because I couldn’t resist. Leftovers keep for 3-4 days and the dish reheats well.
creamy sweet potato, broccoli & spinach skillet
(adapted from The Kitchn)
- glug avocado oil, or any other neutral-tasting oil
- ~2 cups cubed sweet potato
- 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- I used pilpelchuma, my new favorite spice mixture
- 1/2-1 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup broccoli florets (I used broccolette because they’re larger yet more tender)
- ~10 oz baby greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
- 1 quart (box) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 12 oz dried tortellini pasta
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 10-12″ skillet over medium heat. Stir in sweet potato cubes, sea salt, pepper, thyme and pipelchuma. Cover the skillet and let cook for about five minutes, until the sweet potatoes have started to soften. Add broccoli florets, stir everything to combine and let cook for another five minutes or so.
Uncover the skillet and add half the vegetable broth, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the baby greens, stirring between handfuls to make sure the greens are wilted before adding more. Pour in the rest of the vegetable broth, stir in the almond milk, cover and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Uncover the skillet and toss in the tortellini. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes until the tortellini is cooked through. Add more liquid as needed if it has all been absorbed and the pasta isn’t tender yet.
Divide into bowls and serve immediately. I’d recommend garnishing with toasted pine nuts and Parmesan. If you need to keep it vegan and/or gluten-free, substitute the pasta and adjust cooking time and liquid accordingly. Top with nutritional yeast or this vegan Parmesan cheeze mixture.