Casserole should tread care’philly’ with its cheesesteak claims

There are tons of great copycat recipes out there.

I was blown away several years ago to learn that you can make a pretty convincing Butterfinger candy bar with candy corn and a few other ingredients. I also once tried a great recipe claiming to mirror Starbucks’s lemon bread.

So when I tried a casserole this week that promised to mimic the flavors of a Philly cheesesteak, I was intrigued. I have only gotten the opportunity to visit Philadelphia once, and if you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend getting one of their famous sandwiches.

Unfortunately, this week’s recipe was not a great substitute. Fortunately, though, it was just a solid, tasty casserole. So I decided to rename it and present it to you. It has great flavor, and it comes together quickly, which is something a lot of us need in our lives now that school activities are starting up again.

The recipe I tried comes from the blog, “Bowl me Over.” You can find the original post at I added mushrooms, extra roast beef and seasonings to my version.

Bell Pepper Baked Tortellini


19 ounces cheese tortellini

1 teaspoon olive oil

15 ounces frozen bell pepper strips (or use fresh)

8 ounces fresh, sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)

15 ounces Alfredo sauce

2 ounces cream cheese (I used fat free)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 pound deli roast beef, sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces

8 slices provolone cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.

Cook the tortellini according to package directions, then drain and set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pepper strips and mushrooms and saute until the peppers are lightly browned and soft.

Add the Alfredo sauce, cream cheese, seasonings and roast beef and stir.

Once the cream cheese is melted and everything is well combined, fold in the tortellini.

Dump the entire mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the slices of provolone, overlapping them as needed.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

This casserole was filling and cheesy and hit the spot for dinner. Plus, it reheated really well for lunches later in the week.

It certainly wasn’t a good facsimile for an actual Philly cheesesteak, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. I guess I’ll just have to wait for another East Coast trip to taste the real thing, but until then, at least I have a quick dinner recipe to add to my list.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly recipe column by Lindsey Young, who describes herself as an enthusiastic amateur cook and can be reached through her website at

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