Extend the Taste of Summer with Our Tortellini Shrimp Salad and Zucchini
As Fall arrives, I’m still dreaming about delicious Summery flavors. With tender shrimp, vibrant zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and delicate pasta envelopes of cheese-filled tortellini bathed in a tangy dressing. You guessed it. Today, I’m tossing together a crowd-pleaser bowl of salad that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. The tortellini inserts a satisfying element of heartiness into the dish, making it a perfect option for almost any time of the year. It’s a mouthwatering combination that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. So, whether you’re cooking for guests or simply looking for a fuss-free weeknight dinner, this fresh veggie-packed salad will surely impress with its simplicity and deliciousness!
Please note that the calories listed reflect the total yield amount for this recipe.
A delightful summery-tasting meal!
This time of year, I’m trying to use as much of the last fresh vegetables my garden produces before they are gone. Therefore, this recipe is perfect if you’re looking for a quick and delicious side dish or light meal that requires minimal effort in the kitchen and takes advantage of those lingering fresh veggies.
Did I mention that this dish is easy to make, coming together in just minutes? Or that this Tortellini Shrimp Salad with Zucchini is the perfect light and refreshing meal?
It does, and it’s both!
I can’t say enough about this simple salad. You’ll love that it is packed with protein-rich shrimp, wholesome cheese tortellini pasta, sweet cherry tomatoes, and fresh zucchini mingling in a vibrant, satisfying bowl of nutritious, delicious, edible, heavenly food. So, whether you’re a shrimp lover or simply seeking a refreshing early Autumn meal option to use up some veggies, let’s dive into the tantalizing flavors of this tasty and effortless salad.
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Let’s run through all you’ll need to make this salad:
This recipe relies on frozen cheese tortellini as the pasta, but you could also substitute any other type of pasta you have on hand. I’ve used rotini, farfalle, penne, orecchiette, and gnocchi, all with thumbs-up reviews.
You can buy frozen shrimp that’s already cooked or cook raw shrimp at home by steaming them for this salad.
If cooking it yourself:
- Season the water with salt and bring it to a simmer.
- Arrange the shrimp (so they’re not touching each other) on a steaming basket placed over the pot’s water, ensuring the water isn’t touching the bottom.
- Steam the shrimp for four to six minutes (for about 1 pound of shrimp) until they curl and turn bright pink.
- Immediately remove the steaming basket from the pot.
- The shrimp should be curled into a loose “C” shape, feel firm to the touch yet still flexible, and the color should look bright pink and opaque.
Zucchini and Summer Squash:
Because zucchini and summer squash have a mild taste that tends to take on the flavor of the other ingredients they are prepared with, they are perfect for adding to this salad. The hint of sweetness and mellow flavor soaks up the tangy dressing without becoming mushy to bulk up the salad. If you don’t care for zucchini or summer squash, consider cucumbers (seeded) or carrots to add more texture.
These provide a pop of color with a touch of sweetness and a slight acidity to the salad party. If you’re not a fan of tomatoes, you might consider sweet red bell pepper instead.
I like using red onion for its sharp, somewhat spicy, and assertive flavor that compliments the rich, salty, umami taste of the parmesan and ricotta in the tortellini. You could also substitute scallions or sweet white or yellow onions in its place.
Sliced black olives are an excellent choice to add saltiness and color to this salad. If you don’t care for black olives, sliced green olives, kalamata, or capers may do the trick, or leave them out altogether.
Sweet green or yellow Bell peppers are a great addition to add crunch and more texture to this salad. To add a tangy, sweet, and slightly vinegar taste that’s common in many Italian salads, Pepperoncini peppers will add an even crunchier texture. If you’re not a pepper lover, leave them out.
The dressing pulls everything together and adds a tangy zing! Parmesan cheese is included to help round out the dressing’s flavor with a touch of nuttiness. Honey for just the right sweetness, along with finely chopped roasted red pepper to impart a sweet smokiness. Our homemade Italian Seasoning Blend adds a herby sophistication with its traditional combination of Italian herbs for an authentic, warm, earthy flavor. Finish the dressing with salt and a pinch of black pepper for taste.
This aromatic, bright herb is our favorite to contribute a balance of sweet and savory, with hints of anise, mint, and peppery flavor before serving.
Make the Salad in just 3 Easy Steps:
- Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Cool by rinsing in cold water, then drain thoroughly. Return the pasta to the saucepan and toss lightly with two tablespoons of olive oil. Set it aside.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl until they are well blended with the oil and vinegar, becoming smooth and emulsified.
- Assemble the salad by adding the cooked tortellini, shrimp, zucchini, tomato, onion, peppers, and black olives into the large bowl. Toss the ingredients gently to coat the pasta and vegetables with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
The Grand Finale!
Garnish and gently toss before serving...
Add the fresh basil for a burst of flavor and freshness, then gently toss everything to redistribute the dressing, coating the vegetables and tortellini. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese and a bit of parsley if desired.
