Caprese Tortellini Pasta Skillet

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This Caprese Tortellini Pasta Skillet is similar to a Caprese Pasta Salad but is served warm as an easy skillet dinner. It has beautiful, fresh flavors! From the warm tomatoes that burst in your mouth to the fresh basil, and a sweet balsamic reduction, this is a winner, winner pasta dinner!

Today’s Focus: Sad Tomatoes

You know that container of tomatoes in the back of your fridge that’s not as plump as they once were? They seem to be looking for any excuse to mold… the best thing we can do to overcome the texture of soggy tomatoes is to lean into it. Add cherry tomatoes to a hot skillet and cook until they burst! This will highlight their sweetness and freshness, and blend in texturally with your dish – especially if it’s pasta!

Short on time? Bring on the pasta!

This is a bright and flavorful skillet meal that can be served as dinner or as a side dish at your summer BBQ. It can be a warm hearty meal in the cool spring evenings or served cold as a side pasta salad. Check out the recipe card for tips on serving cold!

This dish is incredibly simple and quick to make. Boiling the water for the pasta takes the longest! The tortellini itself takes only 8 minutes per the package instructions, but I cooked mine for just 4 minutes. This gave it a chance to blend with the other flavors in the neighboring skillet and finish cooking.

Once you have the pasta water set over heat to come to a boil, you can start mincing the shallots and garlic. It’s that quick and easy to get this dish cooking!

Ingredients Needed

Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.

  • Tortellini Pasta: While any pasta would work, tortellini cooks exceptionally quick and the additional cheese is delicious! Cook whatever pasta you use to al dente or just before so it can finish cooking in the skillet with the tomatoes. The starch will help to thicken the sauce.
  • Mozzarella Balls: Shredded mozzarella would work as well but try to use the same size pieces, as well as fresh mozzarella. It just tastes better!
  • Vegetables: Garlic, shallots, tomatoes, and basil for an Italian taste.
  • Other: Olive oil for sautéing, salt and Italian Herb seasoning, and a balsamic reduction or glaze round out this dish with the sweet traditional caprese flavors.

Variations to Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad

  • Make it a salad: This can easily be served cold and uncooked as a beautiful side dish for your upcoming pot luck. When served cold you can add to chopped romaine and extras listed below to extend every bite.
  • Add Extras: Extras like avocado or sliced almonds would take this dish to another level. Make your own lemon poppyseed dressing instead of balsamic for a completely different dish!
Caprese Tortellini Pasta Skillet is perfect when you need a family-friendly dinner fast! Everything you love about a caprese salad turned into a main dish meal!

Add Mushrooms or Meat

Want to make this a heartier dish? If you have some leftover shredded chicken or mushrooms that aren’t as fresh as they once were, add them to the skillet for a heartier dish.


This is an overview of the instructions. For complete directions, scroll down to the bottom.

  1. Start by sauting the shallots in oil with seasoning.
  2. Add the tomatoes and garlic, heating through until tomatoes begin to burst. Add reserved pasta water to prevent the skillet from burning.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and warm through. Top with fresh basil and balsamic reduction.

Toss the Pasta!

Before serving, give the dish a quick toss to ensure all is coated in the juices and balsamic glaze. A good quality olive oil drizzled at the end will help to keep everything moist while waiting to be served.

How to store and love your leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, this recipe can last 3-4 days. Do not keep out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

Grab this printable to help meal plan around leftovers!

Want to save money in a truly effortless meal planning method?

Grab the Rescue Meal Planner!

Caprese Tortellini Pasta skillet is cheese-filled tortellini mixed with classic caprese ingredients such as tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, topped with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Other Pasta Skillets to Try

  • Homemade Hamburger Helper
  • Skillet Lasagna
  • Five Cheese Ziti

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Caprese Tortellini Pasta Skillet

Caprese Tortellini Pasta Skillet combines cheese-filled tortellini mixed with classic caprese ingredients such as tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, topped with balsamic reduction.
Katie Chase
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Recipe Servings 6 people


  • 12 inch skillet
  • pasta pot
  • strainer
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • wooden spoon


  • 15 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 1.5 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Herb seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic reduction


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente. The pasta will continue to cook when added to the skillet.
  • In a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat add half of the olive oil and finely chopped shallot. Stir for just a minute as the shallots begin to get tender.
  • Add the salt, herb seasoning, minced garlic, remaining oil, pasta water, and tomatoes. Continue to stir periodically for 5 minutes until some of the tomatoes begin to pop.
  • Add the pasta and mozzarella balls to the skillet and stir to combine.*
  • Top with freshly chopped basil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.


To serve as a cold pasta salad, skip blistering the tomatoes. Halve them instead and add the tomatoes and mozzarella to the other ingredients after they have all fully cooled in the refrigerator for at least an hour. 
Disclaimer: Please note all serving sizes, pricing, and nutrition is an estimate based on 2023-2024 pricing and nutrition guides. For accuracy please do your own calculations.

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