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Cubano Tortellini Salad with Mojo Dressing
Your favorite Cubano Sandwich turned into mouthwatering colorful Cuban Tortellini Salad with zesty Mojo Dressing! This tangy, flavorful pasta salad is hearty, comforting and vibrant, loaded with fixings but is wonderfully simple to make.  It makes an in-demand recipe potluck side and a fantastic make-ahead weeknight dinner too!
    Servings Prep Time
    8servings 25minutes
    Cook Time
    10minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    8servings 25minutes
    Cook Time
    10minutes
    top view of Cuban pasta salad with cheesy tortellini, cubed pork roast, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, pickles pickled jalapenos, red onions, Romaine lettuce and cilantro
    Ingredients
    Pasta Salad
    • 20oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini
    • 8oz. 1/2-3/4″ cubes pork roastor cooked pork top loin
    • 8oz. 1/2-3/4″ cubes honey glazed ham
    • 4oz. 1/2-3/4″ cubes salami or chopped sliced salami
    • 6oz. 1/2-3/4″ cubes Swiss cheese
    • 1pint cherry tomatoeshalved
    • 2/3cup chopped Dill pickles
    • 3tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenosor more to taste
    • 1/4 of a small red onionthinly sliced
    • 2cups packed roughly chopped romaine lettuce
    • 2tablespoons chopped cilantro
    Mojo Dressing
    • 2/3cup olive oil or canola oil
    • 6 garlic clovesminced
    • 3tablespoons orange juice
    • 1tablespoon orange zest
    • Juice and zest of one lime
    • Juice and zest of one lemon
    • 1tsp, EACH dried oregano, ground cumin
    • 1/2tsp. EACH onion powder, salt
    • 1/4tsp. EACH smoked paprika, pepper
    • 1tablespoon apple cider vinegar(optional for tangier dressing)
    Instructions
    1. Cook tortellini according to package directions just until al dente- do NOT overcook. Drain, rinse with cold water and add to a large serving bowl.
    2. Meanwhile, combine dressing ingredients in a pint size mason jar. Seal and shake vigorously. Pour half of the dressing over the drained pasta and toss to combine.
    3. Add the remaining salad ingredients to the bowl EXCEPT romaine lettuce and toss until well coated. Chill in the refrigerator at least one hour. When ready to serve, add romaine and remaining dressing and toss to combine.
    Recipe Notes

    Helpful Tips to make this Tortellini Salad

    • DELI COUNTER. The deli counter is your best friend for this tortellini salad recipe. You can give them a list of exactly what you need (including the Swiss Cheese) and how thick to slice it then continue to shop and return to reap the harvest. I suggest printing out the recipe and highlighting what you want.  They won’t cube the meat/cheese for you, but they will slice it to the specified thickness.  When you get home, all you have to do is slice the meat/cheese in the other direction to create cubes.
    • PORK ROAST SUBSTITUTE. If your deli doesn’t have pork roast (some do, some don’t), then you can purchase sliced pork top loin.  To cook, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Season pork with salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes per side.  Let rest 5-10 minutes before chopping into cubes.
    • DON’T OVERCOOK TORTELLINI It is important to not overcook your tortellini otherwise it will fall apart when tossed.  To stop your tortellini from cooking after it’s removed from the heat, rinse and drain it in cold water.
    • USE BOTTOM OF ROMAINE. Discard the very top flimsy part of the Romaine because it doesn’t have as much crunch then use the lettuce closest to the bottom stem for maximum crunch.
    • PREP AHEAD DRESSING. You can make the dressing up to 24 hours in advance  of your tortellini salad and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  I think the dressing is far superior when made in advance because the flavors have time to develop.
    • TANGIER DRESSING. As written, the dressing is infused with garlic and citrus but not overpowering.  If you want even a more sour taste characteristic of Mojo sauce, then add 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar – but be sure you to taste the dressing first!

     

    How to make Tortellini Salad in Advance

    • You can make the Mojo Dressing up to 24 hours in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you choose to make it this far in advance, you might want to add a little more lemon or apple cider vinegar before tossing as the citrus will mellow over time – just taste first and then make the call.
    • You can prep all of the Tortellini Salad ingredients in advance making this a fabulous make ahead dinner or side. Add the pasta and all of the ingredients to a large bowl EXCEPT the Romaine lettuce and toss with half of the dressing.   Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Refrigerate the chopped lettuce separately.  When ready to serve, add the lettuce and the remaining dressing and toss until evenly combined.
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