A must-have tortellini recipe!
Pesto, tortellini pasta and asparagus collide to bring together one incredible entree you’ll want to make again and again! Because it’s already a well-rounded meal, you don’t need to worry about making sides to pair it with—although we’re sure no one would complain about a tasty side salad to go with it, right?
When you’re short on time but still want a healthy meal at home OR if you’re in need of the perfect pasta salad dish for summer parties, picnics or potlucks, this Easy Pesto Tortellini with Asparagus recipe is the answer. This dish comes together in about 20 minutes and is easily customizable.
Healthy, flavorful and filling. It’s a 10/10!
How to shop for the best ingredients
- Tortellini: It can be difficult to find store-bought tortellini with real-food ingredients. Look for one made with simple ingredients that you recognize (whole-grain flour, eggs, cheese, butter, herbs, salt). If you’re not able to find a version made with 100% FfL-friendly ingredients, make the best choice possible.
- Cheese: Purchase a block of Parmesan cheese that’s made with simple ingredients (milk, cream, salt, enzymes and active cultures) to grate on top of your Pesto Tortellini with Asparagus. Not only is block cheese made with healthier ingredients than pre-shredded cheese, it also tastes better.
Can I make this recipe ahead and serve it cold?
You sure can! This Pesto Tortellini with Asparagus can be made in advance and served cold as a quick-and-easy meal or as a delicious dish at a summer brunch, picnic or BBQ.
Can I substitute another vegetable for asparagus?
Feel free to swap out asparagus for a veggie you already have on hand. We’ve tried it with broccoli, peas, roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted cherry tomatoes—it turned out delicious each time!
For a punch of protein
You can add chicken to this Easy Pesto Tortellini with Asparagus dish for a heartier meal that’s packed with protein.Print
Easy Pesto Tortellini With Asparagus (Serve Hot or Cold)
- Course: ,
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
Get dinner on the table in no time with this 20-minute Pesto Tortellini with Asparagus dish. It only requires a few simple ingredients and tastes like a dream!
- 3/4 cups packed fresh basil leaves (.75 oz.), divided
- 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon + pinch Himalayan pink salt, divided
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup onion (1 small onion), chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 & 1/2 pounds cheese tortellini
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Add half of basil, 1/2 cup EVOO and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a high-powered blender.
- Process until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add arugula, remaining basil (torn), lemon juice, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Massage lemon juice into the arugula and set aside.
- In a small-medium pan, add the remaining teaspoon of EVOO, garlic and onion. Sautè, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, 5-7 minutes. Once cooked, turn off the flame and set aside.
- While the onions cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add tortellini to boiling water and cook according to package directions (approximately 5-7 minutes). Two minutes before pasta is done cooking, add asparagus to the pot.
- In a strainer, drain tortellini and asparagus; transfer to the bowl with the arugula mixture.
- Pour pesto sauce over the tortellini and gently toss the mixture (careful not to tear the tortellini).
- Plate immediately, serve at room temperature or chill and serve as a cold salad. Grate parmesan cheese over tortellini salad just before serving.
Always check for FfL-friendly ingredients.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Dairy-free/ Paleo/ Vegan: Choose a tortellini that uses plant-based ingredients.
Gluten-free: Use gluten-free tortellini.
Egg-free: Check tortellini ingredients and choose one that is egg-free.
I made this recipe and substituted broccoli for asparagus and it was divine! I love that it is delicious whether you eat it warm or cold! So versatile.