One of my childhood friends moved to Italy 20 years ago. During a recent visit to see her, I enjoyed a scrumptious salad made with tortellini and fresh vegetables. I fell in love with the dish and have been trying to recreate ever since. How'd I do? —Kelly Mapes, Fort Collins, Colorado
Layers of red cabbage, green spinach, cherry tomatoes and cheese-filled tortellini make this layered salad a real centerpiece. You can alter the amount of dressing to your liking, if you wish.
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Who says summer meals have to be complicated? We love this tangy, simple and tasty salad on warm summer nights. Add a cold glass of lemonade or iced tea and dinner couldn’t be easier. —Samantha Vicars, Kenosha, WI
“I came up with this recipe when I tried recreating a pasta salad I had at a wedding rehearsal," says Danielle Weets of Grandview, Washington. "It’s easy to make and I’m always asked to bring it to potlucks and parties.”
Beans will bring bravos when you present this pleasant pasta and veggie salad. "I first made it for friends who are very good cooks. When it was gone, they asked where the second bowl was," chuckles Lenore Adams of Dayton, Ohio. "Among my make-ahead favorites, it's a big hit every time I serve it."
This salad was served at a dear friend's baby shower by a health-conscious friend, who suggested the dressing be prepared with low-fat or fat-free ingredients. Either way, the creamy dressing has plenty of garlic flavor and coats the pasta, romaine and croutons nicely. —Tammy Steenbock, Sembach Air Base, Germany
In Naperville, Illinois, Janet DuBau creates a unique salad by tossing bright green spinach leaves with delicious cheese tortellini and Parmesan cheese. Bottled poppy seed dressing makes it a snap to put together.