Whether you serve it for dinner or as a side dish at a BBQ, this Pesto Tortellini recipe will be the star of the show! It’s made with tender cheese tortellini tossed in creamy caesar pesto sauce, with tomatoes, olives, green onion, sunflower seeds and fresh basil.

Looking for more salad recipes? Try my Italian Pasta Salad, Ambrosia Salad or Macaroni Salad!

A wooden bowl filled with creamy Pesto Tortellini salad.

I love pasta salads that are easy to make, filling and full of fun flavors, and this Pesto Tortellini is all those things. It’s delicious, and everyone always loves it! It tops the list of my favorite pasta salad recipes, along with this Spinach Avocado Pasta Salad and Teriyaki Bowtie Pasta Salad.

Ingredients Needed:

How to Make Pesto Tortellini:

Cook Tortellini according to package instructions. Drain well and allow to cool. Add to a large bowl and toss with caesar dressing to coat.

Cooked tortellini pasta with caesar dressing poured on top for the best Creamy Pesto Tortellini recipe.

Add tomatoes, olives, green onion, pesto, salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss to combine. Add sunflower seeds and ⅓ cup fresh parmesan cheese and toss to combine.

Two images with tortellini pasta tossed in caesar dressing and topped with olives, tomatoes, and pesto, then all of that mixed in and topped with sunflower seeds and parmesan cheese.

Serve garnished with fresh parmesan and basil just before serving.

A close-up image of an easy Pesto Tortellini recipe with fresh basil, ready to serve.

Recipe Variations:

  • Add protein like chicken, sausage or shrimp to make it a hearty main dish. Rotisserie chicken would work great, or leftover cooked, grilled chicken.
  • Extra Veggies: Add sautéed zucchini or yellow squash, chopped bell peppers, spinach.

More Tortellini Recipes:

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A wooden bowl filled with Pesto Tortellini salad, ready to serve.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 20 minutes
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  • Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Drain and allow to cool.
  • Add tortellini to a large bowl and toss with ½ the caesar dressing. Add tomatoes, olives, green onion, pesto, salt, pepper and garlic powder, ⅓ cup fresh parmesan, and sunflower seeds and toss to combine. Add more caesar dressing, to make it saucier, if desired.
  • Serve warm or cold. Garnish with remaining fresh parmesan and fresh chopped basil before serving.


Servings size is about 1.5 cups
Add Protein to make it a heartier meal, like chicken, sausage or shrimp. Rotisserie chicken would work great, or leftover cooked, grilled chicken.
Extra Veggies: Add sautéed zucchini or yellow squash, chopped bell peppers, spinach.


Calories: 687kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 21gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 1623mgPotassium: 192mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 696IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 297mgIron: 4mg

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Original recipe inspired by Mels Kitchen Cafe.

I originally shared this recipe March 2017. Updated May 2021 and May 2023.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    What a wonderful dish. I made this tonight and everyone loved it. I was requested to make this everyday.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you, for this wonderful dish! Next time I will add chicken to “beef” it up. I just didn’t have any. One of my daughters friends tried it and said it was the bomb. So big success in the household. I look forward to trying your weekly meal plans since this dish went over so well. Thank you!!!!!

  3. This was really good. I used sun dried tomato pesto because that’s whT I had on hand. My husband made sure to tell me not to lose the recipe. 🙂

  4. Can I use meat tortellini instead of cheese in your Creamy Pesto Tortellini recipe? That’s what I have and would like to use that.

  5. I hope to continue seeing your wonderful yummy recipes..My e mail is not working bummer for me !!I hope to have it fixed A.s.a.p..

  6. Loved this recipe, added yellow bell pepper for a pop of color and crunch factor. If made ahead of time it does tend to soak up the dressing as stated in the recipe, so just add a bit more before serving. Great addition to my summer salad rotation!

  7. 5 stars
    I made this for a church bbq today. Delicious! There were no leftovers and it was happily gobbled up. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  8. 4 stars
    This is SO good! I subbed artichoke hearts for the olives cuz my husband hates olives. I love pesto and mixing it with the dressing made it so creamy and delicious. Definitely will be making this for more parties!

  9. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I added some grilled chicken to make it a little heartier as a main dish. It was a hit!