Tortellini Salad with Toasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Tortallini Salad with Toasted Garlic Dressing

At last I am posting again. It feels so good! April is always a busy month around my house. We have three birthdays and our wedding anniversary all within a 10 day period.Β  Even though my kids are grown, I still try to make a special dinner for them the Sunday following their birthday and the whole family gets together for the celebration.

Traditionally, we have a silly little birthday candle that plays Happy Birthday and we use it on everyone’s birthday cake or chosen birthday treat. It is one of those cheap little candles that is sold next to the birthday supplies in the grocery store. We used to have a favorite one that played a seriously pathetic, outrageously off-key rendition of Happy Birthday. We would all laugh and sing Happy Birthday as off-key as possible along with the candle.

Following one birthday we lost the candle and I had to buy another one. It played on key and we were so disappointed. We keep on using it, hoping that it will eventually start to wear out and falter just like our old favorite candle. So far, no luck, but we have high hopes that if we keep using it long enough it will one day sound as pathetic as did our first candle.

Amidst the birthdays in the past couple of weeks, we have had quite a few other events, too. It made for a hectic month and I finally just had to take a break from the blog. I’m not one of those people who has planned posts for several weeks or months in advance. It would be nice to be that organized and there was a time in my life when I was far more organized than I am now. Sad, but true.

To take a break from all of the birthday partying, we got together with two couples, who are our best friends, this past Friday night and had a casual bring-your-own-meat barbecue. I was assigned to bring a salad, so I brought two salads: one was an old favorite, Baked Potato Salad, and the other one was this Tortellini Salad with Toasted Garlic Vinaigrette.

I used my friends as guinea pigs for the tortellini salad and they gave it two thumbs up. These are the kind of friends who are honest in their opinions. Without hesitation they would have told me to go back to the drawing board if they had not liked it. I love having the comfort of good friends who stand by me through thick and thin.

Cook’s Note:

  • For best flavor and results, I recommend using a fresh, refrigerated tortellini. I used a fresh, refrigerated seven cheese tri-colored tortellini from Olivieri, which I found at Costco. I am NOT being compensated by Olivieri for stating their brand name; I mention it merely because I am very pleased with the quality of their product and flavor for this salad.
  • Because I buy in bulk and have products on hand for several recipes, some of the measurements in this recipe are in cups or portions of cups, rather than in size of can or jar.

Tortellini Salad with Toasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'


    For the Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white balsamic or rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, depending on personal heat preference
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 1/2 pounds (700 grams) fresh, refrigerated 7 cheese tortellini (it is not necessary to have a 7 cheese tortellini; use any multi-cheese tortellini you have available.)
  • 8 ounces (weight) grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 small onion, small diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 12 ounces (weight) diced marinated artichoke hearts, any tough leaves removed before dicing (I used the Costco Kirkland brand, about 1/3 of a 33 ounce jar))
  • 1 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peperoncini
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, optional


    For the Dressing:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, mayonnaise, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes until well blended.
  2. To toast garlic: heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring constantly until garlic is golden brown. Do not over-cook because garlic will become bitter. Add the garlic to the dressing ingredients and whisk well. Set aside.
  3. For the Salad:
  4. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain, then rinse under cool water until tortellini has cooled. Drain well.
  5. In a large bowl, lightly toss together the tortellini, tomatoes, onion, artichoke hearts, olives, peperoncini and basil (if using).
  6. Pour dressing over salad and mix lightly to distribute evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time. Just before serving, mix lightly again.


I had to share this extremely cool cloud pic with you. A minute or two after my daughter left my house on Saturday, the phone rang. It was my daughter who was so excited she could hardly talk. “Mom, quick, go outside and look at the clouds over the Wasatch mountains! Get your camera and hurry!” Obediently I grabbed my camera and walked outside to find these very unusual cloud formations. They remind me of weathered red rock formations in southern Utah. I really don’t recall ever having seen the clouds look like this.

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  1. says

    This salad looks so delicious! It has a lot of my favorite things – artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, peperoncini… YUM! I am going to ‘pin’ this and will definitely be making it soon.

    Happy to be your newest follower πŸ™‚

    • says

      Julia, thank you. Sometimes I take the mountains for granted because I see them every day. Often, though, I can’t help but spend a few minutes admiring them–they change so often, depending on the light, the clouds, the weather.

  2. says

    Wow, that looks amazing! Thanks for stopping by my blog so I could find yours! I need all the help I can get in the kitchen!


  3. says

    My mouth always waters when I come to your blog. I’m pretty sure I am already conditioned… I type “www.tsgco…” and my mouth is already watering. I can’t wait to see the pictures of the kitchen! πŸ™‚

    • says

      Kristin, LOL. I can’t wait to HAVE the new kitchen. So many details to work out for such a simple kitchen–the “designer”, the installers, the electrician, the plumber, the counter-top guys, and the flooring guys. Sheesh. You’d think we were designing a mansion kitchen.

  4. says

    I for one have really missed you. I know it is strange that we have never met and you don’t know me from Adam I read your blog and feel as though we are friends. So welcome back and I am glad all is fine with your world.

  5. says

    Oooo, this looks so good! We loved having you come to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We hope you’ll be back again soon! -The Sisters

  6. says

    This is such an excellent example of healthy Mediterranean cooking. It is Med. Diet month and I am promoting it on my blog. I would really appreciate you sharing this recipe on my foodie friday linky today.

  7. says


    This looks delicious! Totally pinning it today. I love tortellini but have never used it in a salad before and can’t wait to try it out. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday this week. I can’t wait to see what you link up next week. Have a wonderful weekend.


  8. Amy L. says

    I made this for Mother’s Day- DELISH!!! It was fantastic! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • says

      Hi Heather. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the salad. I tried to visit the link that you included, however it did not work. Then I noticed that according to the date, the link won’t be active until January. I’ll check it out then. πŸ™‚ Thanks for dropping by. I look forward to seeing your post soon.

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