Are you tired of the same old boring salads? Are you looking for a recipe that will blow your taste buds away? Look no further, because I have the perfect recipe for you. This Tortellini Salad Recipe is a game-changer. It’s jam-packed with fresh and healthy ingredients that will satisfy your cravings and make your taste buds tingle.
With a perfect balance of savory and sweet, this salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any event, whether it be a family gathering or a backyard barbecue. Not to mention, it can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, making it the perfect dish for those busy weeknights when time is of the essence.
Don’t underestimate the power of this simple yet scrumptious pasta salad. It’s not just any ordinary salad, but rather a masterpiece crafted with spinach, garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, carrot, asparagus, zucchini, squash, cucumber, black olives, green olives, cherry tomatoes, provolone cheese, parmesan cheese and more savory ingredients that are bound to tantalize your senses.
Whether you’re looking for something refreshing on a hot summer day or a warm comfort meal on a chilly winter evening, this Tortellini Salad Recipe will not disappoint. So put on your apron and let’s get cooking!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Let me tell you why you’ll absolutely fall in love with this Tortellini Salad recipe. Not only is it the perfect summer pasta salad, it’s also incredibly versatile and easy to customize with your favorite ingredients.
First of all, let’s talk about the star of the show – the cheese tortellini. This soft and pillowy pasta is paired with a medley of fresh vegetables like spinach, asparagus, zucchini, and cucumbers that add a delightful crunch to each bite. The addition of wholesome beans like garbanzo and cannellini lend some depth to the dish while black olives and chopped tomatoes give it a tangy burst of flavor.
But wait, there’s more! The salad also comes packed with some nutty provolone cheese that adds an irresistible layer of creaminess. And with the combination of dried oregano, fresh parsley, garlic powder, kosher salt and red pepper flakes in the mix, every forkful of this salad will leave you wanting more.
This delicious pasta salad recipe can serve as a healthy alternative for those that prefer something lighter in hot weather. By including this tasty variety in your menu item list this will surely become a hot selling item!
So gather up these simple ingredients and turn around a basic recipe into hours of delish eating experience. The best part? It takes just 30 minutes to whip up this mouth-watering salad guaranteed to impress your dinner guests!
Here are all the ingredients you will need to make this delicious tortellini salad recipe:
For the Salad:
- 18 ounces cheese tortellini pasta (three 6-ounce packages refrigerated cheese tortellini)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped black olives
- 1/4 cup chopped green olives
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
For the Dressing:
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Note: You can use any brand of refrigerated cheese tortellini for this recipe. Additionally, you can use thawed frozen cheese tortellini or even homemade store-bought pasta to create this summer tortellini salad.
The Recipe How-To
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding 1 tablespoon of kosher salt for every 4-6 quarts of water used.
- Add 2 packages of refrigerated cheese tortellini to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions.
- Reserve some pasta cooking water if needed, then drain the cooked tortellini and rinse it under cold running water for a few seconds.
Preparing the Dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano or Italian seasoning, and ½ teaspoon each of kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
- Slowly drizzle in ¼ cup each of extra-virgin and virgin olive oil, whisking constantly until emulsified.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley or basil.
Assembling the Salad
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled tortellini pasta with 1 pint halved cherry or grape tomatoes, 1 sliced carrot, 1 sliced zucchini or yellow squash (or both), 1 cup each of canned rinsed garbanzo beans and cannellini beans (drained), 1 cup chopped blanched asparagus (optional), and ½ cup each of chopped black and green olives.
- Add some thinly sliced red onion to taste and toss all the ingredients together.
Adding the Final Touches
- Pour the prepared dressing over the salad ingredients and gently toss everything together until coated evenly with dressing.
- Sprinkle grated or shredded Parmesan or provolone cheese on top of the salad if desired.
Note: You could also add extra veggies such as broccoli, artichoke hearts, baby spinach or cucumbers if you prefer.
Serve immediately or cover and chill for 30 minutes for the flavors to meld together better. Enjoy!
Here’s how you can make a fantastic Cheese Tortellini Salad in under an hour that fits both busy weekdays and casual gatherings!
Substitutions and Variations
If you’re looking to switch things up with this tortellini salad recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try.
Firstly, the vegetables can be interchanged depending on what you have on hand or what’s in season. You could swap out the asparagus for broccoli or even squash, or add some thinly sliced red onion for extra crunch. You can also experiment with different types of olives or substitute the garbanzo beans with cannellini beans.
For a protein boost, try adding cooked shrimp, chicken, or even tofu. To make this salad gluten-free, use gluten-free tortellini pasta or swap it out entirely for a gluten-free pasta option.
If you want to make this recipe even healthier, use whole wheat tortellini and increase the amount of spinach in the salad. You could even add some kale or arugula for extra greens. For a lower fat option, consider using less cheese or opting for a vegan cheese alternative.
Lastly, to switch up the flavor profile, try adding different herbs and spices such as basil or thyme instead of oregano. You could also swap out the Italian dressing for a lemon vinaigrette or sun-dried tomato dressing.
