Evergreen Recipes, recipes, Salads, Summer, with Meat & Chicken

Healthy Tortellini Salad with Chicken

Are you looking for a healthy recipe with store-bought tortellini? Well, if so, I’ve got you covered with this simple and healthy tortellini salad served with grilled chicken and a creamy no mayo Caesar dressing. 

Those crunchy lettuce combined with a creamy, cheesy dressing and those delicious tortellini is like the perfect combination of a classic Caesar salad and a simple pasta salad. 

If you love tortellini recipes, also check out my easy tortellini casserole with ricotta

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Healthy tortellini salad served with chicken strips and a no mayo caesar dressing.
This healthy tortellini salad is the perfect combination of a pasta and Caesar salad.

About this Recipe

I know, store-bought tortellini are pretty heavily processed foods. But you know, I can’t live without them. But instead of eating them with butter and Parmesan cheese, like I used to do, I now prefer to incorporate them into healthy meals. Just like this tortellini salad.

Unlike all the other tortellini salad recipes out there, this one is not only healthy, but also calorie-friendly and still incredibly creamy and delicious. 

Instead of mayonnaise, this salad is served with a creamy yoghurt dressing that doesn’t taste like yogurt at all. The mixture of Greek yoghurt, a hard-boiled egg yolk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and a little bit of grated parmesan cheese tastes remarkably like the classic mayo dressing but is so much healthier.

Ingredients 

Dressing Ingredients:

  • Plain yogurt and some Greek yogurt (2 or 5% fat) as a base for the dressing
  • A hard-boiled egg and a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese for a really creamy dressing and those typical Caesar salad vibes
  • Medium hot mustard, a pinch of sugar and some Worcestershire sauce to round out the flavor

Salad Ingredients:

  • Store-bought tortellini – my recommendation is to go with tortellini filled with spinach and ricotta or tomato and mozzarella
  • Fresh lettuce such as romaine lettuce, arugula, or spinach leaves
  • Chicken breast fillet 
  • More salad ingredients such as tomatoes, bell peppers or cucumbers to your linking

You can find the exact measurements in the recipe card below. The indicated quantities will make about two servings, but you can double or halve them if desired. 

Please note, I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more or less than I do. So, feel free to adjust.

Ingredients for a healthy tortellini salad with chicken.
This ingredient shot is missing the parmesan cheese. Don’t forget it for your salad dressing.

Substitutions and Variations 

To make this tortellini salad meatless, you can serve your salad with vegan chicken chunks or fried tofu sticks. Both options taste at least as good as the chicken version.

Of course, you can use any other type of tortellini for the salad. However, the ricotta-spinach and tomato-mozzarella fillings are usually the most calorie-friendly. 

How to Make this Recipe

In terms of equipment, we will need a small saucepan to cook the tortellini, a pan to fry the chicken and a small bow to mix the dressing. A bigger salad bowl is also great to have.

How to Make the Dressing

For the dressing, first peel the hard-boiled egg, cut it in half lengthwise and put the yolk in a bowl. Then grate the Parmesan cheese and add it to the bowl. Next, add the remaining dressing ingredients and give it a mix. 

Make sure to smash the yolk with a fork or the back of your spoon to make this dressing super creamy and smooth.

Process shot showing the mixed caesar style dressing.
Step 1: Mix the creamy skinny Caesar dressing.

How to Prepare the Tortellini and Chicken

Bring a pot of water to boil. Once the water is boiling, you can add the tortellini and cook them according to package directions. This usually only takes two to three minutes. Then you can drain them in a colander and let them cool down.

Meanwhile remove the tendons from your chicken and season both sides with a little salt and pepper. Then sear it from both sides for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on its thickness. 

This process shot is showing cooked tortellini in a colander.
Step 2: Cook the tortellini according to the package instruction, sear the chicken from both sides.

How to Make the Salad

Finally, wash your lettuce thoroughly. If possible, spin them dry in a salad spinner to avoid that the watery lettuce leaves add to much water to our dressing.

In a bow, add the salad, tortellini and the dressing and mix well. Divide the tortellini salad between two plates, remove the chicken from the pan and slice it into thin strips and serve them on top of your healthy tortellini salad.

Process shot showing lettuce in a salad spinner.
Step 3: wash and spin dry the lettuces and mix them with the pasta and dressing.

How to Serve

You can serve your Tortellini Salad either as a side dish at a barbecue or enjoy it as a delicious main course. 

