Tortellini Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

My freshman year in college I went to a tiny liberal arts school in the Midwest. Chances are real good you’ve never heard of it. Every day I would walk into the cafeteria, visit with Pam for a minute (the bubbly middle-aged mom who checked our IDs), and would eat whatever was featured in the salad bar. Sometimes there were chickpeas, or real fruit- those were good days- but usually the salad bar consisted of some bagged lettuce, a few dressings, and sparse toppings.

I ate that same salad everyday for a year and half- frequently for 2 meals a day.  I got into this routine due to limited vegetarian friendly options available, and for the time being I didn’t really have a problem. I do love a good salad! However, when I transferred schools and started cooking for myself I could not face another salad for months. All the sudden I had tons of vegetarian options, and all of the sudden I realized just how burnt out on salads I was.

Funny how time works though, because, without that daily salad bar option, this body of mine has started to crave some good raw veggies again. Thus, I have begun the project of reincorporating salads in my life, but am trying to make salads that are fresh and new for me- not boxed in by the regular salad bar ingredient list.  Ergo, fellow salad lovers, I introduce to you the Tortellini Salad! It’s a great way to make a healthy entre a little more filling while still getting your nutritional benefits. Give it a try! Who knows, it just may be your new favorite thing.


  • 1 Package of cheese tortellini
  • 1 bag of rinsed and dried romaine lettuce
  • 3 ounces Feta cheese
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper as desired


  1. Prepare the tortellini as directed on package instructions, boiling for 8-12 minutes.
  2. Drain tortellini thoroughly.
  3. Rinse lettuce and toss dry.
  4. Combine the lettuce, tortellini, diced tomato, and feta cheese, mixing together well.
  5. Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve with dressing on the side.
  6. Dressing: In a separate small dish, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, and salt and pepper (optional) with a fork.


Notes and Tips:


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