Meatless Monday: Summery cheese tortellini pasta salad with fresh grilled corn and tomatoes

Aug 25, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. ET

What tastes like summer? I'd have to say basil, tomatoes and corn, all tossed together.

That's why this Meatless Monday recipe for cheese tortellini with grilled corn, tomato and Parmesan-basil dressing is perfect for a summertime meal.

Cheese tortellini with grilled corn, tomato, and Parmesan-basil dressing

While it's still warm out, serve your pasta — and its sauce — cold. Why not? It can be so refreshing, especially when you're using summer's stock of veggies. I used the basil to make a dressing similar to pesto sauce (you'll probably have a little left over — use it on your salad the following day) and tossed it with cheese tortellini, fresh tomatoes and grilled corn. Chill it in the fridge for a bit, and you've got a superfresh version of pasta salad.

Cheese tortellini pasta salad with grilled corn, tomato and Parmesan-basil dressing recipe

Serves 4


  • 2 corn ears, husks and silk removed
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces fresh or dried cheese tortellini


  1. Lightly brush the grill with vegetable oil, and then turn it to medium heat.
  2. Brush the corn with the melted butter, and season it with the salt and black pepper. When the grill is hot, place the corncobs on the grill, turning often, for about 5 minutes or until the kernels begin to char lightly. Remove from the heat.
  3. When cool to the touch, cut the kernels from the cobs, and set them aside.
  4. To a food processor, add the basil, olive oil, vinegar, Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper. Blend until smooth. Place the mixture into a container with a lid, and refrigerate.
  5. Prepare the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain, add to a large bowl, and allow the tortellini to cool to room temperature.
  6. Add the tomatoes and corn to the bowl. Spoon the basil mixture over all the ingredients (you'll likely have leftover dressing). Add as much or as little as you like.
  7. Toss gently, and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  8. Remove from the refrigerator, toss gently, and serve chilled.

Dig into this chilled and flavorful pasta dish.

More Meatless Monday recipes

Skillet cauliflower and zucchini hash with eggs
Basil and lime grilled tempeh and tomato skewers
Cajun seitan nachos