Summer is prime pasta salad season. When the weather heats up, a refreshing, protein-packed pasta salad really hits the spot. The trouble is, traditional pasta salads can be a bit boring. If you’re looking to spice things up, this easy pesto tortellini pasta salad is about to become your new go-to potluck recipe. Bursting with flavor from nutty basil pesto, sundried tomatoes, seasoned tortellini, and crisp diced veggies, it packs a serious punch.

The best part is that it comes together in just 20 minutes – no long ingredient lists or fancy techniques needed. With a creamy pesto dressing coating the tender tortellini and vegetables, this salad makes the perfect light summer meal or savory side.

So put away the macaroni and mayo, and get ready to wow guests with this crave-worthy pesto tortellini pasta salad. You can thank us later!

Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

Pesto tortellini pasta salad is a creamy and flavorful pasta salad made with cheese-filled tortellini, pesto, vegetables, and a tangy dressing. It’s packed with protein, making it a satisfying potluck or picnic dish. The basil pesto coats the tortellini, giving it tons of herby flavor. With a mix of veggies like tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper, it provides a serving of produce. It’s customizable too – switch up the veggies based on preference and seasonality.


  • Tortellini pasta
  • Pesto sauce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Italian dressing

How to make Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad:

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pesto sauce and Italian dressing.
  3. Add cooked tortellini and vegetables to bowl with pesto dressing and toss to coat.
  4. Chill pasta salad for at least 2 hours before serving.

What to Serve with?

This pesto tortellini salad pairs well with:

  • Crusty bread or rolls
  • Anti-pasto skewers
  • Caprese salad
  • Panzanella salad
  • Grilled chicken or shrimp

Can pasta salad be made ahead of time?

Yes, pesto tortellini salad can absolutely be prepared 1-2 days in advance. Simply cook the pasta, mix the salad ingredients together, and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The flavors will blend even more over time.

How long will pasta salad last?

Properly stored, pesto pasta salad will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to chill within 2 hours of cooking the pasta. To extend the shelf life further, freeze the salad for 2-3 months.

Add cooked chicken or shrimp to make it a main dish salad.


This easy pesto tortellini pasta salad is a flavorful potluck or picnic dish. With protein-packed tortellini, nutty pesto, crisp vegetables, and a tangy Italian dressing, it’s sure satisfy a crowd. Feel free to customize with seasonal produce or add-ins to adapt it to your taste. Chill it ahead of time so the flavors meld together. Serve alongside bread, meat, or cheese for a hearty meal.

Recipe FAQs

What type of tortellini is best for pasta salad?

Small cheese or meat filled tortellini works best for pasta salads. The bite-sized pieces hold up well when chilled and tossed with dressing. Larger tortellini may crack or break down.

How long will pesto tortellini salad last in the fridge?

Properly stored, this pesto tortellini pasta salad will keep for 3-5 days refrigerated. The flavors in the salad develop nicely when made 1-2 days in advance.

Can you freeze pesto pasta salad?

Yes, this pasta salad freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving. Add a splash of olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice to freshen it up after thawing.

What can I add to pesto tortellini salad?

Some tasty add-ins include fresh mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, shredded carrot, sliced olives, grilled chicken, prosciutto, grated parmesan, and red onion.

How do you make tortellini salad without mayo?

This pesto tortellini salad skips the mayo for a lighter summer pasta salad. Instead, the tortellini is tossed in a lemon vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper.

Myra Henry created the Keto Taco Salad blog to share my favorite delicious low-carb recipes without sacrificing flavor. when i started the keto diet 2 years ago, I discovered a love for making healthy Mexican dishes like keto taco salads. My blog features easy keto taco salad recipes and tips for keto success.

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