Summer Squash Tortellini Bake (Cookbook Sneak Peek!)

Tortellini baked with roasted summer squash and a creamy goat cheese sauce with pops of fresh basil. This recipe is from my new cookbook and I’m sharing a sneak peek today!

photo of summer squash tortellini bake in a baking dish with a small bowl of grated parmesan cheese

When one writes a cookbook (that’s me!) and has the opportunity to share a sneak peek of the said cookbook with her readers the task in choosing which recipe to share and what to say about the book is overwhelming. I’ve been planning this post since about October 2017 after I signed my book contract and realized, with amazement, that in just over a year the book would be an actual thing and not just a cluster of ideas floating around in my head. I knew back then I would sit here today and type up a sneak peek post, but I had no idea how hard it would be to 1) choose a recipe from the book to share and 2) manage to write words other than omg, I wrote a book and there’s so much to say that it’s all coming out as garbley-gook. And the fact that I just typed out o-m-g tells you the state I’m in. It’s hard to encapsulate in one pithy post the experience I had in writing this book.

photo of the cover of Gourmet Cooking for One or Two

So, I’ll start with the cover. The dish you see on it is Pappardelle with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto and Sautéed Fennel. In between the cover and back page, you’ll find the recipe for it and 74 other (brand new!) small-scale comfort food-inspired recipes that serve one or two people. It’s a love-letter of a book for anyone who wants to cook for themselves but hates living with leftovers for days on end. It’s full of approachable dinner recipes with everything from 30-minute dinners, one-pan recipes, and old favorites I’ve updated with new twists. And so after some hand-wringing and soul-searching, I’ve got a little sneak peek recipe for you today. It’s a baked pasta recipe from the Updated Classics to Serve Yourself (and Not a Crowd) chapter and a great recipe for this time of year.

overhead photo of summer squash tortellini bake


Summer Squash Tortellini Bake

This Summer Squash Tortellini Bake is a little bit summertime with fresh basil and squash and a little bit fall with a creamy goat cheese sauce and tortellini that bakes up together in the oven. It’s the sort of dish I love to make this time of year when the evenings are sweater-weather crisp and I’m craving something a little cozy for dinner.

Some Ingredients You’ll Need

  • I used cheery yellow summer squash for this recipe that you first roast in the oven until it’s lightly caramelized. You can also use the same amount of zucchini in its place if that’s what you have on hand.
  • The sauce starts as a basic white sauce made with butter, flour, and milk. To it, you add a wedge of onion and whole smashed garlic instead of chopping and dicing them. After the onion and garlic have simmered in the sauce and before you add the cheese you’ll want to pluck the onion and garlic out the sauce.  That way, you end up with a sauce that’s smooth, creamy and subtly flavored.
  • I used creamy goat cheese to make a cheese sauce. I love the tangy flavor of the cheese and it melts beautifully into the sauce. Some sliced basil stirred into the sauce adds a pop of freshness.
  • Once the squash is roasted and the sauce is made you combine it all in a baking dish with some store-bought cheese tortellini. The pasta cooks right in the sauce so there’s no need to boil it ahead of time. Top it with some grated Parmesan cheese, pop it in the oven, and about 30 minutes later you’ll have a cozy baked pasta dish for two.

I hope you’ll check out this little labor of love of mine. It’s available now at these retailers!

Gourmet Cooking for One or Two: Incredible Meals that are Small in Size but Big in Flavor

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Indie Bound | The Book Depository


Summer Squash Tortellini Bake

photo of summer squash tortellini bake in a baking dish with a small bowl of grated parmesan cheese

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Fresh herbs and roasted yellow squash pair with cheese tortellini to make a creamy sauce. I like to simmer the onion and garlic in the goat cheese sauce and then remove them before adding the pasta so the sauce is creamy smooth and subtly flavored.

  • Author: April @ Girl Gone Gourmet
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American




  • 2 cups (226 g) diced yellow squash, cut into 1/4″ (6-mm) pieces
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  • 2 tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp (16 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (235 ml) 2% milk
  • 1 (2-oz [57-g]) onion wedge
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 oz (60 g) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 large basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin ribbons
  • 9 oz (255 g) fresh cheese tortellini
  • 1/4 cup (45 g) grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. To make the squash, spread the squash in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the oil and sprinkle the salt over the top, then stir the squash around to coat it. Roast the squash for 20 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden and caramelized. Remove it from the oven and lower the temperature to 350°F (175°C).
  3. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a 2-quart (2-L) saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until it forms a loose paste. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, until the milk is combined with the flour and butter and there are no lumps. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the onion, garlic and salt. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat if needed to prevent it from boiling.
  4. When the sauce lightly coats the back of a spoon, remove and discard the onion and garlic. Add the goat cheese and stir until it melts into the sauce, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the black pepper and basil.
  5. Place the uncooked tortellini and roasted squash in a 1 1/2-quart (1.4-L) baking dish. Pour the sauce over the pasta and squash and stir to coat them. Top the tortellini with the Parmesan cheese, cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until it’s hot and bubbling.


Excerpt from Gourmet Cooking for One or Two by April Anderson. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Page Street Publishing.


  • Calories: 773
  • Sugar: 10.8
  • Fat: 37g
  • Carbohydrates: 78.9g
  • Fiber: 4.1g
  • Protein: 33.2g

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