Cheese Tortellini with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes


Trying to figure out what to make for dinner at 6:00 on Tuesday is rough. Really rough. I try my best to plan out the week’s meals in advance so I have all of the groceries on hand and I don’t have to make any last minute, crazy-lady, speed-racer trips to the grocery store. Buuuut I’m human and not as organized as I’d like to be. And I’m quite possibly the world’s most indecisive person (seriously – never ask me to choose the restaurant) so what sounded yummy on Sunday when I made my weekly plan may not sound so yummy on the day I’m supposed to actually make it. To accommodate my good-intentions-but-life-got-in-the-way attempts at weekly menu planning there are certain pantry items I always keep on hand so I can throw together a quick dinner without a last minute trip to the grocery store. And because they’re pantry items, I don’t have to worry about them spoiling before I can cook them. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve bought fresh veggies, meat, herbs, etc. only to have last minute things (like, you know, life) derail my dinner making plans. And I loooaaaathe throwing food away. It’s the worst! Cheese tortellini, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, parmesan and pine nuts are at the top of my pantry list. If I happen to have fresh vegetables, chicken, shrimp, salmon, goat cheese (you get the idea) I’ll put that in this dish as well. If I don’t…oh well…good enough! On this particular night, I happened to have fresh asparagus in the fridge so I put that in the dish and it was delish. What are some of your “I have nothing planned for dinner” dinner dishes?

Cheese Tortellini w/ Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb fresh cheese tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups asparagus, cut into 2-in pieces
  • ½ cup prepared pesto
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until crisp-tender.
  3. Drain pasta and toss hot pasta with the pesto and ¼ cup of the pasta water. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.



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  1. Don Heintz


    I’m finding that I’m reading your blog out of a need for your simple-to-make but tasty recipes 🙂 They look great, I’ll give this one a try…

    Thank you

    • Jennie

      Awww, thanks Don! Hopefully you’ll find some good pre-run carb loading meals on here. 🙂

  2. Jenny

    Yum! I always have chicken sausage on hand. Last night (similar to this dish) I sautéed asparagus, sun-dried tomato, broccoli and kale chicken sausage…tossed with some pesto and pasta and freshly grated Parmesan. I also make a speedy paella with the andouille chicken sausage. I add sausage to soups or just throw it on the grill with some Veggies and serve with a side of fruit! The boys love it!

    • Jennie

      Chicken sausage or even rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is a great, quick way to add some protein to this dish. Good idea! I’ve never seen kale chicken sausage – I’ll have to look for it!


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