This Greek Tortellini Salad is the perfect, easy salad to make and serve at a party or barbecue.
Greek Tortellini Salad starts with tortellini that has been tossed with a simple, homemade lemony dressing. Green bell pepper, red bell pepper and red onion are mixed in. Black olives and crumbled feta cheese are added in too. And it’s finished off with some cooked chicken breast, which makes this salad more of a substantial, main-dish style salad with a pack of protein.
What kind of tortellini should be used for this Greek Tortellini Salad?
I’m not a big fan of frozen tortellini, so I’d skip that. Go for a package of fresh cheese tortellini. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy- just the regular, packaged cheese tortellini that you find near the other fresh pasta in your grocery store. They usually come in 8-ounce packages, so you’ll need two packages for this recipe.
Plan to cook the tortellini ahead of time. After cooking, you’ll want to refrigerate it until well-chilled before you begin to assemble the salad.
Let’s talk about the dressing! Don’t be afraid of making your own dressing. It’s easy! It starts with olive oil. Then you’ll zest a couple of lemons and use that zest in the dressing too. Next, the lemons are squeezed for their juice. The dressing is quite lemony, so you’ll be using 2 full tablespoons of lemon zest and a whole 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice in this recipe.
Next you’ll be finely chopping some walnuts. If you’re allergic to nuts, or if you wish to leave them out because others might have allergies, it’s perfectly okay to do so. Lastly, a little bit of honey drizzled in will cut the sour flavor of lemon and give the dressing some sweetness.
The best way to cook a chicken breast:
If you don’t buy chicken that is already cooked, you can easily cook it at home. Rub the chicken with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, place the chicken breast in the skillet and cook until the edges are opaque, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into strips for the salad.
How far ahead can I prepare this Greek Tortellini Salad?
Pasta salads generally taste better when given time to soak up some of the dressing. This pasta salad is best when given three to four hours of chilling in the refrigerator before serving. Prepare the salad, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill. If you make it the night before, it might be fine… you just don’t want to let it soak up the dressing for too long or it may suck it up so much that it will feel like it needs more dressing.
Here are a few more Greek-style recipes you might enjoy:
- Greek Bulgur Salad with Chicken
- Tzatziki Sauce
- Greek Spinach Pie
- Roasted Greek Vegetables
- Greek Panzanella Salad
- Greek Chicken Kebabs
- Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Greek Turkey Burgers
Greek Tortellini Salad
- 16 ounces fresh cheese tortellini
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, julienned
- ½ cup sliced black olives
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 large cooked boneless chicken breast half, cut into strips
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and cool under cool water. Refrigerate until chilled.
- Prepare the dressing in a small bowl by whisking together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, walnuts and honey. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Toss the chilled pasta in large salad bowl with the chilled dressing. Add the vegetables, cheese and chicken and toss together well.