To serve, transfer the salad to individual serving plates or bowls. Enjoy immediately as a light, refreshing main course or side dish to complement additional protein options like grilled chicken, fish, or shellfish.
- Transfer any leftover salad to an airtight container or cover the salad bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
- Store in the refrigerator.
- The salad can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.
- It’s normal for the dressing to separate and settle at the bottom of the bowl or container during refrigeration.
- Before serving, gently toss the salad to redistribute the dressing and evenly coat the pasta and vegetables.
If you want to meal prep the salad beforehand,
I recommend cooking the tortellini and tossing it in two tablespoons of olive oil. Slice the summer squash, zucchini, and other veggies, and prepare the dressing ahead.
- Add the tortellini to an airtight container, then top with the prepared vegetables. Seal it and refrigerate.
- Mix up the salad dressing to add about an hour or so before you’re ready to serve.
- Just before serving, add the fresh basil and gently toss everything to redistribute the dressing, coating the vegetables and tortellini. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese and a bit of parsley if desired.
For more healthy recipes that you can make in advance, check out our round-up of ideas in the Meal Prep Collection!
💭 Before we go...
It’s important to note that the longer the pasta sits after adding the dressing, the more flavor it develops, so I like to make it an hour or so before serving. Just be sure to add the basil right before serving to ensure that the basil looks fresh and is the perfect shade of green.
The recipe for Easy Tortellini, Shrimp Salad with Zucchini, is an excellent choice for those looking for a quick and delicious meal. This recipe combines the rich flavors of tortellini, succulent shrimp, and fresh zucchini to create a refreshing and satisfying salad.
- It’s remarkable because it can be prepared in minutes, making it perfect for busy individuals or families.
- Our straightforward instructions and readily available ingredients make it convenient for anyone to whip up this dish quickly.
- It’s a versatile salad that allows individuals to incorporate their favorite ingredients or sauces to suit their tastes.
- The combination of tender shrimp, delicate zucchini, and toothsome tortellini creates a mouthwatering dish that will surely please both the palate and the eye.
- Whether you need a quick lunch, a light dinner, or a fresh and flavorful side dish, this Easy Tortellini Shrimp Salad with Zucchini recipe is a fantastic choice.
Looking for other summery salad recipes? Here are a few ideas:
I hope you’ll love this recipe as much as we do!
To print or save the recipe, scroll down for the recipe card below. Then try it tonight to enjoy a taste of Italy in your home!
Thanks for stopping by. Have a happy time cooking!
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FOR BEST RESULTS
for at least
Easy Gluten-Free Tortillini Shrimp Salad with Zucchini
- 1 Large Saucepan
- 1 Large bowl
- 1 Cutting Board
- Utensils (Cooks Knife, Whisk, Measuring Cups and Spoons, Rubber Spatula or Large Spoon)
For the Pasta
For the Dressing
- 1 pound cooked Shrimp peeled and deveined with tails removed
- 1 cup Zucchini or Summer Squash thinly sliced (We used a combination of both.)
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 1 small Red Onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup Black Olives sliced
- ½ cup Yellow or Green Bell Pepper chopped (optional)
- ½ cup Pepperoncini Peppers thinly sliced (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh Basil chopped or chiffonade
- Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Cool by rinsing in cold water, then drain thoroughly. Return the pasta to the saucepan and toss lightly with two tablespoons of olive oil. Set it aside.10 ounces Cheese Tortellini, 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl until they are well blended with the oil and vinegar, becoming smooth and emulsified.2/3 cup Olive Oil, 1/3 cup White Wine Vinegar, ¼ cup roasted Red Pepper, ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, 1 tablespoon Honey, 1 tablespoon Italian Herb Seasoning, ¼ teaspoon Salt, 1 Pinch Black Pepper
- Assemble the salad by adding the cooked tortellini, shrimp, zucchini, tomato, onion, peppers, and black olives into the large bowl. Toss the ingredients gently to coat the pasta and vegetables with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.1 pound cooked Shrimp, 1 cup Zucchini or Summer Squash, 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, 1 small Red Onion, ½ cup Black Olives, ½ cup Yellow or Green Bell Pepper, ½ cup Pepperoncini Peppers
- Before serving, add the fresh basil for a burst of flavor and freshness, then gently toss everything to redistribute the dressing, coating the vegetables and tortellini. Garnish with additional parmesan cheeseand a bit of parsley if desired.¼ cup fresh Basil
- To serve, transfer the salad to individual serving plates or bowls. Enjoy immediately as a light, refreshing main course or side dish to complement additional protein options like grilled chicken, fish, or shellfish.
• Store in the refrigerator.
• The salad can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days. 2. Dressing Separation: • It’s normal for the dressing to separate and settle at the bottom of the bowl or container during refrigeration.
• Before serving, gently toss the salad to redistribute the dressing and evenly coat the pasta and vegetables.
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(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)
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