This Pesto Tortellini Salad is perfect for summer picnics or potlucks!
This post originally appeared in 2012. I have updated it with new photos and made a few improvements to the recipe after additional years of testing. Jump to Recipe
Is there anything more satisfying than a freebie?
Samples in the mail. Punch cards at your favorite buffet. A crumbled up cookie on the counter of a bakery.
The only thing that is disappointing is that rarely do you get a full sized freebie. Its a good thing full sized brownies aren’t free. I’d be in trouble.
This pesto tortellini salad is another gem from my deli days. As a poor, newlywed college student I could pack a sample tasting cup with this salad and not have to pay for my “lunch.” Not only would my hunger for food be satisfied, but so would my hunger for the almighty freebie. I got to eat crumbled sample cookies off the counter too. It was a great job.
How to make pesto tortellini salad
- Cook tortellini
- Toss with pesto, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, basil, and parmesan
- Chill until ready to serve!
If you’re one that can appreciate raw onion, you could add a handful of thinly sliced red onion to the mix. This makes a nice cold pasta salad for a hot summer day barbecue, but can also be served hot if you’re looking for something a little more comforting.
This size makes enough for a crowd, perfect for a party. If you don’t want quite as much, it’s easy to cut the recipe in half.
I recommend making this for a friend and bringing some freebie joy into their day.
Pesto Tortellini Salad
- 20 ounces cheese tortellini
- 1 cup chopped roasted red pepper,, if jarred in oil, drained and patted dry
- 2 cups grape tomatoes,, halved
- ¾ cup shaved Parmesan
- 7 ounces basil pesto
- ½ cup loosely packed basil,, torn
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the tortellini according to package directions.
- Drain and rinse with cold water until cooled. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Serve cold.