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Broccoli tortellini salad recipe

Broccoli tortellini salad recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Vegetable salad
  • Broccoli salad

In this unique but easy to make pasta salad, crisp broccoli is tossed with cheese tortellini in a creamy dressing. This recipe is great for picnics.

652 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 550g fresh cheese-filled tortellini
  • 8 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 3 heads broccoli, cut into florets
  • 160g raisins
  • 150g sunflower seeds
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Place bacon in a deep frying pan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, dice and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook tortellini in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and rinse under cold water.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar to make the dressing.
  4. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, tortellini, bacon, raisins, sunflower seeds and red onion. Pour dressing over salad, and toss.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(687)

Reviews in English (523)


I have made this dish over 3 dozen times (for catered events, family, parties, etc.) It always gets raves--no leftovers!! As recommended by others, I blanch the broccoli florets for about 30 seconds, plunge into ice water until cooled, then drain and dry. The broccoli stays a gorgeous green and is easier to eat. I usually omit the raisins, but have them on the side for sprinkling. Also, I usually make 1 1/2 times the dressing. Typically, I mix the salad together with about 1/3 of the dressing and leave covered tightly in the fridge overnight or for several hours-the pasta soaks up the dressing. About 30-60 minutes before serving, I add the rest of the dressing. This salad is always a hit!-20 Oct 2002

by Foodie

I love this salad, but I find the the dry tortellini (found on the shelf in the pasta aisle) holds up so much better than the refrigerated (and it is a much better bang for your buck). I used Barilla cheese tortellini, and it was absolutely superb!-25 May 2005

by Mom2Be!

Delish! Make sure to do these few things, and your salad will be Fabulous. 1.) Blanch brocolli peices in almost boiling water for about 1 minute, scoop out and put in ice water to shock and produce a beautiful green 2.) toast sunflower seeds 3.) if you use frozen tortelinni, cook for only 2-3 minutes in not-quite-boiling water- they will be done enough, any longer and they will be mushy and fall apart 4.) make 4 times the dressing called for, use a combo of miricle whip and mayo and only 1/2 cup sugar. Lastly, mix pasta, broccoli, craisins and 2/3 of the dressing the day before and let it marinate! Top with the rest of the dressing, seeds and bacon (i didn't use onion) right before serving. Your family will love this!-09 May 2008

How to Make the Two Most Popular Pasta Salads on Allrecipes

These easy, crowd-pleasing pasta salads are 5-star favorites.

Summertime is salad time, and pasta salad ranks right up there as one of the season&aposs most popular types of salad. Infinitely customizable, pasta salad is a perfect make-ahead for light meals at home or as a take-along to picnics or potlucks. Nicole McLaughlin, aka NicoleMcmom, showed you how to make potato salad, and now she&aposs going to demonstrate how to make the two most popular pasta salads on Allrecipes. One has a vinegar-based dressing and the other has a mayonnaise-based dressing, and they both have hundreds of solid 5-star ratings from our community of home cooks. Watch the video up top and scroll down to get links to the recipes plus Nicole&aposs top tips.

  • 5 cups baby arugula
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, divided
  • 5 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 9- to 10-ounce packages fresh cheese tortellini, preferably whole-wheat

Put a large pot of water on to boil.

With the motor running, drop garlic through the feed tube of a food processor process until minced. Turn it off and add arugula, cheese, oil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, lemon zest and salt. Process, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture is fairly smooth leave the pesto in the food processor while you cook the tortellini.

Cook tortellini in the boiling water until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. Place broccoli in a colander and set it in the sink. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking liquid, then pour the tortellini and the rest of the cooking liquid over the broccoli in the colander. (Pouring the hot pasta and cooking liquid over the broccoli "flash-cooks" it, leaving it bright green and tender-crisp.)

Add the reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid to the pesto in the food processor pulse to combine. Transfer the tortellini and broccoli to a large bowl. Toss with the pesto. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts.

