Easy Pesto Tortellini Salad with Asparagus

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Easy Pesto Tortellini Salad with Asparagus

My Easy Pesto Tortellini Salad is filled with vegetables like asparagus and tomato and topped with fresh basil.  It’s made with just 5 ingredients and takes only 15 minutes making it the perfect vegetarian meal.  

Pesto Tortellini Salad with asparagus pin

Can you really have summer without a good pasta salad? It’s really the perfect dish to make for an easy dinner or a cookout.  I love a vegetarian pasta salad because it can serve as a main dish for the plant-based folks I’m serving AND as a side dish for everyone else.  It can be served hot, cold, or even room temperature for a dish that’s as simple as it is tasty.  This healthy pasta salad has an Italian flair with pesto, basil, and fresh vegetables.

There are a lot of wonderful summery pasta salads to try on Running in a Skirt (Caprese Pasta Salad or Bruschetta Pasta Salad)… but this Easy Pesto Tortellini Salad with Pesto is also at the top of the list.  It’s crazy easy to make with only 5 ingredients and can be on the table in less than 15 minutes.  It’s a staple in my house and I’m sure you will love it too.

Overhead shot of asparagus, tomato and basil.

Easy Pesto Tortellini Salad recipe

There are a million other things to love about this Easy Pesto Tortellini Salad recipe.  Right off the top are the pillowy bites of cheese tortellini.  You can buy the fresh or frozen kind.  I find that both fill my need for delicious, carby pasta AND cheese in my life.

Next up is perfectly balanced asparagus and fresh summer tomatoes.  Both veggies make this a bit healthier and tastier.

Finally, fresh basil pesto just SCREAMS summer.  Any time I can use pesto in the summer… I’m game.

Plus, I love the pretty vibrant colors in the dish and I’m even more of a fan with how easy it is to put together.

Close up of Pesto Tortellini Salad

Ingredients in Tortellini Pasta Salad Pesto

Here’s what you will need to make this Tortellini Pasta Salad Pesto!

  1. Tortellini: You can use the frozen tortellini or the fresh kind in the dairy aisle.
  2. Asparagus: Fresh asparagus adds color, flavor, and vitamins.
  3. Tomato: Fresh tomato is the perfect complement to any pasta salad with basil pesto.
  4. Pesto: You can use fresh basil to make your own pesto you make or use your favorite packaged kind.
  5. Parmesan: Use the shredded kind in the cheese aisle and not the powdered type you use on pizza for more flavor.


What is the best tortellini?

I like the use of frozen tortellini for recipes like this because it’s nice to keep a bag in my freezer for easy meals.  I love how fast they cook and can be used in so many other ways.  There is also fresh tortellini in the refrigerated aisle of the grocery store.


How do I dress tortellini?

Pesto is a great way to dress tortellini with lots of flavors and not a lot of work.  Another great option for this Tortellini Salad would be to use my Healthy Greek Salad Dressing. 

Easy Tortellini Salad in a glass bowl on a napkin.

How to Make Tortellini and Asparagus Pasta Salad

Curious how to make tortellini and asparagus pasta salad?  Just follow these easy steps!

  1. Cook the tortellini according to package instructions.  Usually, that is boiling the tortellini in water for just a few minutes. Drain the pasta and allow it to cool a bit.  If you are going to leave it for a while you can drizzle it with a small amount of olive oil to keep it from sticking.
  2. Blanch the asparagus by allowing it to cook in boiling water for just 3 minutes.  Immediately put the asparagus in a bowl with ice water to keep it from cooking.
  3. Toss the pasta, asparagus, tomato, pesto, and cheese together in a bowl.
  4. If desired garnish with extra cheese and fresh basil.


Can you make tortellini ahead of time?

Yes! This Pesto Tortellini can be made ahead of time.  It stores well in the fridge in an airtight container and can be served chilled or room temperature.  It’s a great make-ahead dish for dinner or a cookout.


Variations and Pro Tips

  • You could honestly mix this up with any veggies, but I love the vibrant combination of the asparagus and tomatoes.  They are both crowd favorites and pair perfectly with pesto and basil.
  • Use a quality pesto from the refrigerated or deli section of your grocery store or make your own.  I’m hoping to make some this summer to freeze for the year from my garden.
  • For an extra punch of vitamins in this dish add a couple of handful of fresh greens like peppery arugula or soft spinach.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon for some additional flavor.

Tortellini and Asparagus Pasta Salad

Serve my Pesto Tortellini Salad with…


This healthy pasta salad is also great as a stand-alone vegetarian meal.  I hope you enjoy this Pesto Tortellini Salad as much as my family does.  It’s totally irresistible.


