Broccoli & Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto

Broccoli & Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto

5 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2012

A quick homemade arugula pesto dresses this simple broccoli and tortellini salad recipe. Serve with fresh sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 5 cups baby arugula
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, divided
  • 5 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 9- to 10-ounce packages fresh cheese tortellini, preferably whole-wheat


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  2. With the motor running, drop garlic through the feed tube of a food processor; process until minced. Turn it off and add arugula, cheese, oil, ¼ cup pine nuts, lemon zest and salt. Process, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture is fairly smooth; leave the pesto in the food processor while you cook the tortellini.
  3. Cook tortellini in the boiling water until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. Place broccoli in a colander and set it in the sink. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta-cooking liquid, then pour the tortellini and the rest of the cooking liquid over the broccoli in the colander. (Pouring the hot pasta and cooking liquid over the broccoli "flash-cooks" it, leaving it bright green and tender-crisp.)
  4. Add the reserved ½ cup cooking liquid to the pesto in the food processor; pulse to combine. Transfer the tortellini and broccoli to a large bowl. Toss with the pesto. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1⅓ cups
  • Per serving: 445 calories; 23 g fat(5 g sat); 5 g fiber; 45 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 62 mcg folate; 35 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2,231 IU vitamin A; 59 mg vitamin C; 142 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 605 mg sodium; 314 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (98% daily value), Vitamin A (45% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 1 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat, 4 fat

Reviews 5

June 22, 2019
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By: Jennifer Brush
I halved this recipe and it was still enough to feed four. Very tasty and the "flash cooking" of the broccoli left it crunchy and fresh.
February 25, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
This is so great! We loved this recipe. Tortellini is so good, but I get sick of it in soups. This such a light and fulfilling way to enjoy it! Pros: Flavor, ease, speed
December 06, 2012
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By: jordanhorowitz
Can't get enough of this pesto! The arugula pesto is delicious and easy. Used it on some small garlic toasts at a party with cocktails. Topped tomato halves with it and put under the broiler. Thinned it with some more oil and used as a salad dressing.
July 11, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Simplified Recipe We found this to be very tasty. Easy to make. Especially since I used store bought pesto. This made it quite easy to make. Pros: Quick, easy, and delicious
June 24, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
I really enjoyed this! The lemon zest added brightness to the flavor, and the method of pouring the pasta water over the broccoli was a great time saver. This is a great summer recipe with barely any cooking. Because I wanted something less rich, I halved the parmesan and the olive oil (subbing in extra pasta water). I also omitted the pine nuts to cut costs a little.
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