Is This Tortellini Salad Recipe Healthy?

Yes, this tortellini salad recipe is healthy. Here’s why:

Like many of our other recipes, this salad also adheres to our healthy eating guidelines. We assured the amounts of sugar, saturated fat, sodium, and calories are all within healthy limits.

For instance, this recipe contains only 165 calories and 2g of saturated fat per serving.

We also want to ensure this salad is well-seasoned without exceeding the sodium limits. That is why we used a minimal amount of salt and Parmesan cheese.

Here’s some of the tools we used to make this broccoli tortellini salad. If you purchase anything from Amazon through these links, we get a small commission without it costing you anything extra. Thanks for supporting our family business!

If you haven’t tried broccoli tortellini salad before, you’ve been missing out! It’s takes the traditional creamy broccoli salad recipe up a notch, by adding in doughy cheese filled tortellini pasta.

It’s kind of a combination of pasta salad and broccoli salad. Only it’s filling enough to be eaten as a complete meal. Or bring it to a potluck for the perfect salad. Trust me, I am a life long, card carrying, church lady potluck member.

One of the best things about this broccoli tortellini salad, is that you can put it together in just 10 minutes or so.

You can definitely save money by doing more prep work, such as chopping your own broccoli and onion, using dried tortellini, and cooking the bacon yourself.

But if you’re tight on time (who isn’t these days?), you can spend a little more to get this salad put together as quickly as possible.

To save time make sure to get good, fresh tortellini (we love Buitoni) from the refrigerator section of your grocery store. These usually only take 5 minutes or so to cook in boiling water. If I’m really short on time, I boil water in our electric kettle while prepping other ingredients, then dump it into a pot. It’s a lot faster than waiting for water to boil on our stove.

You can get bags of broccoli florets already cut up, and pre-cooked bacon. Plus most grocery stores will have little containers of pre-chopped red onion in their grocery store.

Whether you choose to save time, or money, you are sure to love this broccoli tortellini salad as much as we do. Just make sure you keep this link handy to give to all the church potluck ladies begging for the recipe!

Helpful Tips to make Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad:

  • Use tortellini instead of dried elbow shaped pasta. The tortellini adds a beautiful savory contrast to the sweet dressing, as well as added protein.
  • Use whichever colorful vegetables you prefer. For the red I use red bell pepper, orange is shredded carrots, yellow is yellow bell pepper, green is celery, and purple is red onion.
  • Tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, chopped broccoli florets, etc could be substituted for the coordinating color.
  • The trick to getting the dressing consistency just right is to toss the hot, drained pasta with apple cider vinegar and let it cool for 10-20 minutes. This allows the finished dish to have a beautiful tang, with no risk of curdling the dressing with the vinegar.
  • As you’re mixing the pasta with the dressing, it may seem like there’s way too much dressing… but as it chills in the refrigerator, it will thicken up beautifully.
  • Speaking of chilling, it’s essential here. All the flavors will really marry together and the dressing thickens!
  • For little pops of extra color, reserve a teaspoon or two of all the vegetables and sprinkle them over the top of the salad before serving.

Can I make this recipe a day before? How long can this pasta dish last in the fridge?

This salad can be made and kept refrigerated up to one week in advance, so it is a fabulous make-ahead dish.

You can also prep all the components the day before an event. Refrigerate them, then combine and mix right before serving.

What can I add to this recipe?

Looking to pack more veggies into the recipe? You could add some asparagus, shaved carrot, cucumbers, or kalamata olives. You can even try using cauliflower instead of broccoli if you prefer.

If I can’t find fresh basil, can I use dried basil?

It’s best not to use dried basil in this recipe. However, most grocery stores now offer basil paste in the produce department that would make a good substitute.

What should I do if I don’t own a blender?

If you do not own a blender or food processor, you can finely mince the garlic and basil. Then whisk the basil vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.

