This easy tortellini pesto salad recipe is light and delicious and you only need 6 ingredients. If there is one salad recipe you need in your repertoire this summer then it is this recipe. It is flavor-packed, quick, and easy to make plus it can be served warm or cold.
What is not to love about it, a great dish for a summer BBQ, picnics, or potluck and it comes together in under 30 minutes. Let me show you how to make it
Tortellini pesto salad recipe
I love a great pasta salad, in fact, I have got a few on the website that is popular for good reason. But sometimes you want something a little different and that is where this salad comes in. It has all the goodness of a great pasta salad with the added bonus of being able to eat it warm or cold.
This tortellini pesto salad is not only great for picnics, potlucks,s or summer cookouts, but it is also perfect as a light lunch or dinner. So if you are looking for a new go-to salad recipe or a way to use up that leftover pesto, I highly recommend giving this one a try.
Tortellini: I am using a shelf stable tortellini filled with cheese. You can use refrigerated or frozen tortellini if you prefer
Basil pesto: I used storebought basil pesto for this recipe, however, homemade is the best for optimum flavor. Check out my homemade basil pesto recipe for how to make it in 5 minutes.
Cherry tomatoes: any salad tomatoes or grape tomatoes will work for this recipe
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves
How to make tortellini pesto salad
To make tortellini pesto salad, first, you cook the tortellini: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt to taste, and cook the tortellini according to package instructions or just until aldente. Drain and rinse with cold water then set aside to drain any excess water.
Chop the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella (if you are not using mozzarella pearls), onions and grate the parmesan cheese.
Transfer the drained tortellini to a large bowl, add basil pesto and mix to combine.
Add the chopped onions, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella to the pasta and toss to combine. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly, you may add black pepper if you desire.
Serve immediately or place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the flavor to meld. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!
Tortellini salad variations
- If you want to add some protein to this salad, feel free to add some cooked chicken, shrimp, or even canned tuna.
- In addition to tomatoes and onions, you can add olives (kalamata), cucumber, pepperoni, zucchini, sundried tomatoes, and many more items you have on hand.
- You could also mix up the pesto and use sun-dried tomato pesto, spinach pesto, or any other type of storebought or homemade pesto you desire.
What to serve it with
Just like any other summer pasta salad, you can serve this salad as a main or side dish.
As a side dish, it pairs well with baked or grilled chicken, fish, or steak. If you are serving it as a main meal, I recommend pairing it with some garlic bread pesto garlic bread. If you want to keep it vegetarian then serve it as a main with a simple green salad on the side. Omit parmesan cheese or use vegetarian or vegan-friendly parmesan cheese.
Related recipe: baked tortellini
Easy Tortellini Pesto Salad Recipe
- 1 pound shelf stable tortellini filled with cheese use refrigerated or frozen tortellini if you prefer
- ½ cup basil pesto
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes chopped
- ½ cup red onions chopped
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese cubed
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese shaved or grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh basil leaves to garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt to taste, and cook the tortellini according to package instructions or just until aldente. Drain and rinse with cold water then set aside to drain any excess water.
- Chop the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella (if you are not using mozzarella pearls), and onions, and shave or grate the parmesan cheese.
- Transfer the drained tortellini to a large bowl, add basil pesto and mix to combine.
- Add the chopped onions, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella to the pasta and toss to combine. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly, you may add black pepper if you desire.
- Serve immediately or place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the flavor to meld. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time
Yes, this salad is perfect for making ahead of time. Simply make the salad as directed then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring it out from the fridge a few minutes before serving so that it comes to room temperature, toss it together if need be.
How long does pasta last in the fridge
Cooked pasta will last for 3–5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. If the pasta is filled with other things stuffed pasta, ravioli or tortellini then store in the fridge for 3 days to be on the safe side.
Can I use a different type of pasta
Yes, feel free to use any type of pasta you like for this salad recipe, penne, fusilli, or shells will all work great. Just cook the pasta according to the package instructions or until soft enough to your liking.
What can I do with leftover pesto
If you have leftover pesto, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray or small freezer-safe container then transfer it to a freezer bag. You can also add it to soups, and stews, make pesto butter or pesto mayo, or use it as a spread on sandwiches.
More salad recipes you will love
That is it for today’s tortellini pesto salad recipe I hope you enjoy it! If you make this recipe, kindly let me know how it turns out. Kindly rate the recipe 5 star and leave me feedback in the comment section below. Tag me @thedinnerbite on Instagram and save away to your Pinterest. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox