3-Cheese Tortellini Party Wreath


Hey Everyone! I’m thrilled to be able to bring you a guest post from one of the head Chefs at my University’s Culinary School today. I told Chef Lewis that we were always on the lookout for quick and easy dishes that could impress, especially at Christmastime and he came through with one that is just beautiful. I know you’re going to love this idea! Special thanks to the culinary department of the University of North Alabama (click here to visit their Facebook page) and  to all of my wonderful teachers who put up with me back in the day :)

Gratefully, Christy

Large wreath

Hi there, I’m Chef Lewis from the University of North Alabama’s Culinary Department in Florence, Al. I was asked to do a guest post to share some of our recipes for the holidays, and I was more than happy to do so. We’re very happy to have Christy as one of our departments alumni’s, and we’re happy that we can share some of our ideas with all of you.

Today I’m going to show you how to make a quick and easy party entree that your guests are sure to love.

You’ll need:: 3 cheese tri-colored tortellini, olive oil, pesto, spaghetti sauce, salt, skewers or picks.

Note: This tortellini is found in the refrigerator section (usually near the cheese) or in the freezer section of your grocery store.

Drain the pasta

Bring the water and salt to boil in a pot.

Add the packages of tortellini to the water, and cook about 2-3 minutes.

Drain the pasta with a colander.

Coat with olive oil

Then place the pasta into a second bowl, and coat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (this will keep the pasta from sticking together).

Spread the pasta onto a single layer in a pan, and allow to cool enough that you can handle it comfortably.

You can then use either bamboo skewers or small colorful picks to skewer the pasta.

Soak skewers

For using the bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in a pan of water for about 20 minutes before you put the tortellini on them.

This makes keeps them from splintering when you put the pasta on them.


Place them on the picks in alternating colors, using 6 pieces total for the longer skewers, or 3 pieces on the shorter picks.

This is a shorter pick for a smaller platter.


This is a longer pick, where I used a bamboo skewer, for the larger platter. 

Large wreath

Arrange them on a serving dish to look like a Holiday wreath.

In the center of the wreath, place a small serving bowl filled with either marinara sauce, or pesto, whichever one you personally like better.

This photo shows long skewers arranged in a large wreath pattern with marinara sauce in the center.

Small wreath

And here are our shorter skewers arranged around some store bought pesto sauce.

Dip into sauce and enjoy this easy Holiday treat!

Merry Christmas from Southern Plate and the University of North Alabama Culinary Department!

3-Cheese Tortellini Party Wreath
  • 1-2 Packages Tri-Color Three Cheese Tortellini*
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Bamboo Skewers or picks
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Salt (I like mine salty, you can use less)
  • Store Bought Pesto Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce
  1. Place wooden skewers in pan of cool water and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Fill a large pot with water, add salt. Bring to a boil. Add tortellini and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain tortellini in a colander. Place drained tortellini in a bowl and add olive oil, stirring to coat. Spread out in a single layer on a sheet and allow to cool until able to handle.
  3. Alternate colors as you place pieces of tortellini onto skewers, using the same pattern on each skewer. Arrange in a wreath formation on a platter and place a bowl of Pesto or Spaghetti Sauce in center for serving. Enjoy!
I found this pasta at Kroger's and Sam's


No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land,

or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.

– Helen Keller

Submitted by Denise Flynn. Submit your quote by clicking here.


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  1. Lyn says

    This is gorgeous to look at, but I’m wondering how you eat it! With the long bamboo skewers, are guests supposed to dip one and then slide the next down to dip and eat? Not sure I want a party where they keep dipping a stick they are eating from repeatedly! How about just mixing the colors and have some of those plastic cocktail forks or shorter spears for “individual” dipping. Either that or a spoon in the sauce that guests could add some to their cocktail plate and dip from there.

  2. Magzie Huntley says

    Great idea! I love cold pasta and this is so pretty for the holidays or any party. thanks so much for a fun and different way to serve tortellini, much more interesting than the usual pasta salad. Can’t wait to try.

  3. Ivette says

    Hey christie I have been on your site quite a few times and although i had found a few recipes i would try, I noticed you barely have any seafood recipes, and I wanted to try to make a seafood salad any suggestion?

    • says

      Hey Ivette! I’m afraid I’m not of much help in that department as I don’t eat seafood but you’ll occasionally see a guest post with a seafood recipe on Southern Plate, the vast majority of all the recipes you’ll find here are ones I enjoy and serve to my family on a regular basis or that I grew up with. My mother doesn’t eat seafood either so heritage seafood recipes are out with me also, I’m afraid! lol

  4. Debbie says

    What a great idea, I am making food for a wedding reception this weekend and this recipe is now included. Happens we went to Sam’s the day after I got the email with this and they were sampling these, my kids loved them. The guests will just have to dip some sauce on their plate to dip the pasta in.

  5. says

    What a great idea. I just happened upon your blog and got caught up immediately in it. I’ve bookmarked it and will peruse it in depth later on. I love to share the recipes I grew up with, and let people in on the Danish way of cooking, but since I moved to the south I’ve become a real enthusiastic supporter of most southern cooking.

  6. says

    I’ve used the 3-color Tortellini for years now, as it’s tasty and looks great. For alternative sauces, consider some simple creamy salad dressings like creamy parmesan or a buffalo ranch dressing.

    At home, I saute a large Vidalia onion in a stick of butter, and when they are tender I just pour the whole thing over a serving dish of Tortellini and let the folks help themselves.

    Tortellini is a very useful pasta, either by itself with sauce, or in a soup, or even in a pasta salad. Very versatile.


  1. […] 3-Cheese Tortellini Party Wreath | Southern Plate Large wreath. Hi there, I'm Chef Lewis from the University of North Alabama's Culinary Department in Florence, Al. I was asked to do a guest post to share some of our recipes for the holidays, and I was more than happy to do . […]

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