This Balsamic Chicken Tortellini Salad is a simple, Italian inspired pasta salad full of chicken, veggies and a tangy balsamic dressing. This crowd-pleasing dish is ready in minutes and is a great make-ahead meal since it can be served warm or cold.
When it comes to summer meal ideas, this Balsamic Chicken Tortellini Salad is a dinner winner! Serve it up with some crispy Garlic Bread and a green salad for a complete and filling meal.
Warm Balsamic Chicken Tortellini Salad Recipe
This is one of our more indulgent healthy meals, for sure. Are there any other pasta lovers out there? I am a sucker for a good tortellini dish. It is a weakness, I’ll admit it! Thankfully, I’ve found several healthy pasta meals that I can throw together quickly, like this Chicken Pesto Pasta or Pasta Puttanesca.
I truly believe that healthy eating is a lifestyle. You can’t maintain a lifestyle that you don’t enjoy… So make a dinner packed with veggies that your whole family will love. The veggies covered in the sweet balsamic sauce are scrumptious and I absolutely love the flavor of balsamic vinegar. It’s a perfect combination of sweet and tangy. Plus, this recipe is an entire meal in itself, serves 6 people and comes in at under 500 calories per serving!
A huge bonus is that this meal is super quick and easy to prep and requires minimal dishes. I love it when you can make one dish and call it dinner. Yay for easy clean up!
How to make tortellini salad with chicken
First you’ll want to make the yummy dressing so it’s ready to go when you need it. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes and Italian dressing. You could also pour it all in a mason jar, tighten the lid and give a vigorous shake.
Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. It’s easy to tell when tortellini are done cooking because they will puff up slightly and float to the top of the water. Drain the cooked pasta and place it into a large bowl.
While the pasta is cooking, cook the chicken breast. I seasoned mine with a simple salt and pepper but you could add a little garlic or seasoned salt if you like. When the chicken is browned on both sides and mostly cooked through, pour in some of the sauce and bring it to a simmer for a minute or two to help coat the chicken. Add the chicken and sauce from the pan to the tortellini and toss to coat.
Add the asparagus to the pan and cook for several minutes before adding the carrots. Cook for another minute or two until the veggies are tender but still a little crunchy.
Pour the rest of the sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer until it’s thickened enough to coat the tortellini salad, then pour it over the pasta, chicken and veggies in the bowl. Toss to coat completely, then garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
I like to garnish this dish with fresh basil and add fresh sliced grape tomatoes, but you can skip that if you like. It’s also really delicious with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top. Since it’s really a complete meal in one pan you don’t have to add any sides, but a little garlic bread bread never hurts, right?
What to do with leftovers
Balsamic Chicken Tortellini Salad makes excellent leftovers! This recipe is great for meal prep because it can be served either warm or cold. Package individual portions into sealed containers and pop into the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Grab a container for lunch each day!
Love pasta? Here are some more delicious ways to use up tortellini for dinner!
120 ouncepackage cheese Tortellini cooked according to package instructions
Fresh minced basiloptional, for garnish
Cook the tortellini according to the package directions, drain and set aside in a large bowl.
Combine Italian dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes and whisk together in a small bow, or shake in a sealed jar. Set aside,
Meanwhile, melt the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced chicken breast, season with salt and pepper and cover. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.
Add ¼ cup sauce to the chicken and bring to a boil. Simmer for a minute, turning the chicken to make sure it coats all sides. Add the chicken to the cooked tortellini and toss.
Add chopped asparagus to the pan. Cook through for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, and add the carrots. Cook until vegetables tender, but still a little crunchy!
Add the cooked vegetables and the sliced grape tomatoes to the chicken and tortellini, then add the rest of the sauce to the pan. Simmer and cook down for just a minute or two until it thickens up. Gently toss with the pasta, chicken and veggies. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired, and serve immediately.
Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.