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Overhead shot of a bowl of chicken and tortellini salad with fresh vegetables and herbs
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4.93 from 42 votes

Chicken and Tortellini Salad

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.
Course Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword chicken pasta salad, pasta salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Calories 260.6kcal
Author Blair

Ingredients

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*I like to use the extra vinaigrette to "refresh" the salad if it has been sitting in the refrigerator for a few hours. As it sits, the pasta will absorb some of the dressing, so you may need to add more to the bowl just before serving.
Cooking for a Small Family? Cut all of the ingredients in half. Cooking instructions remain the same.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 260.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.3g | Protein: 19.6g | Fat: 12.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.4g | Cholesterol: 46.8mg | Sodium: 331.2mg | Fiber: 2.4g | Sugar: 1g