This Pesto Tortellini Salad is the perfect recipe for Summer. It is light and garden fresh with the pesto sauce, but also provides a feeling of indulgence with the cheese filled pasta. Serve it as a side dish or a meal!
Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with Tortellini. Someone found a way to incorporate my two favorite things, pasta and cheese, into one delightful little pillowy treat. We have been in a relationship for a long time, and let's just say, most of the time, you can find tortellini in my fridge.
Why You'll Love The Recipe:
- It's so simple to make and you can prep it ahead of time
- Perfect to feed a crowd of people for Summer get togethers
- This recipe pairs perfectly with anything that comes off the grill
- It is a great side dish or serve it up for a meal
Frequently Asked Questions About the Recipe:
Yes! You can use any pasta in this recipe, but I highly recommend these cheese filled pillows of magic.
This pasta salad is best served cold.
Tortellini- Cheese stuffed pasta that is cooked al dente and is perfect way to elevate pasta salad
Pesto Sauce- Earthy flavored sauce from fresh basil, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts and tosses into this salad to give it a little burst of flavor.
Genoa Salami- To add a bit of protein and texture. If you are cooking for a vegetarian, just leave this out.
Cucumber- For a crunch
Kalamata Olives- For a salty flavor
Sweet Peppers- Added for sweetness and crunch
Artichoke Hearts- Mild flavored and the perfect Italian ingredient addition
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese- Salty, nutty cheese that tops the dish wonderfully
Salt and Pepper- To season
Popular Additions and Substitutions:
Looking for more protein? Toss in some grilled chicken and make this a hearty meal!
If you are a vegetarian, leave out the salami.
Any of the veggies can be left out or substituted. If you love tomatoes, toss in some cherry tomatoes.
Not crazy about crunchy raw peppers? Substitute a few chopped roasted red peppers.
There aren't any rules with this recipe!
How to Make Pesto Tortellini Salad:
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If you are making my homemade pesto, prepare that recipe first.
Cook your tortellini according the the package until al dente. Drain the pasta completely and allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. We don't want any extra liquid from the pasta in the salad.
Add the tortellini into a large bowl.
Toss in all ingredients and mix until incorporated.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Serve cold.
Optional: Finely grate a little parmigiano-reggiano over the top when serving or stir in ¼ cup.
What to Pair with This Recipe:
If you are making this for lunch, try pairing it with my chicken salad recipe. Both of these recipes are also great to serve for a party because they can be prepped ahead.
This salad would also go great beside my Chicken Pesto Sandwiches. Double the pesto! Yum!Print
This Pesto Tortellini Salad Recipe is a quick and easy summer side dish or meal. It feels light and garden fresh with the pesto sauce, but also provides a feeling a comfort with the cheese filled pasta. YUMMMM!!
- (1) 20 oz package of tortellini *I used tri-color Buitoni*
- ½ cup pesto sauce (see below for pesto recipe, or you can use store bought *no judgement here)
- 8 slices Genoa salami cut into pieces (Optional)
- ½ cup medium diced cucumbers
- ½ cup medium diced yellow onion
- ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1 cup mini sweet peppers, diced
- 1 can artichoke heart quarters, drained
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese for topping while serving (Optional)
For the pesto, you can use store bought or my easy homemade pesto recipe. It takes less than 10 minutes and it is so fresh!
- If making homemade pesto sauce, prepare that recipe first.
- Cook your tortellini according the the package..don’t overcook. Drain the pasta and allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the tortellini to a large bowl. Then, toss in all ingredients and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Serve cold.
- Optional: Finely grate a little parmagiano-reggiano on top when serving.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cooling/ Refrigeration Time: 45 minutes hour
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: boil
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: pesto tortellini salad, pasta salad with pesto
Storing the Recipe:
Store the pasta salad in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. This recipe is great to meal prep on the weekend and eat for lunches during the week.