Creamy Pesto Tortellini with red peppers comes together in minutes, and is a family favorite easy weeknight dinner served with a green salad. This will become one of your "back pocket" recipes you can pull out when you need a dinner everyone loves in a flash.
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There are two things I've known for years that our son loves: tortellini and my homemade 'secret ingredient' pesto sauce.
Okay, there's actually a lot more than that (maple-mustard chicken, decadent chocolate chip walnut pie, etc.), but tortellini is not something I make by hand (hello?), so we don't have it as much as I'm sure he would like.
So making a creamy pesto tortellini recipe for dinner while he was home on a break from college may or may not have been my attempt to try and accumulate more of those mom points.
Luckily for me, the whole family loves creamy pasta and pesto, so making that pasta a cheese-filled tortellini is kind of a no-brainer. And the addition of more vegetables is of course what I'm always looking to do.
Menu Planning Tip:
Making a variation of a family favorite recipe is a sure way to make sure you will have a hit recipe on your hands.
And with recipes this easy, they will be sure to become a menu regular! (Get more menu planning tips here for easy ways to regularly plan your family's meals.)
Creamy Pesto Tortellini with Red Peppers Recipe
I love the simple ingredients in dishes like this:
- pesto (homemade or store bought - mine above is straight from the freezer where I keep it after making it in the summer)
- heavy or whipping cream
- red bell pepper
- tortellini (both fresh or frozen work for this recipe).
TIP: It's pretty easy to add color and flavor to your main dishes with savory items like red peppers, parsley, and parmesan cheese. The bonus is that they add incredible flavors, too - I love cooking with these ingredients.
Not only does this recipe for creamy pesto tortellini with red peppers taste delicious, it's a perfect go-to dish for any busy season.
It's easy and quick to put together for a weeknight family meal. And yet it's also colorful and nice enough to serve to guests with a salad, a good bottle of wine and some great conversation.
Questions about creamy pesto tortellini with red peppers:
Can this recipe be made with ravioli?
Yes, any stuffed pasta, both fresh or frozen - or even dried, though the flavor really suffers from being dried - will work in this recipe.
Can I add other vegetables?
Yes! I love to add onions, sautéing them with the peppers and to add chopped artichoke hearts when mixing at the end with the pasta. Make this your own.
What about adding meat or seafood?
Again - yes! Whatever you'd like. I've added cooked rotisserie chicken at the end and also sautéed shrimp with the peppers in the beginning. All the different renditions are great with this basic recipe.
Creamy Pesto Tortellini with Red Peppers
- 1 12 ounce package tortellini fresh or dried
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 8 ounce prepared pesto (about a cup, preferably homemade_
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper or to taste
- Optional toppings: chopped parsley, freshly grated parmesan
- Start a large pot of water to boil and cook tortellini according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan and add diced red peppers. Cook until softened a bit, about 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, stir to incorporate and immediately pour cream over peppers, stirring until it thickens a bit.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add prepared pesto. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes more. Season to taste.
- Add cooked, drained tortellini to the sauce and mix to coat everything well.
- Transfer pasta to a serving dish and top with parsley and parmesan, if desired.
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