Monday, November 30, 2015

Skinny Broccoli Tortellini Salad

This dish makes a great appetizer. Pasta salads full of deliciousness are the best. The BEST! This Skinny Broccoli Tortellini Salad has been on the top of my list for years, and now I’m sharing it with you.

Feed your taste buds on this broccoli tortellini salad overflowing with red onions, raisins and sunflower seeds, and the sweetest part… honey! Try this at your next party or as a weekday lunch and it will become one of your “go to” recipes. I first saw this recipe on and loved making it for friends and families at parties, but knew I needed to add a pinch of health to this mayo and bacon glazed salad.  With a few changes and additions this recipe has plenty of nutrients and is low on “guilt”.

Broccoli is the hero in the recipe, bringing the nutrients up a notch – packed with Vitamin C, A, fiber and protein. Raw vegetables are always better, this recipe calls for blanching so you lose some of the value but they are still good for you.

And I’m not forgetting about the Tortellini, the “meat”, if you will, of this recipe. Drizzled in a sugary sweet dressing the tortellini make this recipe complete, without it we would have a broccoli salad, and it’s hard to like vegetables that much! Also, get your big bowl serving bowl out for this one. You will be surprised how much this salad makes.
Price – This recipe is a 3 out of 4 on my price scale – coming in at around $15. Tortellini’s and raisins both are about $2.99 a bag, and the sunflower seeds I found at Aldi for $1.99. You can easily cut the sunflower seeds or substitute with almonds or pine nuts if you have them on hand. Bacon – this is what you make it, you can go healthy or not and spend more or less. Generally the Nature’s Promise Turkey Bacon at Giant is $4.99 (average price for Oscar Mayer and Smithfield).  

Broccoli and red onion are nominal. The splurge on this one is the Sir Kensington’s Mayo – I think I found it on sale for $5 (ouch I know!). But low fat mayo will do just fine. I like to think most of you reading this have some of this stuff like Mayo and raisins on hand - If not save this for a special occasion, or cut out some of the extras (bacon, and seeds/nuts).

Skinny Broccoli Tortellini Salad Recipe
Serving Size 6-8 people (as an side dish or appetizer)

2 Medium/Large Heads of Broccoli
1 20 oz Bag of Cheese Tortellini
4 Slices Turkey Bacon, shredded into small pieces
1 Small Red Onion (or about 3/4 cup chopped), finely chopped
3/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
3/4 Cup Raisins

1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Low Fat Mayo (I recommend Sir Kensington’s low in fat and uses free range eggs and sunflower oil)
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

Bring 2 large pots of water to boil. Meanwhile start cooking the bacon in a medium skillet, until crispy. When cooked, cut or break bacon into small pieces. Once water boils, in the first pot, add broccoli and blanch. Keep broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes and remove. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. In the second pot - add tortellini and cook as directed on package. In a large serving bowl, add cooked broccoli, tortellini, bacon, red onion, sunflower seeds and raisins and stir. For the dressing, mix honey, mayo and apple cider vinegar together in a small bowl, until creamy. Top salad with dressing and stir. Let sit in refrigerator for 2 hours to chill. Note - If serving next day, only add half the dressing. Add the remaining dressing minutes before serving.
Cooking time. Cook the bacon until crispy and broccoli is blanched for 2 minutes.

Chop or pull apart the bacon into small pieces.

Pretty salad! All the ingredients waiting for the dressing.

Honey dressing.


Double yum!

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