Surviving Dinner – Italian Tortellini Salad

Lots of recipes claim they can be cooked in 20 minutes or less.  Some nights are so busy, even that’s too long.  “Surviving Dinner” is a series that is not about good wifeing, mothering, or cooking.  It’s about surviving.  It’s for those nights when you’re tempted to write “fast food” on the menu, but cooking at home will save you a few dollars, a few hundred calories, and loads of mommy-guilt.  Recipes found here can be cooked quickly and have minimal prep and clean-up.  Some may require a little pre-planning, but many won’t.

Italian pasta salad is pretty popular picnic fare in the summer.  Bulk it up by using cheese tortellini, serve it warm instead of chilled, and you’ve come up with an unbelievably quick weeknight meal.  It’s also a great way to use up stuff in the fridge like leftover cheese, meat, and veggies.  And finally, what kid doesn’t love tortellini?  A win all around!


  • Frozen tortellini
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C italian dressing
  • Cheese – either cubed or shredded (I used cheddar)
  • Pepperoni – cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Veggies – Cucumbers, red onion, and grape tomatoes are a great addition.  (Mine would have had more veggies had I not discovered my tomatoes and cuke went bad by the time I got around to making this.)

1.  Cook tortellini according to package directions.  Drain.

2.  Toss immediately with cheese, pepperoni, and veggies.

3.  Mix in italian dressing.  Go slow & taste often.  The pasta will absorb the liquid and you can always add more for flavor – but you can’t take it back out once you add too much!

Wondering what I’m doing here?  Learn more about the idea behind Surviving Dinner.


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