More recipes with frozen tortellini…


More healthy pasta salad recipes…


If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating ★ below. Make sure to follow me on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook too!

Easy Pesto Tortellini Salad

Julie Wunder
My Easy Pesto Tortellini Salad is filled with vegetables like asparagus and tomato and topped with fresh basil.  It's made with just 5 ingredients and takes only 15 minutes making it the perfect vegetarian meal.  
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 471 kcal


  • 4 cups frozen tortellini
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnish: Fresh basil


  • Cook the tortellini according to package instructions.
  • Remove the tortellini from the water and allow to cool.
  • In the same pot of water quickly submerge the asparagus. Allow to cook for 3 minutes. Remove from water and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Garnish with fresh basil.
  • Serve immediately or chilled.


For a lighter dish with fewer calories less pesto and more fresh basil.


Calories: 471kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 19gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 763mgPotassium: 258mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1219IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 213mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Easy Tortellini Salad, Pesto Tortellini Salad
Tried this recipe?Mention @Julie_Wunder or tag #RunninginaSkirt!

Pin for later!

5 Ingredient Pesto Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and tomato pinterest pin


By | 2020-07-15T07:21:06-04:00 July 15th, 2020|All Vegetarian, Dinner, Food, Lunch, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Meals|38 Comments


  1. Angela July 16, 2020 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    This was so fresh and delicious!! I can’t wait to make it again, the entire family just loved it!!

  2. Amy Gorin July 16, 2020 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I just so happen to have a large frozen bag of tortellini that I need to use up! This recipe sounds so summery and perfect.

  3. Deborah Brooks July 15, 2020 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    We have been doing lots of pesto and pasta salads lately. Love the the addition of the asparagus

  4. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets July 15, 2020 at 10:50 am - Reply

    This looks so refreshing and delicious! I’ll have to try out your recipe!

  5. […] 5 Ingredient Pesto Tortellini Salad […]

  6. Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad May 6, 2020 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    […] 5 Ingredient Asparagus and Tomato Pesto Tortellini Salad […]

  7. […] Asparagus & Tomato Pesto Tortellini Salad […]

  8. […] Asparagus and Tomato Tortellini Salad […]

  9. Christie May 20, 2016 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    If I only like asparagus!! I can’t wait to make this with green beans. It looks SO GOOD!

    • JulieWunder May 28, 2016 at 11:41 am - Reply

      Thanks Christie! That would be the perfect sub. So good!

  10. […] Asparagus & Tomato Pesto Tortellini Salad by Running in a Skirt […]

  11. […] Asparagus & Tomato Pesto Tortellinia Salad from Running in a Skirt […]

  12. Miz Helen May 18, 2016 at 10:50 am - Reply

    5 stars
    I just love this fresh spring salad! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great day!
    Miz Helen

  13. RaShell @ Mommy's Apron May 17, 2016 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    I would eat this in a heartbeat. This looks delicious! I am pinning this so I can find it again. Thank you for posting. I’m glad I saw this at #DeliciousDishTuesday.

  14. Lauren May 16, 2016 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    Oh yum! I never thought to add pesto! Looks great for summer!

  15. Sarah May 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Looks delicious! I will have to pass this along to my mom as well. I tried to comment on the other salad post you linked up with but it said comments were closed. I need to pick up some of those salads for my mom when she is traveling for work! Thank you for linking up with us, happy Meatless Monday!

    • JulieWunder May 28, 2016 at 11:20 am - Reply

      I had so much trouble with that Tapfluence widget- grrr! Thanks for trying!! Hope you enjoy the recipe and thanks for hosting.

  16. I love everything about this recipe! It looks so good! I’ll definitely be making this soon!

  17. Annmarie May 13, 2016 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Looks so delicious and refreshing!!! Perfect for summer 🙂

  18. Looks delish! I pinned this one!

  19. Farrah May 12, 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    …and now my stomach’s really growling!! x_x This looks awesome!

  20. rachel @ athletic avocado May 12, 2016 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    oh this looks delish! I love tortellini and this is such a great way to use frozen! pinned 🙂

  21. Susie @ Suzlyfe May 12, 2016 at 9:50 am - Reply

    YAS asparagus and tomatoes and pesto fresh and delicious!

  22. Mary Jean Henson May 12, 2016 at 9:48 am - Reply

    I am mixing this up for our dinner tonight. I have everything in my freezer or pantry.

  23. yummy for summer!

  24. Blane Sherer May 12, 2016 at 5:53 am - Reply

    That’s a nice looking summer salad.
    Looking forward to Fashion Friday tomorrow.

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