This family friendly pasta salad made with shop-bought four cheese tortelloni pasta and a homemade mayo vinaigrette is super quick and simple to make. The tortelloni cooks in around 3 minutes and once that’s cooled, the salad takes just 10 minutes to pull together.
Alongside the pasta, we’re going to add super-food baby leaf spinach, cherry tomatoes and walnut pieces for nutty notes that pair perfectly with the cheese tortelloni.
If you have a toddler, weaning baby or fussy eater and are wondering how to adapt this recipe for your family, see here >
The Stars of my Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad
Four cheese tortelloni from any shop will do. You’ll need to cook these according to packet instructions, transfer to a bowl and toss through a glug of olive oil to stop the pasta sticking together. Then leave for up to an hour to cool down before refrigerating until ready to use.
We’re going to add a little mayonnaise and Dijon mustard into the flavourful vinaigrette, making it lightly creamy. The heavy mayo will start to separate a little while after combined, so if you are making it in advance, be sure to shake the jar well right before you dress the salad. Or, if you’ve made the dressing in a bowl, stir it well with a mini wire hand whisk.
The baby leaf spinach gives a highly nutritious crunch to the salad and the cherry tomatoes compliment the cheese tortelloni well. You’ll want to quarter the tomatoes.
You can buy walnut halves or pieces for this recipe. Either way, you’ll need a large handful and then to break them up, just with your hands, into small pieces. Obviously if you have a nut-allergy sufferer on the family, leave these out.
Prep my Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad In Advance
You can prep everything in this salad in advance so it’s a great one to make the morning of a day out or if you have guests (see Feed a Crowd below). Just cook the tortelloni and leave to cool off, make your dressing, chop your cherry tomatoes and break up your walnuts. Wash your spinach. Cover and refrigerate the cooked pasta, tomatoes, spinach and dressing. You can leave the walnuts at room temperature in a covered bowl.
Making my Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad
Watch me make my Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad step-by-step here, before or as you cook or jump straight down to the recipe.
Kids Cook Too
Get younger children involved by having them help make the dressing. They’ll especially love shaking the jar if that’s what your making it in.
Eating More Sustainably
As this salad is meat-free, replacing a meal you’d usually make containing meat will help you to eat more sustainably.
Feed a Crowd
This is such a great salad to make for guests as it’s so easily doubled. You might need to cook the tortelloni in two batches though. Then toss the salad in the dressing while it’s in the saucepan (use your largest one).
Storing My Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad
You can store any dressed Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad leftovers in an air-tight container or resealable food bag in the fridge for up to 2 days (cook day + 1); the spinach will go a bit limp but it will taste fine.
For more on safe food storage and reheating read here >
You can make my Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad nut-free by leaving out the walnuts.
Adapting My Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad For Your Family
Eating together is beneficial for families of all ages and stages, for a multitude of reasons; nutritional, behavioural, psychological and for healthy family functioning. This section will show you how to tweak this Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad recipe for sharing with a weaning baby, toddler or a fussy eater, which will help make it easier to eat together as a family.
Keeping Picky Eaters & Younger Children Happy
This recipe is great for getting fussy eaters to eat salad if they usually like this tortelloni hot. If they don’t usually like salad dressing, leave theirs undressed and instead give them a little in a mini bowl. Then, they can either test it out as a dip or add to their plate if they like. For fussy eaters who don’t like tomatoes (or spinach), add a “safe” veg to their plate that they do like. If they don’t eat veg at all, grapes are a good option to go alongside this salad.
Although your picky eater needs to get used to eating food mixed together, if they prefer their food separate instead of mixed together, you can serve theirs deconstructed.
See more from me on fussy eaters here >
Making My Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad Suitable for Baby Weaning
How to Serve to Babies & Toddlers
Serve their salad deconstructed and without the dressing. You can serve the tortelloni’s whole and the cherry tomatoes cut into eighths. For 6-9 month olds who will struggle to pick small pieces of tomato up, it’s best to cut wedges of a large tomato. The spinach leaves can be served as they are. You can give little one some walnuts, so long as they don’t have a nut allergy. You’ll need to crush theirs in a food bag using a rolling pin or meat mallet.
I’ve also added these notes to the bottom of the recipe so you have them to hand when you come to cook. For more info on how I keep my family meals suitable for baby weaning, read here >
You Might Like…
Together to Eat is reader-supported. I may earn a small commission from anything bought through links found here.
Cheese Tortelloni Pasta Salad
- Lidded jar or medium-small bowl + mini wire hand whisk
- Salad servers
- 600 g four cheese tortelloni
- 2 large handfuls baby leaf spinach
- 300 g cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 large handful walnut pieces / halves broken up by hand into small pieces
FOR THE DRESSING
- 1 ½ tablespoons / 45g mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cook your tortelloni earlier in the day (or night before), according to the packet instructions. When done, drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Add a little olive oil and mix in so the pasta doesn't clump together. Leave to cool at room temp for about an hour then transfer to the fridge until you’re ready to compile your salad.
- Add your dressing ingredients to a jar, pop the lid on and shake until well combined and creamy. Alternatively, add to a bowl and stir well with a mini wire hand whisk.
- Combine all elements in your largest bowl and mix well.