Italian Tortellini Skewers with Pesto Drizzle

One of my favorite summer meals is a charcuterie board/snack tray/appetizer platter/whatever you want to call it. We have a post about how to create amazing, epic boards, but most of the time, I’m not going to be creating huge, multi-board spreads. I also am not crazy about a lot of the meats that are traditionally used on charcuterie boards, but I need things to be a little more rounded out than brie and bread. I mean, I’m never, ever going to say no to brie and bread, and I won’t judge anyone who only eats brie and bread. But I also know that if I don’t round things out a little, I’ll kind of question my life choices an hour after I eat.

These Italian Tortellini Skewers with Pesto Drizzle are fantastic as the centerpiece of a finger food dinner or a summer appetizer platter. Even my olive-hating kids loved them combined with tortellini, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, tomatoes, and drizzled with a combination of pesto and Italian dressing. Once they got over the fact that we were not eating pizza (even though they watched me set out and photograph the ingredients and there was no pizza anywhere to be seen), they couldn’t stop talking about how much they loved these!

how to make it

You’ll need a 9-ounce package of cheese tortellini, fresh mozzarella balls or pearls, bite-sized tomatoes (like grape or cherub), pepperoni, black olives.

We’re also using a high-quality Italian dressing (or make your own), and high-quality refrigerated pesto (or make your own).

Cook the tortellini according to package directions, being careful not to overcook (it will fall apart when you try to skewer it; you may need to very slightly undercook it.) Drain and run cold water over the tortellini to stop the cooking and to chill the pasta.

Thread 1 piece of tortellini followed by a tomato, cheese ball, pepperoni slice, and an olive, and repeat (for small appetizers, use 6″ sticks and only do the pattern once). Place the skewers on a serving platter or tray. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Whisk together the pesto and Italian dressing.

Immediately before serving, drizzle the skewers with the pesto/Italian dressing mixture.

If you have leftover bits and pieces that didn’t make it onto the skewer (or you got tired of skewering), toss them together in a bowl, drizzle with the dressing mixture, and serve like a salad.

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Italian Tortellini Skewers with Pesto Drizzle

  • Author: kate jones

Description

These fun and elegant skewers are the perfect appetizer, addition to a charcuterie board, or serve them as a light, summer dinner.


Scale

Ingredients

1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini
1 8-ounce package fresh mozzarella balls or pearls
1 10-ounce package bite-size tomatoes
1 3-ounce package pepperoni (you can add or substitute grilled chicken breast cut into very small pieces for a healthier, heartier option)
1 15-ounce can large black olives, drained
1/4 cup high-quality Italian dressing (I used Newman’s Own here, but this recipe would be fantastic)
1/4 cup pesto (I use the Rana brand found in the refrigerated deli area of the grocery store; make sure whatever you buy is not jarred and shelf-stable. If you’d like to make your own, this recipe is amazing!)


Instructions

Cook the tortellini according to package directions, being careful not to overcook (it will fall apart when you try to skewer it; you may need to very slightly undercook it.) Drain and run cold water over the tortellini to stop the cooking and to chill the pasta.

Thread 1 piece of tortellini followed by a tomato, cheese ball, pepperoni slice, and an olive, and repeat (for small appetizers, use 6″ sticks and only do the pattern once). Place the skewers on a serving platter or tray. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Whisk together the pesto and Italian dressing. Immediately before serving, drizzle the skewers with the pesto/Italian dressing mixture.

If you have leftover bits and pieces that didn’t make it onto the skewer (or you got tired of skewering), toss them together in a bowl, drizzle with the dressing mixture, and serve like a salad.


6 comments

    1. Mostly because it’s pretty gross, even the expensive brands. ? Basil is a very heat-sensitive herb, which is why if you order a pizza with basil on it, they’ll always put it on after it bakes and even then, it can have some discoloration, color, and flavor issues. They have to use a lot of heat and pressure to make shelf-stable pesto shelf-stable, which is why it’s not as vibrant green and why it kind of tastes like baby food, haha.

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