Summer Dinner Salads: Shrimp and Tortellini

We all know that point in the summer, where the heat is unbearable, and for Midwestern folks like me, the humidity is pretty much a constant. Thinking of turning on the oven, the stove, or even the slow cooker just sounds like signing your own death wish. We all want that crisp, fresh flavor that can only be found in summer months. The produce is great, and the options are pretty unlimited.

I stumbled upon this recipe by doing a search on Skinnytaste for “best summer recipes.” I was looking for something easy, something which required very few specialty ingredients, and which could be easily accomplished on a weeknight meal day. I gave Mitch five options, and he chose this one. I loved that there was only one thing I had to cook- the tortellini- and that took 4 minutes (I’m not kidding). Everything else was as simple as chop and stir.

This salad was refreshing and filling. It was PACKED with flavor and actually used very few ingredients. It could easily be made for the night of (we were sitting down in about 20 minutes) or prepped one night and served another. This is the kind of salad which only gets better with time. We made ours entree portions, opting to serve some roasted asparagus on the side, but this would also make a very substantial side salad. It has no dairy product in it, so it also makes a great picnic or party meal!

Italian Shrimp and Tortellini Salad


  • 1 regular package of tortellini from the refrigerator section
  • 1 package, 30-40 count, frozen, cooked shrimp, defrosted, tails removed
  • 1/4 small onion, grated
  • 2 stalks celery, diced finely
  • 1-2 oz capers
  • 1/4 cup diced olives ( I had green on hand, you could also use black or kalamata)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • fresh black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the onion, celery, capers and olives and pour the dressing over; mix well.
  4. Add the shrimp, tortellini and remaining ingredients. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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