30-Minute Creamy Pesto Tortellini Skillet
30-Minute Creamy Pesto Tortellini Skillet is spinach ricotta tortellini tossed in a light pesto cream sauce with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and toasted walnuts. This meal comes together so quickly and disappears just as fast!
By now all the kids are back in school and we’re all back to grind, right? That can only mean one thing…we need dinner, and we need it fast! 30-minute meals have become a quest of mine this past year, and I’ve tried much harder to bring them here to the blog more. I’ve explained how hard it can be to be organized enough to get dinner done early enough so I can take the photos without having my family tap their feet anxiously in the background waiting for their meal. It means getting meals done hours early sometimes, but the bright side is that having dinner done before the kids get out of school certainly makes for a kick-back evening. 🙂
There’s a big demand for 30-minute meals, so a group of bloggers and I decided to ban together and do a 30-Minute Thursday post once a month. Now you can gain access to several 30-minute meals all in one post for even more inspiration!
The struggle is real, people. We need this in our lives.
One of the quickest meals to throw together that’s always a hit in my house is tortellini. For whatever reason, I forget about it. I have no idea how since tortellini is one pasta that my kids always love. They don’t like spaghetti, and I’m not sure how they’re related to my husband and I for this, but we’ll let that slide. They did love this tortellini, so I forgive them.
I decided to make this a vegetarian meal, because it’s hearty enough on it’s own. We have spinach ricotta tortellini that I picked up at the store, along with some sauteed mushrooms for that meaty factor, with some chewy sundried tomatoes and a toasted walnut crunch. Sounds good, right? It really was. 🙂
In order to make this a 30-minute meal, you’ve got to get a pot of water heating first so we can get our pasta cooking. Then it goes like this:
- prep your ingredients
- cook the mushrooms
- make the pesto sauce while the pasta and mushrooms cook
- have your walnuts toasting in the oven or on the stovetop, or buy pre-toasted ones
You can always help yourself out by doing things the day before. I love making pesto sauce in advance to make things go even faster. And making a double batch of that pesto and freezing some is a real life saver.
Since we’re on the subject of the pesto sauce, let’s talk about this light pesto cream sauce. I don’t like really rich cream sauces, so the cream here is barely there — it’s just enough to make the sauce silkier and creamier, but you can barely tell it’s there. If you want to up the cream factor, you go right on ahead and add the amount that makes you happy, just be warned, then it probably won’t be a light pesto cream sauce anymore. 😉
I love a nice crunch in my food, whether it’s oatmeal, salads, or pasta. Because of this I often buy pre-toasted nuts at Trader Joe’s, but if I don’t have any, I just toast my own ahead of time so I can always grab a handful and toss them into a dish that needs a nice crunch.
I hope you enjoy this first installment of 30-Minute Thursday, and don’t forget to visit the links below to see all of the other delicious meals that will make your life easier!
30-Minute Chicken Cacciatore by A Latte Food
30-Minute Smoked Turkey Sausage by Mariah’s Pleasing Plates
30-Minute Summer Vegetable Tostadas by She Likes Food
BBQ Chicken Sliders with Cheddar and Spinach by Kristine’s Kitchen
Baked Corn, Mushroom, and Sausage Risotto by Floating Kitchen
Crunchy Couscous Sweet Potato Salad by Sweet and Delish
Easy Skinny Lasagna by Life Made Sweeter
Honey Garlic Shrimp and Cilantro Rice Bowl by Pumpkin ‘N Spice
Italian Sausage Quesadillas by My Sequined Life
Kale Caesar Salad with Lemon Parmesan Chicken Strips by Sweet Peas & Saffron
One Pot Chicken Chow Mein by The Recipe Rebel
Pumpkin Penne with Sausage and Sage by Flying on Jess Fuel
Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Spaghetti by Savory Nothings
Spicy Garlic Chili Grilled Trout by Bake.Eat.Repeat
Stove Top Broccoli Chicken Mac ‘N Cheese by Whole and Heavenly Oven
- (1) 20 ounce package spinach ricotta tortellini (or your favorite variety)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes*
- ½ cup toasted walnut pieces*
- grated parmesan, for serving
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves*
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons toasted walnut pieces
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream (I used 2)
- Fill a large pot with water and place it over high heat with the lid on. While the water comes to a boil, prep your ingredients. Once the water boils, add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions, and drain in a colander when it's done.
- In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, to taste, and saute, stirring occasionally, until the moisture evaporates and the mushrooms have browned.
- While the pasta and mushrooms cook, prepare your pesto sauce. Place the spinach, garlic, lemon juice, walnuts, and parmesan into the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until roughly chopped. With the processor running, add the oil through the feed tube and process until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste, then and add the desired amount of salt and pepper, and process once more.
- Reduce the heat for the skillet with the mushrooms to low. Add1/2 cup of pesto sauce and 2 tablespoons of cream, and stir to combine. If you prefer your sauce creamier, add the remaining 2 tablespoons and adjust the seasoning. Add the tortellini and sundried tomatoes, and stir until the pasta is evenly coated -- add more pesto sauce if necessary. Serve warm with the parmesan and toasted walnuts, and enjoy!
*You can use pre-toasted walnuts in a pinch, or make them ahead by toasting them in 350 degree oven on a rimmed baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant.
*I used baby spinach for my pesto, but basil would work great as well!
I like my cream sauce very light, so 2 tablespoons was just perfect for me. If you prefer a richer cream sauce, add up to 1-2 tablespoons more.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.