Thursday, September 10, 2015

Absolutely Delicious Broccoli & Tortellini Salad

Ok...so is it possible to go wrong with bacon and pasta?

I think not.  That's really a hard combo to mess up, isn't it?

We recently had guests for dinner and I found myself searching for some salad recipes to serve alongside the food my husband was grilling.  I was thinking broccoli salad, but I've made that Bodacious Broccoli Salad a lot- and as delicious as it is, I really wanted something different.

Did I mention I also had a bag of sunflower seeds I needed to use up?
Cause I did.

This is really a simple salad that takes very little work to throw together.  The broccoli is raw and the dressing has just three ingredients.  Super easy, right?  Between the mayo, sugar, and apple cider vinegar the dressing is very similar to my coleslaw dressing- but even more simple.

There's something so awesome about pasta salads.  You could really sub another pasta shape for the tortellini (rotini anyone?) for a lighter side, but I love the tortellini in this dish.  The recipe calls for fresh tortellini but that dried kind from the pasta aisle works just as well in this dish.

I honestly love both the simplicity of this recipe and the way the flavors come together- the toothsome cheesiness of the tortellini, the fresh flavor of the broccoli, the slight spiciness of the red onion, and nuttiness of the sunflower seeds- all tied together with that sweet vinegar dressing.  This one is definitely a keeper!

Modified slightly from Allrecipes.com

1 pkg bacon, cooked and crumbled
20 ounces fresh cheese-filled tortellini
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup white sugar (I used Splenda)
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 heads fresh broccoli, cut into small florets
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 red onion, finely chopped

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook tortellini in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and rinse under cold water.

2. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar to make the dressing.

3. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, tortellini, bacon, sunflower seeds and red onion. Pour dressing over salad, and toss.

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