When Memorial Day rolls around, it is a day of remembrance of the heroes that have served so that we may be free. It is also a day of remembrance of our loved ones that we miss. Memorial Day also seems to be the unofficial kick-off to Summer. Everyone heads to the lake to splash in the water, soak up some sun and have some barbeque with the family.

We have had torrential rain falls here in the midwest along with severe weather including hail and tornadoes. In the background, you can see my raised garden beds that I thought by now would be totally drowned and killed off. So far it seems the vegetables are holding their own this year. The flooding has caused Pomme De Terre Lake today to be 24′ above normal lake level. I have the lake in front of me and Lindley Creek behind me…soon I may have lake and riverfront property.

In between all the storms we have managed to cook out on the grill here and there. Today since it was pushing in the upper 80s I decided to do a cold salad alongside the cheeseburgers. You can find the recipe for the perfect cheeseburger here. I had made a trip to the local Aldi’s and picked up some cheese tortellini that I thought would make a great pasta salad. A little side note here, the refrigerated tortellini at Aldi’s is so much better than the dried type. They are the same brand, but the dried tortellini has a different texture and taste.

This recipe can be made a couple of days ahead so it soaks up some of the dressing that is in it and refrigerated. Right before serving I would take it out and toss with some shredded Italian cheese mixture.

Cheese Tortellini Summer Salad

A light and quick salad perfect for your next barbeque.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: light, quick, salad, summer


  • 4 Stalks Green Onion
  • 1 Medium Cucumber
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes
  • 3-4 Ounces Marinated Fresh Mozarella, cubed
  • 20 Ounces Cheese Tortellini
  • 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Itallian Cheese Mix, Shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil


  • Chop green onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, fresh mozarella and add to bowl, set aside.
  • In a pan boil water and add tortellini. Cook 2 minutes and drain.
  • Mix the chopped ingredients with the tortellini. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and peper to taste and mix.
  • Cover and chill in refrigerator. Right before serving add Italian cheese mixture and toss carefully.


There are many flavors of balsamic vinegar and you can test out what you like the best. This recipe was made with a pear-infused balsamic vinegar. Don’t be afraid to use a little more balsamic vinegar and season to your own taste. 

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What is your favorite side dish for grilled items? Share it with me below!