This tortellini pesto salad is the perfect quick and easy summer pasta salad recipe. The whole thing comes together in ten minutes and is so flavorful!
What is Tortellini Pesto Salad
Cue the fanfare, folks, because this Tortellini Pesto Salad is about to take you on a flavor-packed joyride!
Tender tortellini pasta, perfectly cooked and cooled, tossed with a vibrant, herby jarred pesto that’s loaded with the bright flavors of fresh basil, nutty parmesan, and just the right kick of garlic.
Tumble in some fresh cherry tomatoes, juicy and sweet, marinated roasted red peppers, salty salami and creamy mozzarella pearls that burst in your mouth with each bite.
But we’re not done yet.
Top it all off with a basil, flaky salt and fresh ground pep.
It's comfort food meets upscale picnic fare, it's summery, it's refreshing, it's everything you'd want in a pasta salad.
So, grab your favorite bowl, because this Tortellini Pesto Salad is about to elevate your pasta salad game to the next level!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Jarred Pesto - Fresh is even better if you have it!
- Garlic Expressions - Any garlicky Italian dressing will also work! Aldi's garlic vinagirette is a great choice if you can't find garlic expressions!
- Frozen Cheese Tortellini - Fresh tortellini also work. You can use whatever flavor tortellini you prefer.
- Pearl Mozzarella - You could also use a log of fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes. Feta, Crumbled Goat Cheese, and even Smoked provolone would also be delicious.
- Cherry Tomatoes - Sun dried tomatoes would make a great substitution.
- Red Onion - If you don't like onions, leave them out or swap for shallots.
- Marinated Roasted Red Peppers - Fresh peppers would add more crunch if you can't find marinated roasted red peppers.
- Salami - If you're vegetarian, you could totally leave this out.
- Basil - Fresh basil adds just a bit more freshness to jarred pesto but if you didn't have it, no bigs - just leave it out.
How to make it
Making this cold tortellini pesto salad is super easy and doable in just minutes!
First, you'll want too cook your frozen tortellini in salted boiling water as directed on the package.
Once they're floating and puffed, simply strain and rinse until cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together pesto and garlic expressions until combined.
Now add the cooked and cooled tortellini to the bowl followed by the rest of the ingredients.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Enjoy now or refrigerate for later.
What goes with Tortellini Pesto Salad
I love bringing this pasta salad to bbqs, picnics and pretty much every summer get together ever!
If you want more tasty pasta salad recipes, try out this Dirty Martini Pasta Salad, Caprese Pasta Salad, Grinder Pasta Salad, spinach artichoke ditalini pasta salad or my smoked mozzarella pasta salad.
Frequently asked questions
How long does a pasta salad last?
You can expect pasta salad to maintain its delectable taste and freshness for about 3 to 5 days.
How do you keep pasta salad from drying out?
To keep your tortellini pesto salad wonderfully moist and flavorful, be liberal with your pesto and vinaigrette, ensuring that each delicious, curvy morsel of tortellini is generously coated. If you're anticipating leftovers, drizzle a touch of good quality olive oil or a smidge more pesto before stowing away in the fridge - it'll keep things super fresh and zingy, just like the day you made it!
Is it OK to make pasta salad the day before?
Absolutely! Crafting your Tortellini Pesto Salad a day in advance not only allows the flavors to mingle and intensify, but also takes the heat off your kitchen duties, letting you bask in the cheesy, herby magic when you're ready to dive in the next day!
Save this recipe
Want to save this Tortellini Pesto Salad recipe for another time? I got you!
You can pin any image on this page or use the pretty ones I made below specifically for your pasta salad pinterest boards.
And if pinterest isn't really your thing, you can always scroll down to the bottom of this post and print the printable recipe card.
Tortellini Pesto Salad
- ½ cup Jarred Pesto
- ¼ cup Garlic Expressions or your fav garlicky italian dressing
- 4 cups Frozen Tortellin about 1.lbs
- 8 oz Pearl Mozzarella
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes halved
- ¼ cup Red Onion
- ½ cup Marinated Roasted Red Peppers
- ¼ cup Salami cut into matchsticks
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil julienned
- 1 pinch Flaky Salt
- 3 cranks Fresh Cracked Pepper
- Cook tortellini in salted boiling water as directed on the package. Rinse until cool to the touch.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together pesto and garlic expressions until combined.
- Add cooked and cooled tortellini to the bowl followed by the rest of the ingredients.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.