Tortellini Caesar Salad- One part Caesar salad, one part pasta salad…this Caesar Tortellini Salad is completely delicious! Homemade dressing and cheesy tortellini make this pasta salad out of this world and perfect for any potluck or party!
Josh LOVES Caesar salad. It’s one of his favorite sides to make at home or order in a restaurant. You can’t go wrong with a classic Caesar salad, BUT I decided to kick the salad up a notch and I think this Tortellini Caesar Salad is even BETTER!
The addition of cheesy tortellini makes this a hearty pasta salad that’s perfect for serving as a main dish or side dish. Whenever I bring this pasta salad to a party or potluck, I get lots of requests for the recipe. It is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and a summer staple!
- Romaine lettuce – This is the traditional lettuce for a Caesar salad and it holds up nicely.
- Shaved Parmesan – Go for the good stuff! You’ll taste a difference.
- Cheese tortellini – You can use fresh or frozen here!
- Homemade Croutons – I really encourage you to make homemade croutons for this salad. They are SO much better than store bought!
- Caesar Dressing– I promise it’s easy to make!
Caesar Salad Dressing
Making your own salad dressing is actually SO easy, and it impresses the folks at your dinner table every time! You’re going to be blending…
- Plain Greek yogurt – Traditional Caesar salad dressing uses egg yolks, but using Greek yogurt instead keeps it a bit lighter and so much easier! You could also use sour cream.
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice
- Anchovies or anchovy paste (capers for a vegetarian version)
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
A lot of people are a little apprehensive about cooking with anchovies, but don’t be afraid. Anchovies add a subtle savory and salty taste and it’s a traditional ingredient in classic Caesar salad dressings!
You can find anchovies in the pasta/sauce aisle, typically in a can. Anchovy paste is another awesome option. It’s by the tomato paste and you just use a little less since it’s concentrated! Both work well in the salad dressing.
If you want the salad to be vegetarian, you can leave the anchovies out and use capers instead! They will give the salad dressing great flavor. It’s an easy and tasty swap! Use 1 ½ teaspoons, the same as the anchovy paste.
How to Make
It’s just a couple of steps!
- Make the dressing first! Combine plain Greek yogurt, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, anchovies or anchovy paste, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in the blender and set it aside.
- Get some salty water boiling and cook the tortellini according to the directions on the package. Drain and give it a good rinse with cold water.
- Start assembling the salad in a large bowl! Add the cooked tortellini, chopped Romaine lettuce, homemade croutons, and shaved parmesan.
- Drizzle the dressing over everything and toss it until it’s totally mixed in and everything is coated. Try a bite and season it with salt and pepper to taste. Yum!
- If you want, feel free to add grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken to this salad.
How to Store
This tortellini salad is best the day it is made, but you can prep a lot of the salad in advance so it is ready to go!
- You can make the dressing ahead of time. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- The homemade croutons will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to one week.
- You can wash the Romaine lettuce, dry it thoroughly, and wrap it in a dry paper towel. Place it in a plastic bag or storage container and refrigerate for up to one week.
Prepping the ingredients in advance will make the salad super simple to assemble. Don’t toss the salad together until you are ready to serve so the croutons will stay nice and crunchy. Nobody likes a soggy crouton:)
More Pasta Salad Recipes
- Bacon, Corn, & Tomato Pasta Salad
- Greek Tortellini Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Southwest Pasta Salad
Tortellini Caesar Salad
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 anchovies or 1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 9 oz cheese tortellini
- 5 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
- 3 cups homemade croutons
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- To make the dressing, place the Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, anchovies or anchovy paste, garlic, and Dijon mustard in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl. Add the chopped Romaine lettuce, croutons, and shaved Parmesan cheese. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss until the salad is well coated. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Serve and enjoy!
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Photos by Dishing Out Health
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