This Pesto Tortellini Salad is a tasty side dish or easy meal served warm or cold. It’s colorful and delicious with flavors of cheese tortellini, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese smothered in a sweet basil pesto sauce. The best part? …it’s an easy recipe needing only five ingredients.
The delicious combination of flavors in this Pesto Tortellini Salad is addicting. One bite and you’re hooked.
Using either frozen or refrigerated tortellini cuts down on a lot of prep-work.
Next, you can either make your own Classic Basil Pesto, which I highly recommend, or buy some ready-made when you’re at the store.
The asparagus and cherry tomatoes are fresh and colorful, then there’s the mozzarella cheese; smooth and creamy.
Pesto Tortellini Salad
Starting with the tortellini, I noticed that there’s a size difference when buying frozen vs. refrigerated. The frozen stay a little smaller, more bite sized. The refrigerated tortellini seem to swell up while cooking, which is great when you’re hungry.
Once you cook the tortellini according to the package (unless you made it from scratch in which case, dang! You’re awesome!) make sure you reserve the water.
Scoop out the tortellini with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a colander to drain.
This way you already have a pot of boiling water to cook your asparagus in.
Cook the asparagus for only 3 minutes, then using the slotted spoon again, place in an ice bath to stop them from cooking any longer.
While they’re cooling, cut the cherry or grape tomatoes in half, then cube the mozzarella cheese.
With only 5 ingredients, that’s it. All that’s left to do is mix it all together.
Mixing it all together.
In a large bowl add the drained tortellini, cooled asparagus, halved tomatoes, and cubed mozzarella.
Stir it all together with the pesto sauce, and you’re done.
I have to reiterate, though, that making the pesto sauce from scratch is both easy and totally worth it.
Make this Classic Basil Pesto the day before and let all those delicious flavors marinate in and of themselves overnight to deliver the best pesto for your Pesto Tortellini Salad.
On the rare occasion when I remember, I save some of the mozzarella cubes and sprinkle them on top. As you can tell from these pictures, this was not one of those times, but it does look pretty when it happens. Guess you’ll have to trust me.
Pesto Tortellini Salad
- 4 cups frozen cheese tortellini, or refrigerated
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup pesto sauce
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed or balled
- In large pot, cook tortellini according to directions on package. Reserve hot water. Use slotted spoon to remove tortellini to colander to drain.
- Add asparagus pieces to reserved water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from water and place in ice bath. Cool completely.
- Add all ingredients to serving bowl and stir.
- Serve warm immediately, or refrigerate for later. Can be served cold. Enjoy!
Loving all things tortellini? Me too!
I love tortellini, especially the kind I don’t have to make from scratch. One of these days…maybe. Here’s a couple recipes for you to try:
- Baked Tortellini with Sausage
- Creamy Spinach Prosciutto Tortellini
- Any frozen/refrigerated tortellini smothered in Classic Basil Pesto
I hope you love these recipe and follow me on Pinterest. Post a picture of it as we’d all love to see how it turned out. I love looking at everyone’s pretty dishes.
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