It’s baseball season! Since we are constantly on the go, I have to make sure that dinner is planned and ready to go. Needing to be at two separate fields with two different kids with two parents who work can be a challenge. Since my guys are so little, making sure they eat before they play is crucial. It can be challenging enough in T-ball to ensure that the boys pay attention. Cheese Dill Tortellini Salad has proven to be one of the meals I can count on to be a homerun with my family. Check out how easy it is to make!
I was so excited when I found this pasta recipe and discovered it includes bacon! One of my boys considers bacon to be its own food group that could be eaten at every meal. To prevent bacon splatter on the cooktop, I usually cook bacon in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the bacon strips on a sheet pan and cook for about 15 minutes. If you like your bacon extra crispy, cook for 20 minutes.
While the bacon is cooking, place 20 ounces of cheese tortellini into boiling water. You can usually find fresh pasta in the refrigerated section of the store or boxes of dried tortellini in the pasta aisle Cook according to package directions. I put a tiny splash of oil in the water to prevent the tortellini from sticking together. Make sure you stir the pasta occasionally while it is cooking.
The tortellini is almost done. I can tell because it is floating to the top. If you overcook it, the tortellini will become mushy and break open in your salad.
Once it is cooked, rinse it and set it aside to cool completely. Mine cooled down in less than 10 minutes while I was preparing the other ingredients.
Combine all the dressing ingredients except the dill in a food processor or in a blender. Add 2/3 cup buttermilk. If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can substitute a mixture of 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup and enough milk to equal 2/3 cup. Let it stand 5 minutes. I used lemon juice to make this recipe. It worked great! I am never going to panic about forgetting to buy buttermilk again!
Pour the buttermilk mixture into the food processor.
Then add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper. You may be thinking “I’ll just substitute black pepper,” but the white pepper has a little stronger flavor. It helps make the recipe just that much better.
Add 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic. If you are in a rush or don’t have fresh garlic, the minced kind in the jar is perfect. That’s usually what I have in the fridge to use, too.
Next add 7 (3/4-ounce) slices of Deli White American to the food processor. It always amazes me that you can just throw items into the food processor without chopping them up first. This turns out great once it’s mixed up – wait until you see how smooth and creamy the dressing is!
Process or blend the mixture until it is completely mixed. Stir in 2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill.
Place the tortellini in a bowl. Chop 10 slices of the cooked bacon, and then add to the tortellini.
Add 1 cup of chopped tomatoes. I like to use Roma tomatoes as they tend to be a little firmer and keep well in salads. When I finely chop them, I just cut down the sides of the tomato like this, so the seeded middle part stays together.
Finely chop 4 more slices of Deli White American cheese and add it to the pasta mixture. Pour on the dressing and stir – so easy!
Land O'Lakes suggests lining the serving bowl with baby Bibb lettuce leaves at the time of serving, which is a great idea when making this for parties. I have also added diced chicken for a little extra protein. When the Cheese Dill Tortellini Salad is all mixed, it looks like this:
We’re on the go and due on the ball fields for an epic night of baseball and T-ball. One guy has his meal in the car.
Then it’s dinner at the ball field for the rest of us! This recipe makes plenty to share so it’s container cuisine for me and my girlfriends while we cheer the kids on from the bleachers!
Cheese Dill Tortellini Salad is the perfect make-ahead salad for any occasion. I tend to make this in the morning so that I have plenty of time in the evening to locate everyone’s baseball gear they have sworn is all ready to go. We all know the mad rush to get ready! At least I can count on a quick and tasty meal to get us out the door and off to the ball field. Cheese Dill Tortellini Salad has turned out to be the MVP of dinners at our house this summer. I hope you decide to try it, and that it makes dinner that much easier to plan and make.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think of this recipe. We loved it here at our house!
Alexandra is paid to write for the Recipe Buzz® Blog.