When I throw parties, I always like to have a wide variety of dishes for guests to choose from. While (luckily) there aren’t any major food allergies or special diets in my group of friends and family, I still like to offer a range of options, including plenty of fresh, healthy-ish things in addition to the typical party decadence of snack foods and desserts.
I’ve served some iteration of this Chopped Broccoli Salad with Cheese Tortellini as a vegetarian option at many parties, and it is always a hit. While the carnivores can have a scoop of this as a side dish to their entree, vegetarians can take a few extra spoonfuls and eat this more like a main dish.
This salad can easily be adapted to use ingredients you happen to have on hand. The base is about a 50/50 mixture of prepared cheese tortellini and broccoli. From there, I like to add some type of fresh fruit (apples and/or grapes), maybe a dried fruit as well (cherries or cranberries), one of two types of cheese (I used both cow’s milk feta and shaved Parmesan here), and a handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts and pecans all work well). The dressing is a creamy, tangy combination of Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar and poppyseeds.
I hope this Chopped Broccoli Salad with Cheese Tortellini is a hit at your next party, too!
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon poppyseeds
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for pasta water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 package (12 ounces) cheese tortellini
- 1 head (about 1 pound) broccoli, roughly chopped
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 1 cup halved red grapes
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, poppyseeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
- Heat large pot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add tortellini; cook according to package directions. Use slotted spoon to transfer tortellini to colander; rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Drain tortellini; transfer to bowl with yogurt mixture.
- Place broccoli in boiling water; cook 1 minute. Drain broccoli and rinse well with cold water; drain. Transfer broccoli to bowl with tortellini.
- Add apple, grapes, feta, cherries, Parmesan and almonds to bowl with tortellini; toss until well combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 2 hours before serving.
Home Chef Tip: While any apple will work in this recipe, Fuji and Gala varieties are particularly crisp, tart and refreshing in a chilled dish like this salad.
MORE GREAT HEARTY SALAD RECIPES:
- Great Green Salad with Miso Dressing – add chicken or shrimp for protein.
- Watermelon & Avocado Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing – the best combo of sweet and salty!
- Really Good Farro Salad – a hearty whole grain lunch.
- Lentil & Roasted Beet Salad – with an easy tahini dressing.
- Ground Turkey Salad – like a deluxe turkey burger, without the bun.
- Apple Cranberry Bacon Kale Salad from Eat Well 101
- Rosemary Chicken Salad with Avocado and Bacon from SkinnyTaste