This tortellini pasta salad combines favorite summertime flavors: grilled vegetables, goat cheese, lemon and basil.
Is there anything that screams mid-July more than that photo of perfectly charred grilled vegetables? I think I could eat them every single week in the summer and be totally content. Best part is, they couldn’t be easier to make. I recommend prepping a big batch over the weekend and then incorporating them into meals throughout the rest of the week for an easy and delicious veg option.
Perfect Grilled Vegetables
This recipe is reminiscent of another one of my favorites from winter – perfect ROASTED vegetables. We’ll just go ahead and call this “part 2: the summer version”. I’m a sucker for anything that involves cooking once and eating several times in several different ways.
Choose Your Vegetables
When it comes to choosing vegetables to use for this pasta salad, don’t let the recipe limit you to the ones I picked. I love the color contrast of red (purple) onion, red bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms. Here are a few others that would work just as well:
- Yellow Squash
Trust me when I say you’ll want to make extra! Besides the pasta salad, you can use the vegetables in green salads, to top pizza, in scrambled eggs or as part of a grain bowl.
How to Chop Vegetables for Grilling
This might go without saying, but you have to be strategic with how you chop vegetables if you plan to grill them. Certain shapes can fall through the grill grates if you aren’t careful. Here’s what I like to do:
- Onion: slice into 1/4-1/2″ rings, but don’t separate them. You’ll be able to easily brush with oil and lay flat on top the grill.
- Zucchini: first cut down the middle (lengthwise), then again to quarter. Slice each of those in half (widthwise) to get 8 pieces.
- Red Bell Pepper: remove stem and seeds. Slice in half through the top to get two large pieces. Cut each of these in half to get rectangles.
- Mushrooms: just de-stem and clean
The flavor combinations are endless if you want to get creative (fresh herbs, spices, etc) but I like to keep things simple with a big drizzle of olive oil, plus granulated garlic, salt and pepper.
Using Tortellini in Pasta Salad
Now, this isn’t just a regular old pasta salad, this is a cool pasta salad.
The nice thing about using tortellini instead of plain pasta here is the extra texture. I love the chewiness of tortellini, plus it holds on to sauce well. Kind of like pasta salad 2.0.
Of course you can stick to whatever shape you prefer if tortellini isn’t your thing. Other favorites of mine are bowtie and orzo.
Once everything is mixed together, don’t forget to top with a healthy handful of basil chiffonade, extra goat cheese, lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper before serving. This side dish pairs well with just about everything, but then again you might just want to just eat it straight out of the bowl (and I’m OK with that).
You might also like:
- Salmon Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce
- Proscuitto Wrapped Peach with Basil & Bleu Cheese
- Fresh Watermelon Mint Fizz
Tortellini Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables & Goat Cheese
This tortellini pasta salad will have everyone asking for the recipe. It’s the perfect way to use up leftover grilled vegetables.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dishes
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 pint white button mushrooms
- 2 zucchini
- 1 red onion
- 1/4 cup olive oil (divided)
- 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
- 20 oz package cheese tortellini
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 10 basil leaves, chiffonade
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat grill (or grill pan) to medium high heat.
- Toss vegetables with two tablespoons of the olive oil, granulated garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Grill vegetables until charred, but still slightly crunchy. Remove from the grill and chop into small pieces.
- Meanwhile, cook the tortellini per package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, transfer to a large bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, along with the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add vegetables, goat cheese crumbles and basil to the bowl of tortellini. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
- Top with more basil, lemon zest, additional goat cheese crumbles and freshly ground black pepper.
- The equipment section above includes affiliate links to products I use and love
- If made ahead of time, add the olive oil/lemon juice just before serving.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 220 calories
- Fat: 13 grams
- Carbohydrates: 20 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
Keywords: grilling, summer recipes, potluck recipes, grill pan
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