Tortellini is normally served warm, but why not serve it chilled with your favorite pesto, sun dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and Parmesan? It’s a delicious new salad recipe to take to your potlucks or next family gathering.
About Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad:
Flavor: When I first tasted this pesto pasta salad, it messed with my mind a bit. I’m used to a traditional vinaigrette pasta salad and this one does not have that tangy vinegar flavor. Basil pesto is the main flavor, with hints of garlic and parmesan. It’s warm and earthy rather than bright flavored.
Texture: The soft mozzarella pairs well with the tortellini. The sun dried tomatoes give it a little texture. You can cut them up smaller if you’d like.
Method: You’ll boil the tortellini on the stovetop, then let the salad chill in the fridge and serve it cold.
What is inside a tortellini?
Tortellini is a stuffed pasta that is filled with ricotta or other Italian cheeses, but also sometimes has spinach or even sausage.
Is tortellini the same as ravioli? No. The two pastas originate from different areas in Italy and are shaped differently. (source)
There are just a handful of ingredients in this pesto tortellini salad.
Tortellini. Use a cheese filled tortellini. I used refrigerated Buitoni Mixed Cheese Tortellini. You can use frozen if you’d like.
Basil pesto. I’ve not conquered making homemade pesto (although I hear it is easy!), so I purchase Classico Traditional Basil Pesto. I love the flavor. Use your own favorite brand or make your own.
Sun dried tomatoes. Choose sun dried tomatoes that are packed in oil. You’ll use 2 tablespoons of that oil to thin the pesto for the sauce. Then put the tomatoes in the pasta salad and also garnish the top of the salad.
Parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese adds a burst of flavor, so I add a hefty handful to the top of the salad.
Basil. If you’d like, garnish the top of the salad with
How to Make Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
Cook the tortellini. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. All tortellini is slightly different, so make sure to follow the instructions on your package so they don’t overcook. Tortellini should be tender and the cheese should be melty inside. Ours took about 7 minutes. Save two tablespoons of pasta water, then drain the rest of the tortellini, rinse with cold water and and set it aside to cool.
Mix the sauce. While the tortellini is cooking, in a small bowl mix the pesto and sundried tomato oil. Add the two tablespoons of pasta water and mix well.
Assemble the salad. Once the tortellini has cooled to room temperature, place it in a large bowl. Add the sundried tomatoes and mozzarella pearls. Add the pesto sauce and mix until combined.
Garnish and chill. Garnish with fresh-cut basil, parmesan, and extra sundried tomatoes if desired. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Store this salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not freeze this salad.
If you don’t like sun dried tomatoes, use fresh cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes.
Add grilled chicken for a complete meal.
Love onion? Try adding about ⅓ cup diced red onion.
Add kalamata olives or other vegetables such as roasted red pepper or artichoke hearts.
Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
4.30 from 10 votes
Whip up this easy pesto tortellini pasta salad in less than 30 minutes. Filled with fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan.
20ouncescheese tortellini(I used Buitoni mixed cheese tortellini)
8.1ouncesbasil pesto(I used Classico Traditional Basil Pesto)
2tablespoonssundried tomato oil
8ouncesfresh mozzarella pearls
1-2ouncesstrained sundried tomatoes
Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions. All tortellini is slightly different, so make sure to follow the instructions on your package so they don't overcook. Tortellini should be tender and the cheese should be melty inside. Ours took about 7 minutes. Save two tablespoons of pasta water, then drain the rest of the tortellini, rinse with cold water and and set it aside to cool.
While the tortellini is cooking, in a small bowl mix the pesto and sundried tomato oil. Add the two tablespoons of pasta water and mix well.
Once the tortellini has cooled to room temperature, place it in a large bowl. Add the sundried tomatoes and mozzarella pearls.
Add the pesto mixture and mix until combined.
Garnish with fresh-cut basil, parmesan, and extra sundried tomatoes if desired.
Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until serving.
Serve cold. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
*Frozen tortellini can be substituted in this recipe. Follow the instructions on the package for cooking.Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 6, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the salad. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**