Years ago, I had something similar to this Tortellini Salad at a wedding reception and I just had to ask the caterer what was in it! It was delicious! Since then, I have made my own version of it and taken it to many pot-lucks and summer barbecues. I know it’s a favorite when I go to retrieve my bowl and it’s always empty! (I like to have a serving or two leftover for the next day, so I have learned to put some aside in my fridge before I put it into the serving bowl!)
This salad can be made using your favorite ready made Italian dressing or Caesar dressing, but did you know you can buy bottles of Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing? In fact, this is what the caterer at the wedding reception used to make the Tortellini Salad. When I don’t have any on hand, I just make my own Tarragon Wine Vinegar dressing. The easiest way I have found to make it is to use my Cuisinart Stick Blender with Chopper Attachment. I love this thing! It’s like a little mini-food processor, and it’s just the right size for making a little recipe of dressing. Click here for the dressing recipe.
1 – 19 oz. bag frozen cheese Tortellini pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 c. (give or take) of your favorite Italian or Caesar dressing
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
1 c. broccoli florets*
the following are optional (you can add anything you want according to your taste.)
sliced red onion
diced, grilled chicken
feta cheese crumbles
Cook and drain the pasta. I usually throw the broccoli florets* into the boiling pasta for the last minute of cooking time ~ this blanches the broccoli and keeps it a pretty, bright green color. Rinse with cool water. Add the dressing and vegetables (and anything else you choose), until it’s well coated in the dressing. Keep refrigerated until serving time. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese. When made with diced grilled chicken, this can be an entire summer meal!