Do you know what I love so much about this pasta salad? The fact that you can serve this fresh basil pesto tortellini pasta salad warm or cold. As a delicious hot pasta and pesto dinner… And also as a tasty cold lunchbox pasta salad to take with you to school or to work!
You decide which one.
But let me tell you that in both cases, you are in for a real treat. Yum!
So here’s the thing. I had just made a batch of homemade fresh basil pesto to freeze for later when I started preparing lunch for the hubs and I. And I for some reason I just didn’t feel like making the everyday ham and cheese sandwiches. No, I had a craving for something more filling and heartier.
How about a pasta salad for lunch then!
Or a tortellini pasta salad, do you like that?
It was kind of a gamble that I took here. Because the hubs is not too fond of cold pasta salads. But I can tell you that he loved this pesto tortellini pasta salad to bits.
Basil Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is so great.
Not just because it tastes amazing. Also because you can serve this tortellini pasta salad with pesto warm or cold, whatever you prefer. As a hot basil pesto pasta dinner… or a tasty cold lunchbox pasta salad!
Which one do you prefer?
It’s your call!
So what tortellini should you use for this salad? Whatever tortellini you like best! You can chose the stuffing. Do you go for a meat filling? Or do you want to keep this pasta salad vegetarian and go for a veggie stuffing?
All types of tortellini work well here. I make this pasta salad a couple of times and I always used a different type. The one that I liked the most was tortellini with a mushroom and porcini filling. That went very well with the fresh basil pesto!
But again, it’s up to you to decide really.
So what else goes into this tortellini pasta salad then?
Well in goes a tablespoon or two of my freshly homemade green basil pesto of course like I mentioned before. And a handful of crunchy pine nuts (I love to use them in lots of dishes) and a handful of olives (green or black, both work for this pasta salad recipe here).
Finish it all with a good drizzle of fragrant olive oil and a good dash of freshly ground black pepper, pinch of sea salt and garlic powder. Needless to mention that this basil pesto tortellini pasta salad is so easy to prepare in advance!
Are you perhaps looking for other tortellini recipes?
Basil Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe
- 9 ½ oz fresh tortellini pasta (275 g)
- 3 tbsp basil pesto
- a handful fresh basil
- 8 black olives pitted
- 1 tbsp capers in brine
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- pinch garlic powder
- olive oil
- Fill a large pan with water and season salt. Place the pan over high heat until boiling. Then add the tortellini to the hot water.
- Cook the tortellini pasta until tender (see instructions on the package). Tortellini are ready when they rise to the surface. Once the tortellini are cooked, drain them. If you are serving this salad cold: immediately refresh the cooked tortellini under cold running tap water to stop the cooking process. Let the (cooled) tortellini drain and then pour them in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the tortellini with the fresh basil pesto.
- Stir the pasta salad well. Then chop up the fresh basil and add it to the pasta salad together with the crunchy pine nuts. Season with a dash of pepper and salt. Add a pinch of garlic powder as well.
- Add the salted capers, the black olives and a good drizzle of olive oil to the pasta salad.
- Stir the tortellini pasta salad well. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or garlic powder to taste if necessary. Then scoop the tortellini salad onto deep plates if you are serving it warm. Chill the pasta in the fridge for 15 minutes or longer if you are serving it cold.
Fusilli Avocado Pasta Salad
Here’s another pasta salad recipe that I made recently!
Do you like cold pasta?
I sometimes cook a little extra pasta in the evening for dinner because then there will be some left for the day after. I like a good fusilli pasta salad for lunch. And I’m sure there’s always some ingredients that you can add to it!
Vegetables, sauces, canned stuff, even cold salami or bologna sausages and diced cheese are great! I went for a light olive oil oil dressing, canned sweet corn, avocado, tomatoes and fresh basil. Plain and simple.
And very flavorful!
Make sure the leftover cooked pasta is not too soft, keep it al dente because that will add extra bite to the salad as well then.
Fusilli Avocado Pasta Salad Recipe
- 7 oz fusilli pasta (200 g), cooked
- 3 oz canned sweet corn (85 g), drained weight
- 2 handfuls fresh basil
- ½ ripe avocado
- 7 cherry tomatoes
- ½ tsp dried herbs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- garlic powder
- Transfer the drained sweet corn to a large mixing bowl.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and then add them to the corn.
- Chop the avocado into little bits and add them to the bowl as well.
- Chop the fresh basil up finely and add them to the bowl.
- Add the cooked fusilli pasta.
- Stir the pasta salad gently now. Season with the dried herbs and add a pinch of pepper, salt and garlic powder. Then drizzle with the olive oil.
- Stir the salad again and check the seasoning. Add extra olive oil, pepper, salt or garlic powder to taste if necessary. Divide the pasta salad over large bowls and serve cold.