Summer is many things to many people, but one thing most of us can agree on is that it is time for backyard parties, barbecues and pitch-ins.  Every year I tend to find one great recipe for bringing to parties and make it again and again, all summer long.  Now having made this tortellini salad with fresh summer veggies and browned butter I can say without a doubt, this will be my staple pitch-in item this year.

This is not the usual tired pasta salad drenched in bottled dressing.  This is pasta salad with a much needed, much deserved update.  It’s fresh, bright, and that magical browned butter that makes everything taste better certainly does its job well here.  The fresh chives are a perfect finishing touch and really bring the dish together, so don’t skip them.  Now, bring on the parties!


  • 20 oz. fresh cheese tortellini
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 1 pint cherry (or grape) tomatoes
  • 2 ears of corn, husked
  • ½ cup peas, fresh shelled or frozen and thawed
  • Small handful of chives, minced
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 01

    Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook tortellini according to package directions.  Drain well and rinse briefly with cold water to stop cooking and cool the tortellini slightly.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Let melt and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter is a deep golden brown color (be careful not to burn it).  Set aside to cool slightly.

  • 03

    Slice or quarter the cherry tomatoes.  Cut the corn kernels from the cobs.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the tortellini, tomatoes, corn, peas and browned butter.  Toss gently to combine.  Stir in the chives and shaved Parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • HalfBakedHarvest

    This sounds and looks awesome! I love veggies, pasta and browned butter!

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Perfect summer salad, Annie! I love how colourful it is!


    How can something so simple simple look so good? Can’t wait to try it

  • disqus_z9devWPId8

    This is going on our 4th of July menu! How can anything with browned butter not taste good? Just wanted to double check- the corn isn’t cooked before adding it to the salad? Thanks for the recipe!

  • annieseats

    No, it’s fresh :) Enjoy!

  • BeccaHeflin

    You had me at tortellini and took me to the moon with browned butter! *thump thump*

  • Lauren

    I would love to see a list of past winners! Our homeschool group gets together pretty regularly for pot-lucks (about every month) and I am always looking for new summer ideas. I will definitely be trying this.

  • Nothing is better than browned butter. In a salad. Oh my gosh!

  • Stephanie @ Life, Unexpectedly

    That sounds delicious! I have a similar recipe with a dressing of mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Mediterranean herbs. SO yummie!

  • Caroline L.

    Pasta salad definitely makes summer feel like summer! Can’t wait to try this!

  • Brown butter is just so darn delicious, which means this tortellini salad must be out of this world!

  • I have a ton of cherry tomatoes in my garden right now! I am SO making this!

  • Kayla W

    This sounds fantastic. I’m always looking for something tasty for us to enjoy at my parents’ cookouts of canned baked beans and canned veggies. I may try to make this for the 4th. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love everything about this! I’ll be sure to add this to my summer menu!

  • Was devoured at a church potluck in the park! Thanks for sharing. I’d love to see your pitch-in recipes from summers past, too.

  • Nikki Rader

    I’m totally making this for Thursday and if people aren’t talking about it for the next year, I’ll be shocked. Tortellini for life… so delicious!

  • Hannah Herring

    I’ve made this TWICE now since I saw the post. It was delicious both times! The corn and peas together are such a great combo! They are sweet and crunchy and just plain yummy. I watched my very elegant and proper friend pick out of the serving bowl with her fingers at a party last Saturday because it was just that good…she couldn’t stop eating it! I may or may not have finished the bowl for breakfast on Sunday morning. Thanks for another great recipe, Annie!

  • Becca

    Can this salad made be ahead of time, or will the brown butter set funny?

  • annieseats

    I think it’s best fresh, but we ate it for days afterward and it was still delicious.

  • Alice

    I made this last weekend for an early Independence Day celebration and it was such a hit I’ve been asked to make it again. We also found it to be just as delicious as leftovers. Thanks for another great one, Annie!

  • Jean Wavle

    OMG made it for the 4th family picnic – LOVED it..great fresh, but the little that remained was great the next morning:)

  • Holly Wolsey Soper

    Awesome as promised. Loved it!

  • Katie

    Is this to be eaten cold or hot, or both?? I’ve made brown butter sauces before and once cold in the fridge it congeals… just want to make sure I’ll be doing this right! Excited to try this weekend for a birthday party!

  • annieseats

    Ack! Probably too late for your party now. So sorry! You’re right, the sauce congeals when cool. I like it best newly made but it still tastes great too. You could probably rewarm it as well.

  • Mary Ruth Stuckart Cummins

    This was an awesome dinner for my huge crowd!