Cheesy Pesto Tortellini Bake

Cheesy Pesto Tortellini Bake

I think I come up with the best recipes when I’m either in the shower or when I am driving. I’m not sure either of those activities are the safest, however, it’s when my creative vibes flow and I get inspired. Pesto is truly my favorite sauce/condiment and I love making large batches of it. It’s so versatile: slathered on chicken, a marinade, a dressing, mixed with pasta, used as dipping sauce, you name it! I have a pesto recipe that literally includes four ingredients and that can be found here.

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This recipe came to me in the shower after perusing Pinterest and seeing someone’s post for a baked ziti only with tortellini and I thought, “This would be good with some pesto.” The rest is history. I went food shopping and snagged my favorite Organic Valley products (ricotta and mozzarella), some fresh tortellini, and ingredients for my pesto (basil, parmesan, oil, and garlic). This recipe does not yield too many servings as it’s just one package of tortellini, but I’d imagine if it was made for a group larger than 3, you could double the recipe (or triple) as needed.

California Olive Ranch

Here’s what you’ll need for this delicious dinner:

  • 1 package cheese tortellini, fresh
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella,
  • For the pesto:
    • 1 clam shell of basil leaves
    • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup oil of choice (I am a devout avocado oil user)
    • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Start by preheating your oven to 350*. I suggest making the pesto while the water for the pasta boils so the pasta is finished cooking almost simultaneously as your pesto is finished. Boil a pot of water and add the tortellini. When cooking the tortellini, cook two minutes less than the package indicates as you’ll bake the tortellini and so it’ll continue to cook – this will prevent the tortellini from falling apart.

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Drain the pasta and set aside. In a large baking dish (like Pyrex or Corningware) ladle a few drops of the pesto on the bottom and spread around. Pour the tortellini into the dish and stir to coat. Add the rest of the pesto and continue to stir to coat. (Note: if you made a lot, you can preserve some pesto for another dish, but I prefer more pesto in this dish to prevent the pasta from drying out). Add the 1/2 cup of ricotta and mix to blend in with the pesto. Add a few dollops of additional ricotta and spread mozzarella cheese on top.

Bake for 10 minutes, turn off the oven and set oven to broil (low, preferably) for 2-3 minutes until the cheese starts to brown and bubble. Let cool and enjoy! This is SUCH a delicious dinner: kid friendly, crowd pleasing, can be double or tripled for an outdoor social distancing event, or a fun stay-at-home meal with the family. NOMaste 🙂

Cheesy Pesto Tortellini Bake

A twist on baked ziti! Cheesy tortellini tossed in fresh and savory pesto sauce, baked to perfection!

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked pasta, cheese, pasta, pesto, tortellini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author nomastehungry


  • 1 package cheese tortellini fresh
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded


  • 1 clam shell basil fresh
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Boil pot of water and add tortellini. Cook tortellini two minutes LESS than what package suggests. Drain and set aside

  2. Simultaneously as the water boils and pasta cooks, make the pesto! Get a food processor or use a magic bullet (whatever is available) and one handful of basil leaves, 1/2 the amount of the chopped garlic, avocado oil, and cheese. Blend. You MAY wish to add more oil and cheese, as well as the remainder of the basil leaves and garlic to make the consistency smoother and yield more pesto.

  3. Scoop some of the pesto into a baking dish and pour the tortellini into the dish. Mix to coat. Add more of the pesto and the ricotta together and mix to coat.

  4. Dollop a few more spoonfuls of ricotta and sprinkle the cup of mozzarella cheese, coating all the pasta.

  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven to broil. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and brown.

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