Updated: Jun 16, 2020
This tortellini caesar turns a basic side salad into a well balanced healthy dinner. Cheesy filling tortellini, crunchy homemade croutons and creamy healthy avocado caesar dressing bring a much needed upgrade to a classic. Serve this alongside your favorite protein and dinner is ready. I initially saw this recipe posted by #twopeasandtheirpod and knew my avocado caesar and homemade crouton recipes would be perfect for it! I've included my favorite proteins to pair with it and both an entree and appetizer variety to choose from!
BrainsandbalanceProTip: when serving salad, place the dish you're serving it on in the freezer 30 minutes prior to serving. The ice cold dish ensures each bite is cool and refreshing even in the summer heat!
I love this salad because each bite has different flavors and components. The croutons are perfectly seasoned to your spice level- I like them with a little bit of a bite- and they add a delightful crunch!
The tortellini makes this salad a meal. It's filling, creamy and adds fantastic flavor. I toss them in part of the dressing as soon as they're done cooking before letting them cool. This makes sure they don't stick together.
Leave this salad as is or incorporate your favorite protein on the side. My top 3 proteins to serve with this are steak tips, blackened salmon or blackened white fish. I think cajun seasoning is the perfect counterpart to creamy caesar and a steak tip caesar is one of my absolute favorite summer entrees.
If you're looking for a lighter, more fibrous variety, check out our Kale Caesar with Sockeye Salmon. We use the same creamy caesar dressing massages into a huge pile of kale. Served with a large piece of bright red sockeye salmon and you're all set!
No matter how you serve this avocado caesar dressing, it's bound to be a hit. I recommend doubling the batch to have dressing for the week, as a dip for veggies, drizzled over sweet potatoes or on your favorite wrap/sandwich.
How will you incorporate it? Let us know!
Tortellini Caesar with Avocado Dressing
4 servings | Cook time: 5 minutes (up to 20 minutes depending on your protein choice)
1 16oz bag cheese tortellini (Note: half the portion of tortellini if serving this as an appetizer)
3 hearts romaine lettuce
2-4 cups spinach, chopped (sneaks in extra veggies and adds volume)
Avocado caesar dressing (see below for recipe)
Day old bread croutons (see below for recipe) (Note: half the recipe, save the second half for snacking, soups or salads throughout the week)
Protein of choice: I recommend steak tips or blackened salmon/white fish
Extra parmesan and fresh cracked pepper on top
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, salt and add tortellini (note only use 8oz if serving this salad as an appetizer versus an entree). Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until they have floated to the surface.
Remove from water and toss with 1/4 of the caesar dressing. Set aside to cool.
If making a protein, prepare according to preference. I baked cajun seasoned fish at 400F until white and flakey, about 15-20 minutes.
Chop and wash the romaine lettuce. Toss lettuce and, if using, spinach with the remaining dressing. Toss with the cooled tortellini.
Top with croutons, extra parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.
Optional: Serve alongside protein of preference.
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Tortellini Caesar Salad:
Avocado Caesar Dressing:
Nutrition Facts are provided as a guideline only. Exact nutrition will depend on quantity, brand and ingredients used.