This Pesto Pasta Salad recipe is perfect for parties, potlucks, BBQ or weeknight dinners! It’s full of flavor from basil pesto along with peas and sun-dried tomatoes. Plus, it’s made with cheese tortellini! This pasta salad keeps well for up to three days and is delicious for dinner or as a side dish.
I think I could live on tortellini…especially with my homemade pesto!
Who’s on team pasta salad with me? It’s one of my favorite things to make during the summer and this pesto pasta salad is at the top of my list!
It’s a tortellini pasta salad that’s loaded with fresh flavors from pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and green peas. And wait until you see how easy it is to make – you’ll want to make it for all the summer potlucks and BBQs.
This is the Easiest Pasta Salad Recipe!
In the time it takes to cook the tortellini you can have the entire pasta salad ready to serve. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes!
I love to use tortellini in pasta salads. It adds texture, flavor and if you use cheese tortellini it makes this dish a great vegetarian side dish for parties. In fact, if I had to choose, I think I could go without all other pasta and just live on tortellini!
But I digress… let me show you how to make this easy pasta salad with tortellini. I think you’re going to love it.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Tortellini Pesto Salad
- Frozen cheese tortellini
- Thawed frozen peas
- Prepared pesto
- Jarred julienned sun-dried tomatoes, drained
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Pine nuts
I usually keep frozen tortellini on hand in the freezer (I could live on it, remember?) but you can substitute the fresh tortellini. Feel free to use other flavors besides the cheese ones – just opt for a filling that will go well with pesto.
For the pesto you can use store-bought or make my amazing homemade pesto. I might be biased, but it’s really good and making it fresh makes a big difference!
For the sun-dried tomatoes, you want the ones that are packed in oil. If you can’t find the ones that are already julienned (cut into ribbons) you can buy the whole ones and cut them into the strips or just chop them up.
Pine nuts can be a little pricey, but you don’t need a lot for this recipe and I don’t recommend omitting them because they add a nice texture. Look for them in the baking aisle with the other nuts or sometimes you can get them in the bulk section, too.
How to Make Pesto Pasta Salad
Are you ready for this? I wasn’t kidding when I said it was easy…
- Boil the tortellini according to package directions. In the last two minutes of the cooking time, add the peas to warm them up. Drain the pasta and peas.
- Place the tortellini in a large bowl and toss it with the pesto. Leave it to sit for a minute or so until the pasta cools off.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, and pine nuts. Give it a good toss and that’s it!
I like a cold pesto pasta salad, so I usually make it at least an hour in advance before serving it. Once I pull it out of the fridge, I just give it a few tosses and then it’s ready to serve.
How long does this salad last?
I think it tastes better when it’s had a chance to sit in the fridge. It allows all of the flavors to develop. So, you can make it up to a day in advance and the leftovers will keep well for two to three days. If it dries out you can always add a little more pesto before you serve it.
I have been making this basil pesto pasta salad for years because it’s always a hit when I make it. Anytime I make it for family and friends I make sure I have copies of the recipe to hand out because I’m always asked to share it. Of course, I’m happy to do that!
Make this pesto tortellini salad for dinner or make it for your next potluck. Either way, I’m sure you will make everyone very happy if you do!
Other recipes to try:
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Pesto Tortellini Salad
- 1 19 ounce bag frozen cheese tortellini
- 2 cups frozen peas thawed
- ½ cup prepared pesto see note
- 1 8 ounce jar julienned sun-dried tomatoes drained
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ cup pine nuts
- Cook tortellini according to package directions. During the last 2 minutes of cooking time add the frozen peas to heat them up. Drain well.
- Toss with pesto. Let the past cool.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, and pine nuts. Toss and serve cold.
- Store in refrigerator. Good for up to 3 days.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
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We love Pesto Pasta Salad with tortellini all year long! This easy recipe with peas and sundried tomatoes is a cold pasta salad with basil pesto. Add chicken for a well rounded meal!
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: July 14, 2020