All in all, this recipe is versatile and can be customized to fit your taste preferences and dietary needs. So feel free to get creative and make it your own!
Serving and Pairing
Now that you’ve made this delicious tortellini salad, it’s time to serve and enjoy it! This pasta salad is perfect for any summer party or a refreshing lunch. The colors and flavors in this dish make it visually appealing as well as tasty.
To serve this dish, I recommend tossing the salad right before serving to ensure that the fresh ingredients are mixed well with the dressing. It’s also great to garnish with some fresh herbs, like parsley or basil, as well as some extra grated parmesan cheese.
As for pairing recommendations, this salad goes great with a cold glass of white wine or iced tea. It also pairs nicely with grilled chicken or shrimp, making it a versatile side dish in any barbecue or picnic spread. For variation, you could even toss in some steamed broccoli or roasted red peppers to add some more texture and flavor.
This easy-to-make tortellini salad recipe is sure to become a crowd-pleaser at your next gathering. Enjoy the fresh taste of tuscan antipasto in every bite and impress your guests with your culinary skills!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Now, when you’re getting ready for a summer potluck or party, you may want to know that this tortellini salad can be made ahead of time. It makes it an excellent pick for those who have to plan everything in advance.
To make it ahead of the event, cook the tortellini pasta until al dente and toss with some extra virgin olive oil to avoid it from sticking together. Add all ingredients but leave out the dressing and cheese, which should be added just before serving the pasta salad.
You can store the salad in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 24 hours before your event. You can toss the salad first thing in the morning and refrigerate it until the party starts.
As for leftovers, keep them refrigerated and consume within 2-3 days. While reheating may make the cheese clump together or melt down, you can always add some extra dressing to freshen up your salad. Try not to overheat it as well. To get just the right temperature without making the whole bowl soggy, put individual servings on a microwave-safe plate and heat on medium power for about one minute.
Prepare this Tuscan tortellini salad recipe beforehand and keep yourself stress-free while enjoying your summertime gathering!
Tips for Perfect Results
Preparing a delicious meal always seems like an easy task but making it impeccable is another thing. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best out of your Tortellini Salad recipe:
1. Don’t overcook the Tortellini pasta: Tortellini pasta has a tender texture that requires about 10-12 minutes of boiling in salted water. Overcooking will make the pasta soft and mushy, taking away from the texture of the dish.
2. Cool off with ice water: After boiling the tortellini pasta, it is imperative to cool it down with ice water before adding it to the salad. This helps to stop the cooking process, and prevent mushy pasta.
3. Use quality ingredients: When it comes to salads, the quality of your ingredients can make or break your dish. Ensure you choose fresh vegetables like spinach, asparagus, zucchini, squash, and cucumber.
4. Mix up your textures: A good salad is all about achieving a balance in textures – soft cheese, crunchy vegetables, and tender pasta. Add garbanzo beans, cannellini beans or diced carrots for an extra crunch factor.
5. Don’t over-dress: Dressings should be used sensibly; too much dressing can dampen the flavors of your dish. Opt for light dressings like Italian and add slowly as you toss your salad until you find your perfect amount.
6. Let it chill: Chill your cooked tortellini salad in the refrigerator before serving to allow all its flavors to meld together perfectly.
By following these simple tips and tricks, you’re sure to make an outstanding Tortellini Salad that’ll be a hit at any gathering!
In conclusion, this delicious Tortellini Salad Recipe is the perfect addition to any summer gathering or even an easy weeknight meal. Its simple ingredients, quick prep time, and versatility make it a crowd-pleaser that everyone will love. Whether you’re looking for a healthy lunch option, antipasto to bring to a picnic or side dish for your BBQ party, or maybe even a light dinner option, this recipe has got you covered.
Its creamy pasta with fresh veggies, beans and olives are packed with flavors that make it stand out! And don’t forget the homemade Italian dressing which elevates the taste and brings everything together.
So go ahead and add this Tuscan delight to your recipe collection today! You’ll be happy you did as it’s filled with flavor and nutrients that both your taste buds and your body will appreciate. Plus, feel free to experiment with different substitutions so that your Tortellini Salad Recipe is unique every time.
Tortellini Salad Recipe
- 2 (12 ounce) packages cheese tri-colored fresh tortellini
- 1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian dressing
- cracked black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- kosher salt
- fresh garlic or garlic powder
- parmesan cheese
- 1/2 lb cubed hard salami
- 1/2 lb cubed provolone cheese
- 1/2 lb cubed pepperoni
- chopped tomato
- black olives or green olives
- zucchini or squash
- shredded carrot
- cannellini beans
- garbanzo beans
- chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
- Cook tortellini in boiling water with a bit of salt.
- Drain and cool, do not rinse.
- Whisk together herbs and dressing.
- Chop all your vegetables.
- Combine all in a large bowl.
- Can be served room temp or chilled.
- If chilling, you may have to add more dressing before serving as the tortellini will soak the dressing up.
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!