When I was in my early 20’s I didn’t know how to cook many things. Sure I could boil water and throw some jarred sauce on it. And I could heat-up chicken tenders and french fries. We ate a lot of frozen taquitos in those days. When I felt like cooking I made crock pot chicken pot pie to rave reviews.
Then I went to a barbecue at a friend’s apartment and she made tortellini salad. I spent the weekend at her house and ate it for days. I remember being in awe that she had made such a delicious salad. I think she probably rolled her eyes at how much I liked the salad.
So the next time I had a barbecue I decided to make the salad, and I put my own spin on it omitting a few ingredients and it was a hit. Actually it was a bigger hit than I anticipated, and at every party that I hosted that summer at my house I made the tortellini salad. I had a friend request it for his birthday party in October and another friend who always asked me to make it.
The tortellini salad sort of had a reputation of its own. So last weekend when a friend asked what I was making for the neighborhood block party, I responded, “the tortellini salad that I always make that used to be your recipe”.
Easy Crowd Pleasing Tortellini Salad: A Summer Side Dish
2 packages spinach cheese tortellini
2 bottles of Roasted Red Pepper Italian dressing
12 oz Colby jack cheese
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
Directions: Cook tortellini according to package. While tortellini cooks, cut cheese into cubes, about 1/2 inch. Slice pepperoni into quarters. Once tortellini is cooked, place in a dish and top with 1 bottle of roasted red pepper dressing, stir to coat. Let tortellini cool. Once cooled mix in cheese and pepperoni. Top with additional salad dressing. Serve.
This recipe is always my go-to when I’m asked to bring something to a summer barbecue. My husband loves it and it never lasts long in our house or at a party. It only takes minutes to make, leaving you time to focus on more important things like cocktails.