Since it’s loaded with protein thanks to the chicken, carbohydrates thanks to the tortellini, fresh salad and healthy fats, it’s a balanced and wholesome dish in itself.

Here’s How to Save this Recipe or Make It in Advance

If you want to make the recipe in advance, I would keep the dressing, tortellini, salad and chicken separate from each other. So just put all the ingredients separately in airtight containers and pop them in the fridge.

They should keep for at least two to three days. And once all the ingredients are prepped, you can assemble your salad in now time.

Healthy tortellini salad served with chicken strips and a no mayo caesar dressing.
A healthy tortellini salad served with a creamy no mayo dressing and tender chicken strips.

Your Common Questions Answered

In case there are any questions left, I hope these FAQ will help you. If not, feel free to drop your question in the comments below.

What can I use instead of chicken?

Instead of chicken, you can serve your tortellini salad with a vegetarian or vegan chicken substitute or fried tofu strips. 

Which type of lettuce can I use?

Fresh lettuce such as romaine lettuce, arugula, or spinach leaves are perfect for this healthy tortellini salad recipe.

Save for later

Click the pin button and add the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards. This way you can also easily bookmark the recipe for later. The pin button will appear as soon as you hover over the picture. 

Use the button in the upper left corner to pin this recipe to your Pinterest board.
Bookmark this recipe for later!

You might also like:

I hope you like this recipe and that you give it a try soon. If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram(@julesbalancedrecipes). 

In case, you’ve tried this recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and five-star-rating for this recipe. It’s easy to do by clicking on the fifth star in the recipe box.

And if you loved this recipe, you may also like some of my other recipes like …

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Jules

Healthy tortellini salad served with chicken strips and a no mayo caesar dressing.

Healthy Tortellini Salad

Julia Schmitt
This simple tortellini salad with tender chicken strips and a creamy no mayo Caesar dressing is probably the worlds healthiest tortellini salad recipe. Instead of grilled chicken you can also serve it with vegan chicken chunks or fried tofu. If you want to meal prep this recipe, make sure to store the individual components separately.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 427 kcal

Equipment

  • non-stick pan
  • saucepan
  • cheese grater
  • salad bowl

Ingredients
  

Dressing

  • 100 g plain yogurt (3.8% fat) (3.5 oz or ~½ cup)
  • 40 g low-fat Greek yogurt (1.5 oz or a bit less than ¼ cup)
  • 1 tsp medium hot mustard
  • 1 anchovy ½ tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 hard-boiled egg (you only need the yolk)
  • 10 g freshly grated parmesan (~ ⅛ cup)
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • salt pepper

Salad Components

  • 1 medium sized chicken breast fillet (approx. 200 to 250g or 7 to 9 oz)
  • 200 g tortellini (7 oz)
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes (5 oz)
  • 150 g lettuce leaves e.g. romaine lettuce, baby leaf salad, arugula, … (≈5.3 oz)
  • To your liking: more salad ingredients such as tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber or more 

Instructions
 

Dressing

  • Peel the egg, cut it in half and scoop out the yolk. In a bowl, add the yolk as well as the remaining ingredients and mix well. Slightly mash the yolk with a fork or the back of a spoon to create a smooth, chunk free dressing.
    Process shot showing the mixed caesar style dressing.

Chicken and Pasta

  • Remove any tendons from your fillet and season both sides with salt and pepper. In a pan, add about ½ to 1 teaspoon of oil and fry the chicken from both sides for about 5 to 7 minutes.
    Process shot showing a raw chicken fillet seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and then cook the tortellini according to the package instructions. Drain into a colander and let them cool.
    This process shot is showing cooked tortellini in a colander.

Salad

  • Wash the lettuce, spin dry if possible or make sure to rinse of all the water.
    Process shot showing lettuce in a salad spinner.
  • In a salad bowl, add the lettuce, dressing and tortellini and mix well. Divide the salad between to plate. Remove the chicken from the pan, cut it into thin slices and serve on top of the salad.
    Healthy tortellini salad served with chicken strips and a no mayo caesar dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 427kcalCarbohydrates: 38.4gProtein: 40.3gFat: 11.9gSaturated Fat: 3.6gCholesterol: 65.4mgSodium: 426.2mgPotassium: 306.8mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 6.9gVitamin A: 471IUVitamin C: 290mgCalcium: 104.5mgIron: 1.3mg
Keyword healthy lunch recipe, make ahead, Pasta Salad, tortellini recipe
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