A delicious and comforting pasta dish that is ready in under 10 minutes. Pesto Tortellini is a great way to use up some leftover pesto, and it's easy to adapt with other vegetables too. A quick dinner that is perfect for busy weeknights and total comfort food.
When is comes to quick and easy comfort food, this tortellini with pesto ticks all the boxes. Mushroom tortellini (but you can use any flavour), coated in a creamy pesto sauce with some wilted spinach mixed through. Filling, delicious and nutritious.
When you don't have much time in the kitchen, but you want a hot and filling meal, then tortellini is always a quick win. You can adapt it with different pestos, vegetables and cheese, and even some leftover protein.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Tortellini - We used store bought to make this a quick and easy meal. However, if you want to make your own, then go ahead! We used mushroom (with truffles), but you can use a spinach tortellini or just cheese.
- Oil - A good quality olive oil.
- Shallots - These add a nice sweetness, but you can swap them for a small brown onion. You could also use a leek instead.
- Garlic - Freshly crushed is best.
- Spinach - This is an easy way to add a green veggie post to a pasta dish, but you could use cabbage or kale instead but you will need to adjust the cooking time. More suggestions on vegetables you can add below.
- Lemon - We are BIG fans of adding a little fresh lemon juice to a pasta dish. It really freshens it up.
- Creme fraiche - This is where the creamy sauce comes from. We used reduced fat to lighten it up, but you can use full fat. You can use cream too.
- Pesto - The star of the tortellini pasta recipe. You can use a good quality store bought pesto, or make your own. Why not try our Carrot Top Pesto?
- Parmesan - To keep this a vegetarian dish, then make sure to use a vegetarian alternative. Most supermarket's own brand Italian hard cheese is vegetarian. Make sure you grate the Parmesan yourself, as pre-grated cheeses are often coated in anti-clumping powders to stop it sticking together in the bag. But it also stops it from melting and adds a grainy texture to your dish
- Pasta water - This is our "secret" ingredient when it comes to pasta dishes. A little bit adds some starch to the sauce and makes it extra creamy.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make pesto tortellini - Step by step
One: Cook your tortellini according to the packet instructions.
Two: Heat the oil over a low heat and cook the shallots and garlic for 4 minutes.
Three: Add the spinach, Parmesan, creme fraiche, pesto, lemon juice and zest. Mix well.
Four: Drain the tortellini, reserving some of the pasta water. Add the tortellini and water to the pan. Stir and return to the heat for 1 minutes.
What to serve with pesto tortellini
This is a hearty and filling meal on its own, however if you wanted some sides or even some added protein then we have some great suggestions for you.
If you want to make this more filling, then some bread on the side is a good option. Garlic bread and pasta is the perfect match and either our Air Fryer Garlic Bread or Cheesy Garlic Bread go really well with this.
Vegetables - You can swap the spinach for another leafy green like kale, but you will need to fry it with the onions. Broccoli works well, and you can cut it up small and add it to the water at the same time as the tortellini.
You can also add some frozen peas or sweetcorn to the pan of water too. Tomatoes are a nice way to add a pop of colour too.
Protein - An easy way to give a protein boost to this tortellini pasta recipe is by adding some leftover shredded chicken. Why not try making our Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts and using leftovers from them? For a veggie protein boost, cooked chickpeas work well.
Creamy - To make this even creamier, and add some healthy fats too, then why not blend your pesto with some avocado and a little bit of water to loosen it up?
Frequently Asked Questions
Because it's an easy way to make the sauce really silky smooth, with no extra effort.
Leftovers will store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. We don't recommend freezing pesto tortellini.
You can, but we don't recommend it, as it will become a little dry. We love eating it cold. Just let it comes to room temperature (about an hour) and then it's perfect to eat. We love using leftovers for packed lunches and the kids love it too.
More pesto recipes
- 300 g (10.5 oz) Tortellini - (we used mushroom)
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- 3 Shallots - diced
- 2 Garlic cloves - crushed
- 60 g (2 cups) Spinach
- 100 ml (0.5 cups) Reduced fat creme fraiche
- 3 tablespoon Pesto
- 0.5 Lemon - juice and zest only
- 20 g (0.25 cups) Parmesan - grated
- 50 ml (0.25 cups) Pasta water
- Cook 300 g Tortellini according to the packet instructions.
- Heat 1 teaspoon Olive oil over a low heat and cook 3 Shallots and 2 Garlic cloves for 4 minutes.
- Add 60 g Spinach, 20 g Parmesan, 100 ml Reduced fat creme fraiche, 3 tablespoon Pesto, and the juice and zest of 0.5 Lemon. Mix well.
- Drain the tortellini, reserving 50 ml Pasta water. Add the tortellini and water to the pan. Stir and return to the heat for 1 minutes.
- If you are using store bought pesto, then the fresh refrigerated pesto you can get in the supermarket or farmers shop has much more flavour than a jar.
- We love using sun-dried tomato pesto for something a little different.
- Pesto should not be cooked at a high heat, so it just needs to be tossed with the pasta and warmed through.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.