Monday, July 29


This is one of my most requested Summer recipes. It is easy, simple, fresh and delicious. And, all you need is an armful of vegetables and a package of tortellini from the refrigerator section of your grocery store. This hearty, yet light, Summer salad serves well as an entrée for dinner, but it can easily be toted off to a picnic or potluck. Add what you like and leave out what you don't, it's a one bowl meal that is extremely forgiving. Start with my recipe and build on it to suit your needs. I think you'll agree that it is one of the best salads for Summertime happiness!

This pasta salad comes together so quickly and it is delicious. 
It will definitely add zip and zing to your Summer!
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  • 1 - 7oz package refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked anyway and chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small bites
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 - 6 oz jar marinated artichokes, slightly drained
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 green onions, chopped - make sure to use the green tops
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing, I use Olive Garden Italian dressing
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, chiffonade*
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain thoroughly and place in large bowl. 
  • Add chicken, broccoli, parsley, artichokes, olives and green onions in a large bowl.
  • Toss lightly to mix.
  • Pour salad dressing over tortellini mixture.
  • Sprinkle with basil and toss gently.
  • Cover and chill at least thirty minutes or until ready to serve. Toss occasionally, ensuring everything is coated well with the Italian dressing.
  • Just before serving, add tomatoes and toss well.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan.
*In case you were wondering, this is how to 'chiffonade' herbs and leafy green vegetables.

Start with your basil leaves stacked. You want the leaves to all go in the same direction, all neat like.

Roll up your leaves. It is easiest to roll basil lengthwise, so that the stems are parallel to the roll. 

With a sharp knife, begin slicing the roll crisscross, creating fine, thin strips. The tighter the roll, the easier it is to make your slices thin. 

The finished chiffonade. You can get really crazy and make the most impossibly thin strips of basil if you prefer.

Take advantage of this Summer's freshest veggies and 
herbs to eat lighter, healthier AND COOLER! 

zesty, Italian, cheese tortellini, tomato, broccoli, black olives, basil parsley, summer, salad, cool

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