Tortellini and Broccoli Salad

Our favorite Tortellini and Broccoli Salad is tossed with extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh steamed broccoli, and tortellini pasta.  This is a savory pasta salad that is best served warm or at room temperature and guarantees to be big on flavor and very satisfying.

 

Tortellini and Broccoli Salad served in a white bowl.

Tortellini and Broccoli Salad

This salad is made with fresh broccoli and cheese-filled tortellini pasta. The key to our tortellini and broccoli salad is in the marinade, or as we like to call it, “the sauce!” And it is made with 6 ingredients!

The sauce needs NO cooking at all, and it can be made in advance.  

It’s SO flavorful, it makes this salad the perfect dish every time.  Everyone raves and always asks us for the recipe!

Tortellini and Broccoli Salad served in a white salad bowl.

The Secret To The Marinade:

  • The flavors are intensified with chopped sundried tomatoes, fresh minced garlic, and red pepper flakes (to add in some heat).
  • Then it sits aside and marinates in extra virgin olive oil for a while, for it to work its magic!
  • This will infuse all the flavors into the olive oil, making the sauce all by itself.

*Once the tortellini and broccoli are done cooking and tender everything is gently tossed together and served warm or at room temperature.

 

A small plastic container with the sundried tomato and garlic marinade with a fork inside.

Tips for Success:

  • Using fresh ingredients is what makes this pasta salad very tasty!
  • Always use the highest quality of extra-virgin olive oil; it makes a huge difference in the taste. 
  • Besides, with our easy recipe, you can adjust the amount of sauce, adding as much or as little to your liking.
  • Also, check out Blanching and Steaming Vegetables, for tips to steam fresh broccoli! And our post on How to Clean Broccoli Properly.

Also, Tips for Cooking Tortellini:

  • One thing we do know from experience is whether you use frozen or fresh tortellini, they both cook up very quickly!
  • At first, when you add them to the boiling water, they will sink to the bottom.  But then, as soon as they float to the top (which should only take about a minute or two) they will be “al dente,” and will need an additional minute or so, to be ready
  • Try not to overcook the tortellini, or you could end up with a mushy pasta salad.

How To Make It: (*full recipe card below!)

First, prepare the marinade, which consists of only 4 ingredients! And, set is aside to do it’s magic! Then, once you steam your broccoli and boiled the tortellini pasta, the rest is assembled and tossed in a salad bowl, and serve!

A white salad bowl filled with Tortellini and Broccoli salad on a red and white table cloth.

Tortellini and broccoli salad is best served at room temperature. But it’s also great when served chilled. 

This pasta salad is ideal for picnics and BBQs.  In fact, this salad is great all year long. No matter if we serve it warm or cold,  I can tell you that this tortellini and broccoli salad is always the first bowl that disappears every time it is set down on the table!

Try this one and let us know.

ENJOY!

More Tasty Pasta Salads!

Your comments help us!  If you try our delicious pasta salad, let us know and leave a comment below, and don’t forget the stars! We’d love to hear from you. And, thank you! Happy Cooking! 🙂

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Tortellini and Broccoli Salad

Tortellini and Broccoli Salad served in a white salad bowl.

Tortellini and Broccoli Salad is tossed with extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh steamed broccoli, and tortellini pasta. This is a savory pasta salad that is best served warm or at room temperature and guarantees to be big on flavor and very satisfying.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (about 1 pound) of frozen Cheese Tortellini
  • 1 head of fresh broccoli - rinsed, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, and extra
  • 5 to 6 sundried tomatoes, in oil - chopped
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

    FIRST, Steam the Broccoli:

    1. Add broccoli pieces to a medium-size pot with 1-inch of water. Cover with a lid and bring to boil. Boil the broccoli for 2 minutes, or until the broccoli turns to a bright- dark green color.
    2. Turn off the heat, and drain the water. Return the broccoli back to the pot, cover, and set aside, allowing to steam for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool completely.
    3. In the meantime, prepare the marinade! Place minced garlic, olive oil, red pepper, and sundried tomatoes into a small bowl or plastic container. Mix all the ingredients together and set them aside at room temperature. This can be made ahead of time, even up to 2 days. Just keep the sauce in an air-tight container. NO need to refrigerate.

    SECOND, Cook the Tortellini:

    1. Bring a large saucepot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to boiling water. Add the cheese tortellini. When they float to the top, they only need to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes to be al-dente.
    2. Drain, and run them under cool water immediately to help stop the cooking process. Drain well.
    3. Transfer tortellini to a large serving bowl.
    4. Add in steamed broccoli, garlic, sundried tomato, and olive oil sauce. Toss gently until well combined.
    5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The pasta salad should be moist and coated lightly. You may add more or less sauce to your liking. Keep in mind if you think you need to drizzle some more extra-virgin olive oil, you may do so since pasta has a tendency to absorb the olive oil quickly.
    6. Serve at room temperature. Or chilled, if you prefer.
    7. Yields: 8 to 10 servings

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8 to 10 servings

    Serving Size:

    1 serving (1 cup)

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 8.9gSaturated Fat: 2.2gCholesterol: 13mgCarbohydrates: 15.7gFiber: .6gSugar: 1.4gProtein: 4.9g

    Did you make this recipe?

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    15 Comments

    1. This is a delicious salad as written, but tonight I added 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts to the tortellini/broccoli mixture and some julienned basil to the dressing. I also used some of the sundried tomato oil along with olive oil for additional flavor.

      1. That sounds fantastic! We love pine nuts, but cannot use them in our recipes since we now have family members who are extremely allergic to all nuts. But so glad you added them to our salad. Thanks so much!

    2. Beautiful salad! This would be perfect for summer potluck dinners at church. Can't wait to try it! We haven't gotten to eighty degrees yet, but it's right around the corner, I hope! 🙂

      1. Thank you Betty we hope your friends and family will enjoy this one as much as we do. Have a great week! Hope it warms up for you too.:)

    3. Ooo that sauce does sound delicious! I bet this will be even better once the weather gets warmer – perfect with a side of bbq!

      1. Yes Jo – I make this one all summer long – its so quick to whip up and everyone enjoys it every time!
        Thanks for stopping by!

    4. Very beautiful pasta salad, looks delicious!! We do one similar to your recipe, we also add other black olives, cherry tomatoes, etc… I could eat a bowl of your salad right now for lunch!! 🙂

      1. You are so sweet Tricia! We are having great weather today – its 80 degrees! Unbelievable! after all the cold we've had in the past few weeks. Take care!