Summertime calls for cookouts and gatherings with friends, which means that you’ll need a handful of recipes in your back pocket for when the next invitation arrives. Pasta salad is a great go-to dish to pass and with the variety of pasta shapes, dressings, proteins and vegetables you’ll never run out of combinations for creating the perfect pasta salad. This Lemon Basil Tortellini Salad packs the fresh flavors of lemon and basil into each bite and uses the all new Purely Balanced™ Lemon Basil Greek Yogurt Dressing to add a creamy finish.
If you’re looking to design your own picnic-perfect pasta salad, you can easily do so with a few easy tips:
- Choose your favorite pasta shape – Twists and tubes are great for pasta salads because they are easy to eat with a fork and trap dressings inside all of the crevices. Don’t discount the unique shapes like orzo, ditalini or even tortellini.
- Choose your proteins – A lot of pasta salads include things like salami, pepperoni, shrimp or eggs. Consider dressing up your salad with lump crabmeat or go vegetarian with baked tofu.
- Choose your vegetables – Keep your vegetables bite-sized so that they are easy to fork and eat. Consider things like broccoli (raw or blanched), matchstick carrots, grape tomatoes, or marinated artichokes.
- Select 1-2 fun toppings – Crunchy things and shredded cheeses are great for finishing off the flavors of your pasta salads. Consider sunflower seeds, sundried tomatoes, bacon, nuts and olives to bring it all together.
- Dress your pasta salad – Whether you opt for an easy olive oil and vinegar or reach for a creamy or vinaigrette dressing, you’ll want to allow your salad to sit for 2-3 hours before serving to allow the dressing to soak into your pasta.
If you want to eliminate the need for creating your own pasta salad creation this time around, give our Lemon Basil Tortellini Salad a try! Using the dried tortellini versus fresh means that the pasta will hold its shape better and withstand the heavy ingredients that are typically in pasta salad. Blanching the asparagus is also very important to making sure it is cooked crisp-tender and will hold its bright green coloring. Top off the salad with parmesan cheese shreds, toasted pine nuts and chopped, fresh basil before serving.
This tortellini salad makes a great side dish or is even an excellent option for lunchtime meal prep. Your friends will surely be asking you for the recipe at your next picnic gathering!