Garden Fresh Tortellini Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is the perfect way to take advantage of garden-fresh ingredients.
There’s nothing like summer tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and fresh basil. Take advantage of it while you still can.
It’s easy, ready in 15 minutes, there’s loads of flavor, and plenty of texture contrasts. The flavors and ingredients are similar to my recent Italian Chicken Pasta Salad.
Al dente cheese tortellini, juicy tomatoes and corn, crunchy cucumbers, creamy avocado, fragrant basil, and salty parmesan cheese. You could use another favorite crumbled of shredded cheese like feta, blue cheese, or cheddar.
Everything is tossed with any easy, whisk-together dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and Italian seasoning. It’s light enough to let the flavor of the fresh ingredients shine through.
It’s healthy, vegetarian, perfect for hectic nights, potlucks, picnics, or parties. It makes a large enough batch that you can have some planned leftovers for work or school lunches.
Garden Fresh Tortellini Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is the perfect way to take advantage of garden-fresh ingredients. It’s easy, ready in 15 minutes, there’s loads of flavor, and plenty of texture contrasts. Al dente cheese tortellini, juicy tomatoes and corn, crunchy cucumbers, creamy avocado, fragrant basil, and salty parmesan cheese. Everything is tossed with any easy, whisk-together dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and Italian seasoning. It’s light enough to let the flavor of the fresh ingredients shine. It’s healthy, vegetarian, perfect for hectic nights, potlucks, picnics, or parties. It makes a large enough batch that you can have some planned leftovers for work or school lunches.
- one 10-ounce package cheese tortellini, cooked according to package directions
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup corn (fresh, or frozen that’s been thawed may be used)
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced (cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half, may be substituted)
- 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, laid loosely in measuring cup and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, or more if desired (feta, blue cheese, or your favorite shredded or crumbled cheese may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup olive oil for sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- Cook tortellini according to package directions, drain, and set aside. While tortellini cooks, prep and chop the remaining ingredients.
- To a large bowl, add the avocado, corn, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, parmesan cheese; set aside.
- To a large measuring cup or small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice (zest the lemon before juicing it), honey, Italian seasoning, lemon lest, salt, pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over vegetables.
- Add the tortellini and toss gently to combine. Taste and check for seasoning balance, making any necessary adjustments (more Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, pinch of cayenne, splash of lemon juice, etc.) before serving. Will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days, noting that the avocado will oxidize as time passes. Serve leftovers chilled or at room temp.
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