Glass bowl of BLT pesto pasta tortellini salad, tossed with wooden spoon.

BLT Pesto Pasta Salad

Maura
Toss tortellini with homemade or prepared pesto, crisp bacon, juicy tomatoes, and spinach to make easy, versatile, and delicious BLT pesto pasta salad. Enjoy!
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Pasta, Salad
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 6
Calories 669 kcal

Ingredients
  

Optional: Homemade Bacon Pesto

  • 4 oz fresh basil about 2 cups, may substitute kale, spinach, arugula, or other greens
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 oz pine nuts about 1/4 cup, may substitute walnuts, pecans, or almonds
  • 1.5 oz parmesan cheese about 1/2 cup grated, may substitute any hard white cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon cooked (optional)

BLT Pesto Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb cheese tortellini cooked, preferably fresh or frozen, may use spinach or pesto flavor instead
  • 1/4 cup pesto homemade or purchased
  • 1 lb fresh tomatoes chopped, any variety or color
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 8 oz bacon cooked until crisp, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

Optional: Homemade Bacon Pesto

  • Add to food processor: basil (or greens), garlic, nuts, and cheese. Cover. Turn on and pour olive oil slowly in through feeder. Process until well combined.
  • Add bacon. Pulse for 2-3 seconds at a time until incorporated but still visible. Taste, and add salt and pepper to taste if needed. Set aside 1/4 cup for recipe, and refrigerate/freeze the remainder for another use.

BLT Pesto Pasta Salad

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  • Toss cooked pasta with prepared pesto (or storebought if using). Add a tablespoon of pasta water at a time, if needed, to loosen sauce.
  • Add spinach and tomato to pasta. Toss to combine. Add crumbled bacon and toss again.
  • Taste pasta. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. Enjoy!

Notes

**Nutrition information is calculated for pasta as an entree. It serves 6 as an entree and 8-10 as a side dish
 
Keyword 30 minute meals, BLT Pasta Salad, Pasta Salad, Pesto Pasta Recipe, Pesto Pasta Salad, Potluck, Tortellini Recipe