Tortellini Spinach Salad with Balsamic-Tomato Vinaigrette

Tortellini Spinach Salad with Balsamic-Tomato Vinaigrette

Methinks we need a salad to start off 2010, what do you say? I, for one, consumed all too many calories over the last month and I am hereby committing to eat a salad today to make up for it! I’m, like, so dedicated to healthy living.

This salad, whether or not it fits your definition of health food, is amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Delicious baby spinach leaves make up the base of the salad and cheese-filled, tender tortellini are intermixed, giving a wonderful depth and weight to an otherwise leafy salad.

Add in the-one-and-only artichoke, tangy sundried tomatoes, spicy red onions, and creamy feta cheese and you have a salad masterpiece.

Toss it all with a unique balsamic-tomato vinaigrette and I could eat this every night of the week and still be satisfied.

Perfect for entertaining or for a light weeknight meal (especially with the addition of grilled chicken), this salad has escalated to the highest ranks of my go-to salads. Thanks Debbie L. for the recipe!

Tortellini Spinach Salad with Balsamic-Tomato Vinaigrette

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Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 20 ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can quartered artichokes
  • 1 (9 oz.) bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (3 oz.) bag sun dried tomatoes or jar of sun dried tomatoes, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup diced red onion

Dressing:

  • 9 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon each)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Cook tortellini in boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss (carefully so the tortellini don’t break apart) with a teaspoon of olive oil to keep from sticking. Let cool in colander. In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients together after the pasta has cooled.
  2. In a blender add all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil and process until smooth. Then, while the blender is running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until completely combined. If serving the salad right away, immediately pour the dressing over the salad and toss well (you may not need all the dressing). Serve.
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Recipe Source: adapted from Debbie L.