How to Make Tortellini Salad

This salad recipe is quick and simple. The most time-consuming thing is cooking up the tortellini (which you can choose your favorite but we like the classic cheese tortellini from Buitoni), but once that’s done, you only have minutes of prepping.

Pour lettuce into the bottom of a 9吉 pan. Layer cooked tortellini on top of the lettuce along with the cut grape tomatoes.

Additions : This salad is simple, delicious and so easy to customize to your liking. Add more, or less of our suggested ingredients. You can also include other ingredients such as red onions, diced avocado, or spinach leaves. Be creative and, most of all, enjoy every bite!

Bacon bits : You can easily use bacon bits from the grocery store, and I have in a pinch. However, fresh cooked bacon tastes the best. I suggest using this easy Bacon in the Oven recipe.

Tortellini Salad

I love tortellini salad. It is a nice change from a traditional macaroni salad.

Easy pasta salad recipes are perfect for a summer barbecue, picnic or an any time of the year salad recipe. They work perfectly on a buffet table too.

This is a great recipe to learn how to make pasta salad delicious every time.

The dressing is a vinaigrette with healthy olive oil, red wine vinegar and a bit of Dijon mustard. The mustard helps the vinaigrette to emulsify and hold together, as well as providing another element of great taste.

If you are not familiar with tortellini, they are little pockets of pasta stuffed with either cheese or meat. This recipe calls for the cheese version but you can certainly opt for the meat if you prefer.

I like the cheese tortellini in this pasta salad because it is nice and light.

It is a perfect accompaniment to a vegetarian main course, or pair it with your favorite meat recipes.

Tortellini salad is a version of pasta salad, but it is just a bit different and a refreshing change from regular pasta salad or traditional macaroni salad.

Tortellini Salad

This chilled Tortellini Salad Recipe features broccoli and red bell pepper with cheese tortellini in a light vinaigrette. Make for a great light lunch or a side salad for cookouts and picnics.


5 cups tiny broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 lb frozen cheese tortellini
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lg. garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil


Boil broccoli for 3 minutes over high heat until it is tender, but still crisp.

Add red peppers and boil for about 15 seconds.

Remove from heat and place vegetables in a bowl of cold water.

Check the water often: when it becomes room temperature, drain and replace with cold water.

After the second bowl of cold water becomes room temperature, drain and pat vegetables dry. Set aside.

Cook tortellini as directed on package.

Drain and place in a large bowl.

Toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir often to keep from burning.

Add toasted pine nuts to cooked tortellini.

Stir in broccoli and peppers.

Combine red wine vinegar, minced garlic, salt and olive oil in a shaker container.

Broccoli Tomato Tortellini Salad

If you’re looking for a cool dinner idea, this is your recipe.

I wish I could say that I had garden fresh tomatoes for this dish, but my plants have yet to decide to really produce tomatoes. All I have are a few small green maters that taunt and torment me because they haven’t changed in size or color for weeks.

I’m a gardening failure. But that’s a whole ‘nuther post. For this dish I used a couple of store bought tomatoes and grape tomatoes (tragic because this is August) and 3 delicious cherry tomatoes from my garden.

Here’s what you’ll need for the salad:

  • 2 bags frozen cheese tortellini
  • large bunch fresh broccoli, cut into florets
  • about 3 medium tomatoes or the equivalent in cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped

Boil a big pan of water. Add the broccoli to the pot of boiling water. A minute or two later add the tortellini. The pasta only takes a couple of minutes to cook, so you can do the broccoli at the same time. Once the tortellini is done, drain the water and rinse the pasta and broccoli in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and place into a large bowl, along with the tomatoes.

To make the dressing, combine the rest of the ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid. Shake it all up till it’s well combined. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.

You can serve this right away or refrigerate it for several hours or even the next day. I served this with grilled chicken, because my oldest son revolted at the idea of “no meat!”. In quotes because those were his exact words and expression. I don’t see him ever becoming a vegetarian.

What’s your favorite meal when it’s super hot outside?