Make-Ahead Tortellini Salad with Marinated Artichokes and Feta

updated Aug 19, 2021
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Tortellini Salad with Marinated Artichokes and Feta

Cheesy tortellini pockets are tossed with marinated artichokes, fresh veggies, feta cheese, briny olives, and a bright lemon vinaigrette.

Serves6

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook2 minutes to 7 minutes

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pasta salad in a bowl
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

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Any salad that starts with plump, cheesy tortellini is one I want on my menu, and the appeal doesn’t stop there. This salad is packed with both marinated and fresh veggies, salty feta cheese, and briny olives, all tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. With its bright colors, contrasting textures, and delicious flavor, this salad only gets better with time. It’s the make-ahead meal you’ve been looking for.

The Best Ingredients for an Easy Make-Ahead Salad

This salad is simple to make because it leans on ingredients that are already seasoned and prepped, then dressed up with a simple homemade vinaigrette.

  • Marinated artichokes: If you can find it, the proportion of buttery brined artichokes to tender cheese pasta is just right with a 12-ounce jar, although a little more or less won’t make a difference (marinated artichokes come in jars of all sizes). If you buy them quartered, there’s no need to cut them.
  • Olives: Let the grocery store do the prep work and purchase pitted and halved Kalamata olives. If you can only find whole pitted olives, leave them as is (if they’re small enough) to save on prep time. Green olives like Castelvetrano or Cerignola add a buttery, briny flavor with a meaty texture and can take the place of Kalamata, although you’ll likely have to do the pitting yourself.
  • Add-ons: The double dose of cheese from the feta and stuffed tortellini makes this a filling lunch and light dinner option, but if it doesn’t say main dish without meat, add sliced or torn strips of prosciutto or cut cubes of good-quality salami.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Meal Prep this Salad

I like to prep this salad on Sunday, which allows me to put my lunches on auto-pilot. The salad changes as it chills, so that the bowl I eat on Monday is a different experience than the one on Wednesday. The tortellini soaks up the dressing, becoming plump and flavorful throughout, while the crisp bell pepper and radicchio pickle slightly, turning ever so tender. If you’re taking lunch to-go, divide the salad into individual containers at the end of your meal prep session.

Tortellini Salad with Marinated Artichokes and Feta

Cheesy tortellini pockets are tossed with marinated artichokes, fresh veggies, feta cheese, briny olives, and a bright lemon vinaigrette.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 2 minutes to 7 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 small clove

    garlic

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 2

    medium lemons

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    small red or orange bell pepper

  • 1

    small head radicchio

  • 1 (12-ounce) jar

    marinated artichoke hearts

  • 1/2 cup

    pitted Kalamata olives

  • 1 (20-ounce) package

    fresh cheese tortellini, or 2 (12-ounce) packages frozen cheese tortellini

  • 4 ounces

    feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare the following, adding them to a large bowl as you complete them: Mince 1 small garlic clove, thinly slice 1 small shallot (about 1/4 cup), and squeeze 2 medium lemons until you have 3 tablespoons juice.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and whisk to combine.

  3. Prepare the following, adding them to the vinaigrette as you complete them: Thinly slice 1 small orange bell pepper, then cut the slices in half. Halve, core, and thinly slice 1 small head radicchio (about 1 1/4 cups). Drain and halve 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts and 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives. Stir to combine.

  4. Add the cheese tortellini to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions until al dente, 2 to 7 minutes. Drain well and add the warm tortellini to the salad. Crumble 4 ounces feta cheese into the salad (about 1 cup). Toss to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days, although the radicchio will soften upon storage.