• Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Garden Tortellini Pasta Salad

Looking for fresh new ways to use up the garden produce? Here is a delicious pasta salad that will help you do just that! Tortellini with garden tomatoes and zucchini, plus artichoke hearts, olives and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing over the top. It’s easy and makes a great family meal!

Backyard gardens are fun. I’m no green thumb, but I like to dabble in gardening. I’ve tried a number of things, some with success, some not so much. Two sure-fire successes are tomatoes and zucchini. The hardest part I find is trying to use all the produce when it’s ready—which always seems to be all at the same time.

I forgot to check my zucchini plant for a few days, and I ended up with an impressive haul. The one on the right is literally the size of a small baby. My kids actually tried carrying it around like a baby, and asked if they could dress it up!

With such an abundance of zucchini, I either have to give it all away, or I have to get creative. Zucchini gets shredded and goes into bread, taco meat, chimichangas, enchiladas, whatever else I can slip it into. Tomatoes are obviously great for salsa (which pairs well with all my zucchini-laden Mexican entrees). But there comes a point where I just need a new idea.

A fresh pasta salad is a favorite way to use up anything. So many possibilities. I threw this one together one day, and it turned out great. And the best part was I was able to reproduce it. Tortellini, fresh tomatoes, sautéed zucchini, olives, artichoke hearts, pepperoni and a little chicken. Top it with a little Balsamic Vinegar and Italian dressing.

The kids are funny still about sauces, and balsamic vinegar is a little strong for them. So I pulled out their portion before adding the dressing. But then they did pretty good eating it.

Garden Tortellini Pasta salad, paired with fresh fruit and some bread sticks or croissants, and you’ve got a great, easy summer meal!

The Meal:

  • 2 cups of pasta salad

  • 3 slices of cantaloupe

  • 1 breadstick

Recipe Used in this meal:

Garden Pasta Salad

Serving size: 2 cups

Servings per Recipe: 6

Ingredients

Salad

  • 5 cups Three Cheese Tortellini

  • 2 cups diced chicken (cooked)

  • 3 oz pepperoni (sliced)

  • 2 cups zucchini

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes

  • 1 can artichoke hearts

  • 1 cup olives

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Italian dressing

  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • ½ tsp oregano

  • ½ tsp basil

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Dice chicken breast and cut pepperoni into half circles. Add to the tortellini.

  3. Slice and chop the zucchini. Don’t peel. Saute in a large frypan with a little cooking spray. Cook until tender, then add to the tortellini.

  4. Slice and chop the tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olives into bite size pieces. Add to the tortellini.

  5. Place all dressing ingredients into a small bowl and stir until well combined. Pour over the tortellini and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Garden Tortellini:

RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon

© 2016 RD and Me Nutrition Consulting, LLC