This recipe for Chicken and Tortellini Salad is sponsored by Farberware. As always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
A simple Mediterranean-inspired Chicken and Tortellini Salad is the recipe of the season! This crowd-pleasing dish is a great make-ahead dinner, an easy contribution to your next potluck, and a packable solution for picnics or travel.
Hey, friends! I've got a lot to share with you today, so let's jump right in -- starting with our new favorite tortellini salad. It's an easy recipe that has officially been approved by my husband AND my 3 boys (even if 2 out of 3 boys picked around the olives)!
When my family of 5 devours a meal without complaint, I consider it the ultimate culinary stamp of approval!
There's nothing particularly fancy, difficult, or unusual about this recipe. Instead, it's just a lovely combination of really delicious, fresh ingredients that work perfectly together.
The best part? You can prepare the tortellini salad in advance, pack it up in a container, and enjoy it when you need a quick, satisfying meal. The ingredients "marinate" together and just get better as they sit!
Let's make this easy Chicken and Tortellini Salad:
The total prep time for this dish, from start to finish, is about 30 minutes. To make the process efficient, I like to prep my vegetables while I'm waiting for the pasta and the chicken to cook.
I used my new Neat Nest™ collection of pots and pans to get it all done!
Neat Nest is Farberware's awesome space-saving solution for storing pots and pans together without surface scratches, dents, and dings.
To prepare the tortellini salad, you'll want to grab the 6-quart saucepot to boil water and cook your tortellini according to the package instructions. I like to use the largest pot because it gives the pasta plenty of space to cook without sticking together.
Drain the tortellini and allow it to cool slightly before combining it with the rest of your ingredients.
While waiting for the pasta water to boil, use the 12-inch skillet to brown your chicken.
I use chicken breast tenderloins because they cook really quickly, but you can use regular boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs if you prefer.
The large 12-inch skillet provides plenty of space for the chicken to cook and become crispy and golden on the outside, instead of overcrowding the pan which will steam the meat.
Allow the browned chicken to rest on a cutting board until it's cool enough to handle. Then dice it into bite-sized pieces.
While the chicken browns in the skillet and your pasta boils in the saucepot, it's time to focus on the veggies! Take a few minutes to slice and dice these beautiful, fresh ingredients.
Making The Dressing
The dressing, which is really just a basic red wine vinaigrette, comes together in a jar in about 1 minute!
This recipe yields about 1 cup of dressing, but you will not need all of it initially. I like to save the extra dressing for later, since you might want to add a bit more vinaigrette to your tortellini salad if the salad has been sitting in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Then it's just a matter of tossing everything together into one big, flavorful, and filling meal. It's a pasta dish that satisfies your cravings without weighing you down.
You get the great taste of the cheesy tortellini, the satiating protein of the chicken, and the volume and texture of the fresh veggies.
More easy tortellini recipes that you might enjoy:
- One Skillet Chicken Sausage Tortellini
- Dump-and-Bake Tortellini Alfredo with Chicken
- Meatball and Tortellini Soup
Chicken and Tortellini Salad
FOR THE DRESSING:
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (9 or 10 ounce) package fresh three cheese tortellini pasta
- 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup diced seedless cucumber
- 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Prepare the Vinaigrette: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a large jar or measuring cup. Shake (or whisk) until completely combined. Set aside.
- Prepare the Chicken: Season chicken with salt and pepper on all sides, to taste. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in the skillet and allow the chicken to cook on one side, undisturbed, for at least 6-7 minutes. Flip, and cook the chicken for about 6-8 more minutes, or until it is nicely browned on both sides and cooked through.
- The chicken is cooked through when the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F, or when juices run clear.
- When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the skillet and place it on a cutting board to rest.
- Prepare the Tortellini: Cook the tortellini in a large saucepot according to package instructions. Drain.
- While the tortellini cooks, dice the chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, gently combine diced chicken, cooked tortellini, spinach, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese. Pour about ¼ cup vinaigrette over the salad (or more, to taste). Reserve remaining vinaigrette.*
- Cover and refrigerate salad until ready to serve. You can prepare this dish up to 1 day in advance. Stir in the chopped fresh basil just before serving.