The Tortellini Salad that We Can’t Stop Eating!
Just going to say it: this cilantro lime tortellini salad is life changing.
This tortellini salad is my new favorite thing. Out of all the favorite things right now. And it’s going to be your new favorite thing!
I realize that’s a bold statement, but coming from someone who has a new favorite thing every few days, I figure it’s fine. And expected.
But you are going to love it!
Okay so you want to know something embarrassing? This is another recipe I’m making inspired by lunch from Nordstrom Cafe. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW. This might be the fourth recipe on this blog that I made based on a meal there?
And what’s even worse – it’s not even in the cafe. It’s sold at the E Bar in our Nordstrom! The grab and go place!
p.s. this is obviously not sponsored and Nordstrom has no idea who I am, aside from the fact that a few months ago Max knocked over a mannequin while we were shopping and I wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear.
I’ve rambled approximately ten million times about how we still love to go to the mall. We still love it! My mom, aunt and Mother Lovett would take Lacy and me every Friday when I was growing up and it’s a fun tradition that we like to try and hold on to every now and then. We don’t go every week, but when we do go, it can turn into a marathon day. My kids are just used to it by now!
See also: I get them a cookie from E Bar to bribe them into enjoying our marathon shopping day.
See also again: that’s where we first learned of the cilantro lime tortellini salad!
I love it so much.
Lacy actually had the salad first and straight up RAVED about it. Then I grabbed it for lunch a few weeks ago when I took my dress (for her wedding!!) to get alterations. I can’t even BELIEVE how delicious it is. I had to create it the moment I got home.
Cheese tortellini has never been a staple in our meals, so I rarely think of it. But this salad? I was obsessed from the get go. I AM in love. I.am.living.for.it.
Here are just a few reasons why:
First, it’s incredible. Tastes so, so good, has crunch and texted and creaminess. I love it.
Second, it’s better served cold. At least, I think so. This makes it a perfect make-ahead meal, whether it be for lunch or for a big party. Make it ahead of time. Transport it to where ever you need to go. It works!
Third, it works as meal (for me, sure!) or a side dish. It can be your lunch tomorrow or a side to your dinner tonight.
Finally, it has kale in it. It’s good for us. And sun-dried tomatoes. It’s red and green and kind of festive, so it’s perfect for the holiday season and all those potlucks.
Everyone in this house loved it. The salad has crumbly cheese and roasted pepitas too, so the flavor is just over the top. You can add as much or as little dressing as you’d like. And the Nordstrom version also has corn and poblanos, which I left out her because they felt slightly summery to me. If you’re feeling it, I suggest throwing in a ⅓ cup of sweet corn, because the sweetness really complements everything.
Yes yes yes!
I’m sharing this today because I know in this crazy season, we all need something incredible to take to a gathering. Bring this dish if you’re looking for something different to share, something that everyone would love. Something that can be made ahead of time and something that can be made in a big batch for a group.
Promise it’s a hit every time.
Cilantro Lime Tortellini Salad
Cilantro Lime Tortellini Salad
- 1 pound cheese tortellini, cooked
- 1 jar sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 3 cups baby kale. coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled cotija, (or feta!) cheese
- 3 tablespoons roasted and salted pepitas
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
cilantro lime vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Boil the cheese tortellini according to the package instructions. Once drained, toss the tortellini with the sun dried tomatoes and kale. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss.
- Add in the cheese and pepitas. Drizzle more dressing if desired. Toss in some fresh cilantro. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve.
- This is amazing served warm or cold. I prefer it cold and it's even better after it sits for a few hours!
cilantro lime vinaigrette
- In a blender or food processor, combine the lime juice, honey, garlic, cilantro salt, pepper, pepper flakes and olive oil. Blend until combined and smooth (some pieces of cilantro may remain). Leftovers stay great in the fridge for a few days! Store it in a sealed container.
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
Totally making it for lunch today.
46 Comments on “The Tortellini Salad that We Can’t Stop Eating!”
Wow I made this tonight and it is even better than it looks!
glad you liked it jenn!
Omg glad I’m not the only one. I just had it for a quick grab n go lunch and immediately googled the recipe. So yummy. I’ll try your recipe later this week. Thanks. Cheers!
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can’t stop making this and eating it!
it’s the best!
