Add excitement to your child’s lunchbox with this Tortellini Lunchbox Salad. It’s filled with color, flavor, fun, and great nutrition. This recipe is easy to make with everyday pantry ingredients including dried or frozen tortellini, frozen edamame, dried cranberries, almonds, and Italian salad dressing.
October is National Pasta Month. In my house, every month is pasta month.
I have two teenage boys. Need I say more?
My youngest son is in high school, and right now he’s playing JV soccer. With all that exercise, he’s hungry 24/7.
Lunch is typically a rush at school, and I don’t think he’s eating enough, so I decided to create a lunchbox salad that would satisfy his hunger, please his palate, and fill his belly with high-quality calories. I think I met those goals with this vegetarian pasta salad made with pesto-filled tortellini, edamame, almonds, protein-rich chickpeas, and dried cranberries. The sweet and savory flavor combination rocks, and he LOVES it!
The great thing about cooking with pasta is that it provides the foundation for a healthy meal. It boosts energy and pairs well with just about anything: vegetables, beans, lean protein, cheese, and even dried fruit.
I usually buy cheese-filled fresh or frozen tortellini, but I found a package of dried, pesto-filled tortellini at Trader Joe’s and decided to give it a try. One cup of the dried yielded 2 cups cooked, so if you opt for frozen or fresh in this recipe, adjust accordingly.
- Serves: 4
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 330
- Fat: 13g
- Saturated fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 42g
- Sodium: 530mg
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 12g
- 1 cup pesto-filled dried tortellini *
- ¾ cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- ¾ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup lightly toasted sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons Italian salad dressing
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Five minutes before it's done, stir in the edamame. Drain in a colander, place in a bowl, and cool (on the counter or in the fridge).
- When the pasta comes to room temperature or cooler, add the chickpeas, cranberries, almonds, and salad dressing. Stir to combine. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Before packing into a lunchbox, you may want to add an additional teaspoon of the dressing.