Pesto Pasta & Tortellini Salad

A three-cheese tortellini mixed with bowtie pasta and combined with an assortment of vegetables and tossed in a zesty basil-pesto dressing.

Tortellini and Pasta Pesto Salad

So originally this salad was supposed to be supppper green. For St. Paddy’s Day in case you wanted something healthy. And green.

Because pinching food is weird.

Super weird.

But if it isn’t green. What has to be done, has to be done.

And I did not make the rules of St. Patrick’s Day. I just follow them. Perhaps too precisely…

Tortellini and Pasta

And while this pasta isn’t overpowering green, it is pretty covered in basil-pesto (and said basil-pesto is pretty greenish) this salad is pinch proof.

But, it’s a lot more than that.

It’s delicious. Nutritious. And all-around-awesome.

Sorry that last word didn’t rhyme. But how many other words rhyme with delicious and nutritious?

Vegetable Tortellini SaladPlus it comes together pretty quick. The cutting of the veggies isn’t too tedious and can be done while the pasta and tortellini’s are boiling.

The dressing is a simple couple of ingredients. Namely a jar of basil-pesto, some Zesty Italian dressing, S&P, olive oil, and a lil bit of garlic.

Everything kind of just gets tossed together. It’s really easy, I promise.

Pesto Pasta & Tortellini SaladThe pasta boils first. For about 3 minutes before adding in the tortellini. And then they both get boiled together for about 10-12 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, cherry tomatoes get halved, olives get sliced, avocados are cut, and a cucumber is chopped.

And then dressing time. Which, there is no mixing or beating or blending, just stir it with the rest of the ingredients.

Finally, optionally top with Parmesan cheese. Oh, and a little bit of parsley is purdy too.

Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad - healthy and delicious!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Pesto Pasta & Tortellini Salad
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 cups bowtie pasta
  • 1 (12 ounce) three-cheese tortellini (dehydrated kind, not frozen)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (10 ounces) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium-sized avocado, ripe
  • 1 medium size (~2 cups) cucumber
  • 1 and 1/2 cups olives
  • 1 (8.1 ounce) traditional basil pesto sauce and spread (I recommend Classico)
  • 2/3 cup Zesty Italian dressing
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boiling.
  2. Once water is boiling, put in the bowtie pasta and lightly stir.
  3. After the pasta has been in for 3 minutes add the tortellini and lightly stir.
  4. Let the pasta and tortellini boil for 10-12 more minutes or until tender.
  5. Drain and run cold water over the pasta and tortellini.
  6. Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes, slice the olives (or halve them), remove the skins and pit of an avocado and chop it.
  7. Chop the cucumber (you can choose to remove the skins and deseed if desired - I left the skin and seeds in mine)
  8. Once the pasta and tortellini has cooled, toss it together with the vegetables.
  9. In a separate bowl, combine the basil pesto sauce, Zesty Italian dressing, olive oil, garlic, pepper, and salt.
  10. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until it is all covered.
  11. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
  12. Allow to chill in the fridge tightly covered for at least 30 minutes.
  13. Optionally cover with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Want some more salads?

Quinoa Detox Salad
Detox Quinoa and Vegetable Salad

Quinoa Salad
Pomegranate and Sweet Potato Salad

Kiwi, green apple, feta salad with a cranberry poppyseed dressing
Turkey, Apple, and Kiwi Salad


  1. says

    Love all the pretty colors in this salad Chelsea! I’m a big fan of avocado and tomatoes in salads and they look really good in here. Quick and tasty meals that come together like this are my favorite and even better that it’s nutritious too :)

  2. says

    Ahhhhhh! I love these kinds of pasta salads, love love love! This looks totally drool-worthy and I must make it!! Awesome recipe and fantastic pictures, they’re looking very natural and true to life!! :)

  3. says

    This looks like such a quick and delicious meal! And so many pretty flavors in there. And all that comes to mind as rhyming with delicious and nutritous is…suspicious. which is not something that we want associated with our food!! haha.

  4. says

    I love simple pasta salads like this! I love that you have avocado and cucumber in here – I’ve been eating both of them like crazy lately! And anything with pesto is always delicious : )

  5. says

    This pasta salad looks so simple and tasty! I love all of your easy dishes that just require stirring things together, haha. Those are my kind of meals. Also, I love that you made something healthy for St. Patrick’s Day! I feel like it’s usually so focused on sweets and alcohol, so this is a wonderful idea! :)

  6. Katie says

    I made this dish for the first time yesterday, and let me tell you it is AMAZING! It is super easy to make, and I followed all of the instructions and ingredients used to a T. My husband and I love it and it is a new favorite. I will definitely be whipping this one up to take to family get togethers, parties with friends, etc. It’s a great dish to either have as a side or the main course. Don’t hesitate to try this one!

    • chelseamessyapron says

      Thanks Karly! :) you are so sweet to always comment on my posts and to host the party! I don’t know how you do it all! You produce amazing content and take gorgeous photos!!

  7. Ratherbebaking says

    Very good. My avocado was bad so I added sweet red peppers and Feta cheese. Thanks for sharing.

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