By your best guess, how many will this feed as a side dish?
as a side, i’d say this would only serve about 4, but I’ve already doubled and tripled the recipe a few times and it works great, and stretches a lot more!
Could you leave the cilantro out or replace it with something else? I’m not a fan of cilantro…sorry!
ahhh i totally get that! i am not sure what you could sub since it’s such a staple of the vinaigrette. you could try doing an italian vinaigrette with red wine and maybe a few different herbs, then use the same ingredients in the salad??
Thanks! It looks soooo good!
This looks so yummy. I am curious about the tortellini…are they shelf stable or fresh? I am guessing fresh but they are so fancy. Can you tell us the brand?I find when I buy fresh, they are not super pretty and tend to be random shapes and often are half open. Any insight would be wonderful.
BTW…I giggled as I was picturing Max knocking over the mannequin and your reaction. I imagine he was a bit shocked as well.
i got fresh ones in my refrigerated section! just the local store brand. (market district!)
he was so worried that day when he knocked it over! haha!
I made this yesterday. So delicious. I did add one thing though, capers. and it was fantastic!
I ate this for my dinner!
Thanks for the recipe.
so glad you enjoyed it vee!
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I cannot wait to try this recipe sounds like a 10 out of 10! My mouth is already watering.
Such a nice recipe and thanks for sharing this great blog. I have also written about Mexican food, hope you will love to read this. read more https://sunoapanedilki.blogspot.com/2019/11/mexican-food-near-me.html?m=1
Hi there – excited to make this for a NYE party! Do you think it could be made 1 day before?
Seems like the directions got cut off for the dressing…anything important I should know? :-)
oh my gosh! so sorry debbie. i’ve been using a new recipe card the last few months and it has lots of hiccups. i fixed the recipe!
but yes, you can absolutely make it the day before. it tastes even better! one thing, you will want it out at room temp for an hour or so before serving, so the dressing can liquify again. it hardens in the fridge. you could also keep the dressing and salad separate in the fridge, then dress right before. :)
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Looks delicious – approx what size jar of sunn dried tomatoes? I’m awful at estimating/balancing amounts in recipes! Thanks!
I made this salad Christmas Day along with a couple others to sere with lasagna. It went over very well. Actually it would be just as good even not adding the tortellini. The dressing was delicious!
I finally made this salad and I’m so glad I did. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Italian meets Tex-Mex flavors of sundried tomatoes and cilantro lime, but they totally worked. It keeps really nice in the fridge for lunches. I am sure this will be one of top 10 recipes I make all year. Definitely worth making again.
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Not a fan of cotija or feta cheese…I know, weird but true, so any recommendations for an alternative?
I have a confession to make regarding the Tortellini salad… I use sundried tomato paste instead of the dried tomatoes itself. I hate tomato skins with a passion, so this explaining that… You know what? It’s wonderful! I also use that paste for my tomato sauces, be it ragú or other type. Thanks for your ray of sunshine that your newsletter bring in my mailbox every day! Your kids! OMG!
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Do you have a suggestion for a substitute for kale?
any green works! you can just use spinach too.
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Question…what to serve with this? Noting that the addition of kielbasa or chopped chicken could make it a meat-salad as well. It would seem it could be the main dish of lunch or dinner, but I’m puzzled as to what you would suggest to serve it with?
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Omg. I’m a Nordstrom employee and I’m OBSESSED with this salad too and eat it almost every day haha. I saw this on IG and was like…. is this a spin on the ebar version!? I’m so excited to use this recipe to make it at home!! Also love that you have the nordy cookie recipe. Another fav!!
Made this back in the summer and it was delicious. Made it again today for Christmas and I hope I can stay way from “taste testing multiple times” so there is some left for others! Love, love, love!!!
Made this back in the summer and it was delicious. Made it again today for Christmas and doubled the recipe and I hope I can stay way from “taste testing multiple times” so there is some left for others! Love, love, love!!!
My coworker and I always bought this on our lunches. We then made our own version as well, also adding corn, instead of sun dried we use cherry tomatoes and roasted peppers. I will definitely try your version next!!!
Thank you for this recipe, it was the STAR ⭐ of the show at family Christmas Dinner! Everyone said it was the best dish there and asked for the recipe. The vinegrette was perfection! I can not thank you enough. Hope you had a great holiday!