Tortellini with Avocado-Pea Pesto

Recipe courtesy of the Learning Kitchen at UW Health at The American Center.

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  • 9 oz. pkg. whole wheat cheese tortellini 
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and pitted 
  • 1 cup spring peas 
  • ¼ cup fresh basil 
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley 
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled 
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pine nuts) 
  • Zest and juice of ½ medium lemon 
  • ¼ tsp. coarse salt + more to taste 
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper 
  • ¼ - ½ cup + 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese 



  1. Prepare tortellini according to package directions. Drain and place in a bowl. 
  2. Combine avocado, peas, basil, parsley, garlic, nuts, lemon zest and juice, ¼ tsp. Salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. While pulsing, drizzle up to ½ cup olive oil into the mixture, scraping sides regularly with a spatula, until pesto reaches desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Place in the refrigerator. 
  3. Heat a cast iron grill pan to medium-high. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and season with a dash of salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in the hot pan and cook 1-3 minutes, until tomatoes are blistered. 
  4. Mix the pesto with the tortellini. Serve hot or cold with blistered tomatoes and garnish with Parmesan cheese. 


Serves 6


Nutrition Facts