Tortellini Pasta Salad with Burst Tomatoes and Green Beans

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Green Beans and Burst Tomatoes – this easy vegetarian pasta salad can be served warm or at room temperature. It’s quick to make, packed with protein, and super healthy. Perfect for family gatherings and picnics alike. 

Tortellini pasta salad on a white plate with pine nuts and basil in the background

Where do you find inspiration for your recipes from? Friends? Pinterest? Cooking shows? This great food blog you’re totally obsessed with called Hey Nutrition Lady?

The inspiration for this Tortellini Pasta Salad recipe comes from a photo I saw in Martha Stewart’s Instagram feed. The elements were mostly similar; fresh tortellini, green beans, cannellini beans, and cherry tomatoes. There’s one critical difference, though: Martha wanted us to roast our tomatoes.

basil, tomatoes, beans, tortellini, pine nuts, pecorino, and green beans on a grey background

Listen folks, I love me some Martha as much as the next girl, but I do not love dirtying up an extra dish when I don’t need to, and I do not love turning on my oven in the freaking summer heat. So I used my Instagram sleuthing and food science skills to reverse engineer this Tortellini Pasta Salad, only without turning the oven on, and with the addition of a few extra elements to fancy things up.

I think Martha would approve.

Tomatoes, green beans, and cannelini beans in a skillet.

To solve the tomato issue, I looked to this recipe (which has terrible photos but is truly one of my favourite things to eat) for inspiration. You do the tomatoes stove top, starting them in a blistering hot pan which causes them to blacken and burst and throw their juices around the pan in general tomato hysteria, which is exactly what we want to happen.

Then the green beans go into the pan and calm the situation down. Isn’t that what green beans are typically known for? Crowd control and hysteria dispersion?

I like to add the garlic in just after the beans, because I’ve eaten enough burnt garlic in my lifetime to know that it can benefit from the pan-cooling hysteria-controlling effect of the green beans.

tortellini, green beans, tomatoes, and cannellini beans in a large skillet.

Next add the cannellini beans into the pan of veg so they can soak up some of that delicious tomato-garlic broth situation we’ve got going on. Fresh tortellini takes literally three minutes to cook, so you can throw it into a pot of boiling water around now if you haven’t done that already.

I like to transfer the tortellini straight from the water into the pan, all wet and slippery, as it’ll add a bit of moisture and starchy cooking water into the whole situation, which is a good thing on both counts.

tortellini pasta salad with tomatoes, green beans, and cannellini beans on a platter with serving spoons to the side

Then all that’s left to do is platter up this Tortellni Pasta Salad and get fancy with some toppings. I’ve used a generous amount of crumbled pecorino cheese, toasted pine nuts, and freshly torn basil leaves.

Now we get to dig in! This dish is great served warm, but it’s also perfectly good at room temperature or even cold.

a white plate with tortellini salad topped with pecornino, pine nuts, and fresh basil

TIPS FOR MAKING TORTELLINI PASTA SALAD

  • Slice your tomatoes, trim and slice your green beans, and slice your garlic before you start cooking, because once you start everything happens pretty fast.
  • You’ll want to get your pan nice and hot before adding the tomatoes – the oil shouldn’t be smoking, but it should have a bit of a shimmer to it.
  • I like to start the tomatoes cut side up so the skins get a bit of a blister to them.
  • Can I make this dish vegan? You totally can. Either use a vegan tortellini, or sub in another pasta shape of your choice. Orecchiette would work really nicely here.
  • Can I make Tortellini Pasta Salad gluten-free? Just use gluten-free tortellini, or, if you can’t find it, I recommend gluten-free gnocchi in its place.
  • Can I make this dish in advance? It’ll last 3-4 days in the fridge, and is great cold or at room temperature. Perfect for packed lunches!
  • Need to make more or less Tortellini Pasta Salad? Simply adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below and it’ll adjust the recipe for you.

A platter with tortellini salad with a pair of serving spoons and a small pot of pine nuts

HEY NUTRITION LADY, TELL US MORE ABOUT THOSE BEANS

Glad to, folks. Cannellini beans are really just white kidney beans, which are milder in flavour than their red-skinned cousins. They’re a good source of dietary fiber, protein, folate, manganese, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1, and vitamin K.

Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart… and that includes kidney beans. Studies have shown that eating foods rich in fiber, such as kidney beans, help prevent heart disease.

The fiber also helps lower cholesterol and stabilizes blood sugar. Kidney beans are a great source of plant-based protein, with one cup providing 15 grams of protein. And, that manganese content plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defense. Pow!

a large platter of tortellini salad with a small white plate of salad in the front.

Other Easy Pasta Dishes You Might Enjoy:

Simple Summer Pasta
Orecchiette with Broccoli and Lemon
Very Green Vegetable Pasta
Cold Rice Noodle Salad

Did you make this recipe? Please rate and review below! Tag your Instagram photos with #heynutritionlady and mention @heynutritionlady so we can see and share our favourites!

A platter with tortellini salad with a pair of serving spoons and a small pot of pine nuts
5 from 1 vote
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Tortellini Pasta Salad with Green Beans and Burst Tomatoes

This easy vegetarian pasta salad can be served warm or at room temperature. It's quick to make, packed with protein, and super healthy. Perfect for family gatherings and picnics alike. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword pasta, salad, Tortellini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 396 kcal
Author Katie Trant

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 10 oz green beans trimmed and chopped in half
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 14 oz cannellini beans or other small white bean
  • 1 lb fresh spinach and ricotta tortellini pasta
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts lightly toasted
  • 2 oz crumbled pecornio cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves torn

Instructions

  1. Put a large pot of water over high heat, and bring to a boil. 

  2. Place a large skillet over medium hight heat. Add the olive oil and heat until oil is shimmering, but not smoking. 

  3. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes to the hot pan, sliced side up. Let them sizzle for a few minutes without stirring, and then give them a stir so the other side gets some heat as well. 

  4. Let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes more, until you're seeing deeply coloured spots on them and they are releasing their juices into the pan. 

  5. Add the green beans and stir to combine. Allow them to cook with the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes without stirring. 

  6. Add the sliced garlic, and stir well. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently so that the garlic does not burn.

  7. Add the tortellini to the boiling water, and cook for 3 minutes (check your package for recommended instructions, but it should be fast).

  8. Add the cannellini beans into the pan and stir. 

  9. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tortellini directly from the cooking water into the pan with the beans and vegetables. Stir well to combine. 

  10. Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan, and season with salt and pepper. 

  11. Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the Tortellini Pasta Salad to a platter. 

  12. Top with crumbled pecornio cheese, toasted pine nuts, and fresh basil. 

  13. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Recipe Notes

  • Slice your tomatoes, trim and slice your green beans, and slice your garlic before you start cooking, because once you start everything happens pretty fast.
  • You’ll want to get your pan nice and hot before adding the tomatoes – the oil shouldn’t be smoking, but it should have a bit of a shimmer to it.
  • I like to start the tomatoes cut side up so the skins get a bit of a blister to them.
  • Can I make this dish vegan? You totally can. Either use a vegan tortellini, or sub in another pasta shape of your choice. Orecchiette would work really nicely here.
  • Can I make Tortellini Pasta Salad gluten-free? Just use gluten-free tortellini, or, if you can’t find it, I recommend gluten-free gnocchi in its place.
  • Can I make this dish in advance? It’ll last 3-4 days in the fridge, and is great cold or at room temperature. Perfect for packed lunches!
  • Need to make more or less Tortellini Pasta Salad? Simply adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below and it’ll adjust the recipe for you.
  • Nutrition values are an estimate only
Nutrition Facts
Tortellini Pasta Salad with Green Beans and Burst Tomatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 396 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 686mg 29%
Potassium 244mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 51g 17%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 5g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 18%
Vitamin C 20.6%
Calcium 32%
Iron 21.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tortellini Pasta Salad with Green Beans and Burst Tomatoes - this easy vegetarian pasta salad can be served warm or at room temperature. It's quick to make, packed with protein, and super healthy. Perfect for family gatherings and picnics alike. #pasta #recipe #easy #quick #healthy #tortellini #pastasalad #salad #warm #tomatoes #greenbeans #beans #vegetarian


 

Comments

  1. What a banger of a summer barely-cooking salad. It’s got so much going on re texture, nutrition and taste. A real winner.I love the stovetop tomato thing too. I do it for breakfast a lot.

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