The Best Pasta Salad EVER?

This is a wonderful pot luck, crowd pleasing Summer pasta salad.  Salty bacon and sweet onions…always a winner, chewy cheese tortellini with a fresh crunch of broccoli, colored with red tomatoes, with a creamy sweet and tangy vinegar dressing = yum.


Grilled burgers, pasta salads, hanging out on the back deck…get your flip-flops on, grab a cold glass of iced tea and Let The Summer Games Begin.

I honestly don’t have a really good pasta salad recipe. I used to. I don’t know what happened to it. I can’t remember what I thought was so darn good about it…I mean really, is there any magic to throwing together a good pasta salad? Do you really need a recipe? Well it seems I do, as nothing I “throw together” is impressing me.

So I decided to Google “best pasta salad recipe EVER”. After looking through a few of the results, this one caught my eye, so gave it a try. I think it showed up in the results because the first few reviewers exclaimed it to be the best pasta salad EVER.

Surprisingly, it’s dressing is bottled Coleslaw Dressing. Finished product is quite tasty, and, as always, much better after sitting in the fridge overnight, gotta give those ingredients a chance to get to know each other better. Let’s take a look.

The Best Pasta Salad Ever.

The Best Pasta Salad Ever.
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This may be the best pasta salad ever.
Recipe type: Pasta Salad
Serves: 10
  • 1 19 ounce package of frozen three-cheese tortellini (Safeway had their five-cheese brand on sale, so that's what I used)
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup bottled coleslaw dressing (I could only find one brand - Hidden Valley)
  1. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions, drain, rinse with cold water, and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.
  2. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop the bacon into ½-inch pieces while still a little warm.
  3. Place the tortellini, bacon, broccoli, grape tomatoes, and green onions into a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients, and toss lightly to coat. Chill in refrigerator before serving.

The Best Pasta Salad Ever…It’s What’s For Summer

One Year Ago:  Cream Cheese Flan

On this day..

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  1. Vino Luci Style says

    While this looks very good and I trust your taste…I have to say I do this I have a recipe for the best pasta salad ever.

    Take the trifecta of basil, tomato and mozzarella, add avocado and pine nuts and then drizzle with balsamic dressing…I mean I know your mouth is watering, isn’t it?

    The picture (crappy that it is) is meaningful as it was the very last one taken with my old point and shoot. Forced me to buy a DSLR and things haven’t been the same since! Seems I need to make it myself, soon, if only to get a better picture (oh, yeah, and eat half of it before company comes too!).

    Have a safe and fun Memorial Day Lea Ann!

    • says

      Barb, I did head over to your blog to see that pasta salad and it looks and sounds WONderful. I’ll give it a try soon. Love the addition of avocado. Thanks for sending me the link.

  2. says

    And I will be copy catting those wraps in a couple of weeks when I take the kids on a picnic! Cute idea.
    Alos love the idea of using tortellini in a pasta salad. The ingredients sound like a great combo.

    -haha, “lousy with birds” :)

  3. says

    Your salad looks good from here and like most things, it’s a matter of what you like. I think the one I posted about on May 16 was about as good as I’ve ever had, except I’d use Newmans Caesar dressing as I usually do. I’ve used the same dressing on a salad that is lots of veggies with the pasta and it works well there also, I mix in the veggies while the pasta is hot to take a little of the raw edge off the veggies. Looks like a good picnic spot.

    • says

      oh that’s right, I’ll have to go back and take another look at your pasta salad. I agree with your method of mixing in vegies while pasta is hot, it also helps blend the flavors better. I also do that with potato salad. Heading over to Big Dude right now.

  4. says

    I really think tortellini makes for the best pasta salad. Those little cheesy rings are just awesome. I really love pesto pasta salad with tortellini, cherry tomatoes, and black olives. Good stuff.

  5. says

    I have my mother’s Spaghetti salad which is my favorite that I need to do a post on soon. It’s the ONLY dish that I will eat with regular store bought tuna in it.

    Great area to take a picnic!

    • says

      You know now that you say “spaghetti”, I do believe my lost recipe was a cold spaghetti salad. Don’t think it involved Tuna. I’ll be anxious to see your recipe.

  6. says

    Oh, I love the sammie wrapped like that…too cute! I don’t have a favorite pasta salad recipe…but I love tortellini in my pasta salad, that’s a definite plus! Sounds yummy. =)


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