YIELD: 10-12 servings
This cheese tortellini pesto pasta salad is a great meatless dinner option. This salad is also amazing to pair with grilled chicken breasts, burgers, or steaks.
1/3 c. olive oil to start, then add more to loosen
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
1 (14 ounces) can of whole artichoke hearts, drained, quartered lengthwise then halved crossways
1 (6 ounces) can of medium black olives, drained, sliced in half lengthwise
2 rounded cups or 1 (10 ounces) cont. grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 green bell pepper, cleaned out and thinly julienned into 1” long pieces
real Parmesan (do not use the green can kind
1 (8 ounces) jar basil pesto
10-12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 (20 ounces) package of fresh or frozen cheese-filled tortellini, cooked al dente, cold rinsed and drained well
1/2 teaspoon salt to start, then add more to taste
How to make Cheese Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad
Step 1: Add all the ingredients to a large bowl except for the tortellini. Gently fold until well combined. Using a plate, cover the bowl and set it aside.
Step 2: Following the package directions cook the tortellini in a large saucepan or small pot with gently boiling salted water until al dente. Drain when done and immediately rinse with cold water.
Step 3: Into the pesto-veggie mixture, add the cool and well-drained tortellini. Gently fold. Adjust the salt, Parmesan, and olive oil according to taste.
Step 4: Serve the salad right away or place it in the fridge until ready to enjoy. Before serving the refrigerated salad, drizzle a little olive oil, add a bit of salt, and Parmesan.
To slightly stretch the salad, add some cooked regular or tri-coloured rotini (half of a 1-pound box) and mix. Add extra salt, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. You might need to add more garlic as well.
This salad is also great with grilled chicken breasts, burgers, or steaks on the side.
If using quartered artichoke hearts, simply cut them in half crossways.