Broccoli & Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto

3.9 (31)
Broccoli & Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto

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

Yield: 6 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 30


  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 5 cups baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 9- to 10-ounce packages fresh cheese tortellini, preferably whole-wheat
  • 5 cups small broccoli florets


  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, 1/4 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 1/2 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 1/2 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.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.


Nutrition Per Serving

calories 445
fat 23 g (5 g sat, 9 g mono)
cholesterol 35 mg
carbohydrates 45 g
protein 16 g
fiber 5 g
sodium 605 mg
potassium 314 mg

Nutrition Bonus Vitamin C (99% daily value), Vitamin A (45% dv), Folate (16% dv)

Carbohydrate Serving 3

Exchanges 2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat, 4 fat

From EatingWell July/August 2012