In the Midwest, it’s always grilling season, and we’ll grill almost anything, just to see if we can.
Which is why I’m here to talk to you about grilled pasta (that’s pasta with a soft “a,” thanks).
Two things right off the bat.
- I’ve never eaten tortellini before. I’ve seen it bagged in the refrigerated section of the grocery plenty of times, or heard of it in soups, but it never looked appealing to me.
- I threw my BBQ grill away when I got a flat top last Christmas, so the only way to not heat up the house this summer with the oven was to just throw stuff on the Blackstone and hope it pans out.
NOTE: you can still make the crap out of this, even if you don’t have a flat top grill. You can use a griddle or a big cast iron pan.
So naturally, I had to try this.
Like most things, you can make this dish with whatever veggies or meats you have on hand, the only staples are tortellini and Italian dressing.
I’m going to show you my base pasta scenario, and then you can adjust as needed.
Cheese tortellini from the refrigerated section, chicken, cherry tomatoes, spinach, roasted red peppers, zucchini, Italian dress, basil, and parmesan to finish.
As far as dressing goes, here I’m using the Blackstone brand Loaded Italian found in the grilling tool section of Walmart, but I actually much prefer the Olive Garden Italian dressing, and you can get that in almost any grocery store salad dressing aisle.
About the tortellini.
Because you are only grilling this dish for a short time, you want your tortellini to be basically cooked before you add them to the grill.
I buy tortellini from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, and technically you are supposed to give them a really quick boil before using. I did that once, and then immediately forgot to ever do it again, and my pasta has always been delicious.
However, if you buy hard tortellini in a box, sorry babes, you gotta cook that first.
Helpful tip: I bought an oversized shower caddy from Walmart, and use it to lug all my griddle tools around.
This meal moves really fast, so have all your ingredients prepped and at the ready.
First up, you’re going to grill up the chicken. I season mine with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and my grill oil of choice is avocado oil.
Once the chicken is cooked through, add the tomatoes and zucchini. Get a good char and blister on them.
Next you are going to dump that whole jar of roasted red pepper strips on top of things, including all that yummy juice inside. For real, empty that whole thing on there.
Roasted red peppers are one of those ingredients you never think of trying, but once you do, you add it to everything for the rest of your life.
Toss things around, add your spinach and pasta, let it cook down, and let the pasta get that delicious grilled crust.
Last, add your Italian dressing.
I just dump the whole bottle on there, I like to soupy, but it also helps keep leftover moist.
Toss your pasta with the dressing so that it heats through, and all your ingredients are coated.
I serve this heaping mound of pasta with shaved parmesan and fresh basil.
Want to watch the inspiration for this recipe: Click here to check out Todd’s video.
- 1 bag refrigerated Tortellini Pasta
- 3 Chicken Breasts, cubed and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder
- 1 large Zucchini, sliced
- 16 oz Roasted Red Pepper Strips
- 16 oz Italian Dressing
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
- 8 oz Baby Spinach
- Parmesan Cheese, shaved
- Fresh Basil
- Cooking oil of choice (I use avocado)
- Heat up your griddle with oil, and grill your chicken until cooked through.
- Add the zucchini and tomatoes, and toss until they are charred and blistered to your liking.
- Add the whole jar of roasted red pepper strips, including all liquid. Toss to mix and cook through.
- Add spinach and tortellini, and grill until wilted and pasta has a nice crisp.
- Add 3/4 bottle of Italian dressing, toss to coat and heat through. Add the rest if you prefer the dish to be saucier.
- Remove from grill, and serve topped with shaved parmesan cheese and fresh basil.