Meatless Monday: Tortellini, tomato and melon make an unusually good salad

Cantaloupe makes a bright appearance in this chilled tortellini pasta salad. It adds sweetness and a beautiful color to this dish. The lemon-mint dressing is the perfect complement to toss it all together.

Say buh-bye to boring pasta salad dishes. This Meatless Monday recipe for chilled tortellini, tomato and melon salad with lemon-mint dressing is a little out of the ordinary and a whole lot of wonderful.


The melon adds sweetness to this salad, pairing well with the slightly salty cheese tortellini. The dressing is light, bright and a bit tangy but a far cry from the standard oil-based pasta salad dressing or even the heavier mayonnaise-based sorts.

Let’s not forget the fabulous color. This pasta salad sings “summer” to anyone lucky enough to dig in.


Chilled tortellini, tomato and melon salad with lemon-mint dressing recipe

This pasta salad is hearty and vibrant and a welcome addition to any summertime gathering. The light dressing and colorful ingredients make it a treat to serve.

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 30 minutes | Total time: 50 minutes


For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard (or dark mustard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped mint leaves

For the salad

  • 10 ounces dried cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups balled cantaloupe
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into slices
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Mint leaves, cut into ribbons, for garnish


For the dressing

  1. To a bowl, add all the ingredients, and whisk until combined. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the salad

  1. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain, and place in a covered bowl. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
  2. When the pasta has chilled, combine it with the melon and tomatoes in a large serving bowl.
  3. Add the dressing to the pasta mixture a bit at a time, to your liking. Toss to coat.
  4. Before serving, add the black pepper, grated Parmesan and the mint ribbons.
  5. Serve immediately.

meatless monday

More Meatless Monday recipes

Walnut-spinach burgers with tomato-mango chutney
Meatless chipotle sloppy Joes with creamy cilantro slaw
Roasted blueberry and arugula salad with lemon-Champagne vinaigrette


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