Cheesy Pesto Tortellini Bake

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The best thing about summer is the abundance of fresh herbs available to cook and bake with. My husband and I recently finished redoing our front of the house and added a porch, so now all I can think about is what I'm going to plant, and with a small space off the railing, what herbs I'd like to start growing. Hands down: basil is one of them. Basil is my favorite herb to use as it is incredibly versatile and enhances just about any dish! I love it on fresh homemade pizza, in sauces such as my summer sauce, but what I love most is making homemade pesto.

Cheesy Pesto Tortellini Bake

Pesto has such strong flavors of garlic, basil, and cheese but honestly, it's one of the best tasting things on the planet. Of course, I had to use pesto in making a pasta dish, and tortellini felt the perfect vessel for this sauce. Alas, the birth of this cheesy pesto tortellini bake, and boyyyyyy is it good.

What is pesto exactly?

Pesto can be made a multitude of ways: with pine nuts or without nuts, with different kinds of nuts, with spinach, with arugula, with kale. The versions are endless, but I find myself a purist with lots of recipes, and pesto is certainly one of them. I like to use pesto in sandwiches, on pizza, and of course, pasta.

Why should I make this recipe?

This cheesy pesto tortellini bake is hands down top 5 recipes I make and is on repeat at my home, especially throughout the summer when we can get an abundance of basil. This cheesy tortellini bake with pesto is the ultimate pesto lover's dream, and when paired with carbs you literally cannot go wrong. This particular bake calls for frozen tortellini, which cooks rather quickly, then baked in the oven tossed with basil and a generous helping of mozzarella cheese. Not only is this recipe easy and done in just 30 minutes, it's kid friendly, and a perfect rotation for weeknight meals as we approach September.

Ingredients

You won't need more than three ingredients here, especially if you're using a jarred pesto

  • Pesto: you can make homemade pesto if you'd like too, it's easier than you think!
  • Tortellini: Fresh or frozen work really well here
  • Cheese: Whole milk mozzarella is best here

Directions

My favorite part of this recipe is that it takes just 30 minutes to make this dish, soup to nuts.

  1. Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and cook the frozen tortellini as the package says, or at least one minute less to prevent overcooking while it bakes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375º and grab an oven-safe dish.
  3. Once the tortellini is done cooking, drain the pasta and set aside.
  4. If you are using pre-made pesto: Take two scoops of the jarred pesto and layer into the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish.
  5. If you are making the pesto: take 2 cups basil leaves, 1/3 cup parmesan, 3 minced garlic cloves, and 1/4 cup olive oil and add to a food processor. Blend until completely smooth. You may need to add more parmesan and/or oil depending upon the consistency.
  6. Assembly: Pour the drained tortellini into a baking dish. Spread around the pesto and coat the pasta. Layer the mozzarella cheese to cover the pasta. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven to broil for an additional 3 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.

Swaps and Subs

  1. Feel free to make your own or use jarred pesto. It doesn't really matter here!
  2. You can easily swap out the tortellini for gluten free or vegan pasta, but adjust the cooking/baking time.
  3. Similar to the choice of pasta, use your favorite vegan cheese if you're looking for a more plant-forward version.

Hungry for more?

Love pasta? You'll CRAVE these!

Cheesy Pesto Tortellini Bake

When pesto is part of a recipe, you know it's gotta be good. This delectable cheesy pesto tortellini bake will make your tastebuds dance, sing, rejoice, and crave some more. I mean, what's not to love: pasta, cheese, and pesto! This is a winning dish for sure.

Author:
Morgan

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg frozen tortellini
  • Homemade Pesto sauce
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and cook the frozen tortellini as the package says, or at least one minute less to prevent overcooking while it bakes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375º and grab an oven-safe dish.
  3. Once the tortellini is done cooking, drain the pasta and set aside.
  4. If you are using pre-made pesto: Take two scoops of the jarred pesto and layer into the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish.
  5. If you are making the pesto: take 2 cups basil leaves, 1/3 cup parmesan, 3 minced garlic cloves, and 1/4 cup olive oil and add to a food processor. Blend until completely smooth. You may need to add more parmesan and/or oil depending upon the consistency.
  6. Assembly: Pour the drained tortellini into a baking dish. Spread around the pesto and coat the pasta. Layer the mozzarella cheese to cover the pasta. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven to broil for an additional 3 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.

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Lori
August 17, 2022
Amazing recipe! The bake came out amazing.