Pesto Tortellini Salad is here just in time for summer! Bites of tortellini, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and more are tossed together with vibrant green pesto. This is an easy to make pasta salad that’s filling, flavorful, and perfect for both picnics and potlucks.
Pesto Tortellini Salad
I’m such a pasta salad fanatic, especially during the hot summer season! When the sun’s beating down, a big hot dish never sounds too appetizing to me. Instead, I crave something chilled, light, but still hearty enough to fill me up. That’s why this pesto tortellini salad is such a must-make for me! Whenever anything features pesto as a key ingredient, you know it’s going to be bold and vibrant. When those basil-y, garlicky flavors combine with tortellini and fresh veggies, it’s true summertime magic!
What is Bocconcini?
Essentially, this ingredient is just mini mozzarella cheese balls! Most major grocery stores sell mozzarella pearls, which work fabulously for this recipe. Don’t get too hung up on “bocconcini” if you can’t get your hands on anything with that label. Bocconcini actually translates to “small mouthfuls,” referring to the small size of the mozzarella.
How to Make Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
Cook the tortellini. Cook the tortellini according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Let it fully cool before tossing with other ingredients.
Toss everything together. Add the drained and cooled tortellini to a large bowl along with the mozzarella and prepared veggies. Pour the pesto over everything and mix until everything is well combined.
Serve. Add even more basil flavor when you garnish your pesto pasta salad with some fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!
Storing Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
In an airtight container in the fridge, this pesto pasta salad will stay nice and fresh for about 2-3 days, so you can feel free to prepare it ahead of time. I just recommend giving everything a good toss right before serving so everything is well incorporated, as the pesto may separate a little bite while chilled. I do not recommend freezing this pesto pasta salad.
Ingredients Notes for Pesto Tortellini Salad
Tortellini – Any brand will do the trick! I like to use plain cheese tortellini, but there are different flavors that you can play around with. Fresh or frozen tortellini both also work well.
Cherry Tomatoes – Grape tomatoes also work. If you can’t get your hands on either grape or cherry tomatoes, you can use regular sized tomatoes – just chop them into bite-sized pieces.
Pesto – Create the very best flavor with my favorite Homemade Pesto Recipe! The flavors here are so fresh and vibrant, it’s almost impossible for any store-bought stuff to compete with it.
Red Onion – Red onions have the most potent, bold onion-y flavor. They taste amazing in this pasta salad but you can switch them for green onion, or leave them out if you prefer a milder onion flavor.
Cheese: If you can’t find the small, fresh, mozzarella cheese balls you can use 8 ounces of cubed mozzarella cheese.
Pesto Tortellini Salad
- 20 Ounces Cheese Tortellini
- 1 1/2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 1 Cup Baby Bocconcini drained
- 1/2 Red Onion finely diced
- 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives
- 1/2 Cup Quartered Lengthways and sliced cucumber
- 1 Cup Basil Pesto
- 1/4 Cup Finely Sliced Fresh Basil for garnishing
- Cook the tortellini according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Add the drained and cooled tortellini to a large salad bowl along with the halved cherry tomatoes, drained bocconcini, diced red onion, kalamata olives and sliced cucumber. Pour over the pesto and mix until everything is well combined.
- Garnish with the freshly sliced basil before serving.