Baked Pesto Tortellini

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Baked Pesto Tortellini in a creamy sauce will wow your family and guests alike! Bake tortellini with pesto sauce until browned and bubbly, then top with fresh basil.

titled collage for pesto tortellini


Cheesy pasta and juicy tomatoes smothered in sauce and baked under a layer of freshly shredded mozzarella and Parmesan – my mouth is watering already!

bowls of ingredients to bake tortellini pesto recipe

Baked Pesto Tortellini

This baked tortellini dish is creamy, rich, and extra delicious from the added flavor of the pesto sauce.

Use your favorite jarred variety or whip up a fresh pesto Genovese in just a few minutes.

Looking for more simple baked pasta meals? You’ll love this Feta Pasta Bake with Sausage that was a TikTok viral sensation, or an easy baked ziti.

The recipe makes enough to feed a crowd!

Of course, you can never go wrong with a big pan of mac and cheese!

whisking pesto into cream sauce

Tips for Making Tortellini with Pesto

  • Don’t overcook the pasta! It should be al dente (slightly underdone) since it will continue to cook in the oven. Also, be sure to salt the water for extra flavor.
  • Use room temperature ingredients. Measure out the milk and let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before starting the recipe.

    The cheese will be easier to grate when cold, but the shreds will melt easier into the sauce if they are no longer chilled.
  • Swap out the cheese. While mozzarella adds a lot of creaminess to this baked pesto tortellini, you can replace it with Monterey Jack for a bolder flavor or use a combination of the two. Instead of Parmesan, try Romano instead!
  • Time saving tip: Use this kitchen hack to slice grape tomatoes in seconds! Place the veggies between two round lids, then run a sharp knife between them to cut a handful all at once.
  • Prefer something lighter? You can easily replace the whole milk with 2% and use less cheese if the tortellini pesto sauce seems too heavy.
baked pesto tortellini topped with halved grape tomatoes

Serving Suggestions

No Italian dish is complete without a fresh batch of breadsticks or garlic knots! Add a green salad or some roasted vegetables to round out your plate.

If you’ll be hosting dinner guests, let them munch on bruschetta while this pesto tortellini is in the oven. Don’t forget a batch of pignoli cookies for a light dessert!

Pesto Tortellini Recipe FAQ

What other flavors can I use for baked tortellini?

While the recipe calls for a basic cheese stuffed variety, you could easily try chicken, sun-dried tomato, or spinach-stuffed pasta instead.

Can I double this tortellini pesto recipe?

Absolutely! You can double the sauce and boil two packages of pasta at once, but you will need to divide everything between two separate casserole dishes for baking.

How long does baked tortellini pesto last in the refrigerator?

Leftovers will last for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container.

Reheat in the oven, microwave, or on the stove with a splash of milk as needed to thin out the sauce.

baked pasta with tomatoes and fresh herbs on top

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fork scooping pesto tortellini out of a bowl

Other Easy Pasta Recipes

forkful of cheesy baked tortellini

Baked Pesto Tortellini

Donna Elick
Baked Pesto Tortellini in a creamy sauce is a comforting, flavor-packed Italian meal. Wow your guests in under an hour with this easy recipe!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Oven, Stovetop
Servings 8


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 16 ounces fresh tortellini
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • fresh basil, chiffonaded (for garnish)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a deep skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add flour, salt, and pepper to the butter and saute 2-3 minutes until the flour begins to brown.
  • While whisking constantly, gradually add the milk. The mixture will whisk into a thick paste and eventually a sauce as the milk is added. Once the milk is fully incorporated, continue cooking until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
  • Stir in 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of parmesan cheese, adding a handful at a time and stirring each addition until melted and smooth.
  • Whisk in pesto sauce and adjust to your preferred taste.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted water, cook the tortellini for 2 minutes less time than the package instructions (mine cooked for 5 minutes). You want the tortellini al dente as it will continue cooking in the oven.
  • In a large casserole dish (3 Qt.), layer half of the cooked and drained tortellini, Spoon half of the prepared pesto sauce over the tortellini. Sprinkle with 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes and half of the remaining cheeses.
  • Add a second layer of tortellini, sauce, tomatoes and cheese.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese on top of the dish is melted, bubbly, and beginning to brown.
  • Garnish with fresh cracked pepper and fresh basil, if desired.

Donna’s Notes

We used whole milk for a creamy, rich sauce. 2% can be substituted. The overall amount of cheese can also be reduced for a lighter casserole.
This baked tortellini is creamy, rich, cheesy, and delicious with lots of added flavor from the pesto. Use your favorite pesto sauce (we like Trader Joe’s and Costco brand) or my homemade version
Fresh tortellini comes in a variety of flavors – we used a basic cheese stuffed tortellini, but a chicken, sun-dried tomato, or spinach tortellini would also be delicious in this recipe.
For a sharper cheese flavor, you can use jack cheese instead of mozzarella or a combo of jack and mozzarella. The mozzarella adds a lot of creaminess and gooey cheese. Romano can be interchanged with the parmesan.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 550cal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1122mg | Sugar: 8g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 601mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for baked tortellini recipe

Originally published January 2022, updated and republished February 2023

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  1. 5 stars
    I had never tried a creamy pesto sauce like this, but it is to die for! This is such a delicious way to make tortellini, and is a great sauce for pastas in general! I will be using this recipe many more times!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      We are happy you enjoyed it, we love this recipe and make it often! Have a great day!
      TSRI Team Member,

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