Tailgate: Bacon, Broccoli & Spinach Tortellini

Most of Colorado and Wyoming are surrounded by incredible rivers, towering mountain peaks and rolling fields. But in a place with such beauty there comes a catch. Wind.

 On a blustering Saturday—we set up camp just feet from the shore of one our favorite still water lakes. The majority of the day was spent practicing our cast in moderate to extreme wind. We set up our canopy over the back of the rig—hoping to create a (mostly) wind free zone to cook and enjoy a meal.

This big ol’ bowl of carbs is filling, fast and so easy to make. Plus, you can swap out any of the greens—I happened to have a bag frozen broccoli and spinach, but these can easily be substituted for whatever is in your kitchen. 

If you prep the bacon ahead of time this can easily be prepared in one pot for an easy clean up!


 -       1 package of Tortellini

-       Bacon

-       Broccoli (fresh or frozen)

-       Spinach

-       Butter

-       Parmesan Cheese


I love this dish for many reasons but mostly because there is hardly any prep work—just throw it in a cooler and your good to go! However, to make things even easier you can cook the bacon at home in oven. Preheat to 425 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes or until bacon reaches desired crispiness.

 On the Tailgate:

 1.     Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook tortellini according to the package directions.

2.     If you chose to precook your bacon, cut in to small pieces. If not—cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Approximately 6-8 minutes. Remove from skillet and drain grease.

3.     In the same skillet add broccoli and a ¼ a cup of water, cover and let simmer over medium heat.

4.     Once the broccoli has softened add in bacon and spinach and mix together. Add butter and stir until melted.

Combine broccoli, bacon and spinach with the cooked tortellini, generously sprinkle parmesan cheese and serve!

Tailgate 1.JPG
Tailgate 3.JPG
Photo: Dave Reilly

Photo: Dave Reilly