A plate of cheese tortellini with spinach and crispy chicken, garnished with parmesan cheese and spinach sitting on a countertop with some ingredients around it

Cheese Tortellini with Spinach and Crispy Chicken

A pasta dish that checks all the boxes for home cooking on the road. Quick, easy, and delicious. Find out what you need for this meal that can be made in one pot with only one appliance and give it a try for yourself.

Living life on the road doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice great food. We love trying out different dishes and experimenting in the the kitchen, while also eating healthy. That just has to be balanced with our limited space and appliances. The very best recipes for vanlife or nomadic living are not only delicious, but also quick and easy.

We put this one together to be hassle free. Just buy a package of chicken, tortellini and spinach. All the other ingredients are pretty much staples that will be on hand or readily available.

We also love the balance here between the soft and cheesy tortellini, crispy chicken, and the creamy sauce. The spinach adds extra flavor, plus some nutrition to help you feel less guilty about all that cheese!

In our van this is made as a one pot meal. We cook everything in our Ninja Foodi, but it could also be done with an oven and cooktop. If you’re using an oven the temperature and cook time should be about the same, but go ahead and preheat with your sheet pan in the oven. You can also save some time and make the cheese sauce while the chicken is baking.

The portions of chicken, pasta, and spinach lend themselves to making four servings. Typically, we’ll cut up all the chicken then cook two servings at a time, making this two days in a row.

A couple of points worth noting: when you air crisp or bake the chicken it should appear white when done but not fully cooked, which is what you want, since we’re going to finish it up by combining everything at the end.

For the pasta we use a lot less water than recommended on the box. It helps to conserve every bit of water in the van and the pasta cooks just fine. After it’s done you should have about 1 cup of pasta water remaining, which is perfect - that’ll be used to thin out the sauce as needed.

Hopefully you find this recipe just as easy and hassle free as we have. It’s one we threw into our regular rotation because it tastes great and requires so little effort.

Cheese Tortellini with Spinach and Crispy Chicken

total time:
35 min


1 lb chicken breast (cut into small pieces)

1/2 cup flour (divided)

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

Olive oil

4 tbsp butter

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 cup heavy cream or milk

1 cup parmesan cheese (extra for garnish)

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth, or water

9 oz cheese tortellini (Buitoni is our favorite)

5 oz baby spinach

Fresh or dried basil for garnish


  1. Shake bite size chicken pieces in a bag with 1/4 cup flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and onion powder.
  2. Spray air crisp tray with oil and spread out chicken. Air crisp at 375F for 10 min. Remove and set aside.
  3. Make cheese sauce: Set Foodi or cooktop to sauté (medium heat). Melt butter, add minced garlic and sauté 1 min. Add 1/4 cup flour and combine. Add heavy cream or milk and stir until combined. Add parmesan cheese and stir until creamy. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add water or vegetable/chicken broth to pot and bring to boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package. Reserve pasta water and set aside.
  5. Heat olive oil in pot and add chicken. Sauté 2 min. Add spinach and sauté 2 more mins. Add in tortellini and cheese slowly to thoroughly combine. Add pasta water to thin sauce as needed.
  6. Garnish with basil and parmesan. Enjoy!

prep time: 
5 min
cook time: 
30 min
power consumption:

Nutrition Info

Calories per serving: 
% Daily Value
Total fat 47.2g
Cholesterol 197mg
Saturated fat 23.3g
Sodium 2333mg
Trans fat 0g
Total carbohydrate 52.1g
Dietary fiber 1.4g
Total sugars 1.6g
Protein 60.6g
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