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Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad

This Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad is a perfect summer (or any time) side dish! Loaded with tortellini, tomatoes, olives, cheese, salami, artichoke hearts, and fresh basil, all tossed in a tangy parmesan garlic dressing.

This pasta salad is one of my family’s most favourite! It’s loaded with delicious ingredients, and tossed with the MOST tasty homemade salad dressing. I hope you love it as much as we do.

a top down view of a wooden bowl of tortellini pasta salad

Recipe Snapshot

EASE: Simple and quick! Put it together in 30 minutes, then let rest for 1 hour (or even overnight).
PROS: Easily tailored to your tastebuds.
MAKE AHEAD. Yes! Make it a day ahead of time.
A FAMILY FAVOURITE. This salad is on regular rotation in our home!

a top down view of a wooden bowl of tortellini pasta salad. two small bowls of salad sit off to the left

Simple, flavourful and a crowd favourite.

If you’re looking for a cold pasta salad recipe that everyone will love, this is it. One of the things I love most about making pasta salads, is how easy they are to put together, and how simple it is to make them your own! There aren’t many veggies, meats or cheeses that don’t taste great in a pasta salad. This pasta salad is full of ingredients that most people love…cheese tortellini, mozza cheese, olives, pickled peppers, tomatoes, dry salami, and fresh basil. So good. But honestly, the star of this salad, is the dressing…yum.

a top down view of a wooden bowl of tortellini pasta salad. three small bowls of salad, and some forks sit off to the left

Perfect for picnics, potlucks and barbecues!

This Italian tortellini pasta salad is the perfect side dish for summer dinners! And because you can make it ahead of time, it’s ideal for picnics, potlucks and backyard barbecues. I also love that I can serve it for dinner, then enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day or two. 

a top down close up view of a wooden bowl of tortellini pasta salad

What to serve with this pasta salad.

This salad is delicious with barbecued steak, roasted chicken, burgers and ribs. I love to serve it with other salads and summer dishes when I’m hosting a party or large get together.

a top down close up view of a wooden bowl of tortellini pasta salad. a small bowl of salad sit off to the left

ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS

  • Tortellini: This pasta salad is best made with cheese tortellini (I used rainbow cheese tortellini). Cook the pasta according to package directions before adding to the salad.
  • Cheese: I used mini bocconcini cheese for this recipe, but feel free to use cubes of your favourite cheese…other options that are delicious are Monterey Jack, cheddar, and chunks of fresh mozzarella.
  • Meat: I used chopped dry cured salami, but you can also use pepperoni.
  • Additional Ingredient Ideas: Feel free to add your favourite veggies, pickles and meat. For example: sliced bell peppers, cucumber, chopped cauliflower and broccoli.
a top down close up view of a wooden bowl of tortellini pasta salad. three small bowls of salad sit off to the left

Tips & Tricks

  • Cooking the Pasta: Make sure not to overcook the tortellini. In fact, the noodles can be a little al dente because they’ll soak up some of the dressing, making them extra flavourful.
  • Allow for Resting/Marinating Time: This salad needs at least 1 hour for marinating and resting to allow all of the flavours to come together. It’s even better if you can let it sit for several hours.
  • Stir, stir, stir! Make sure to mix the pasta salad well, to coat all of the ingredients with the delicious dressing. And give it one last good stir right before you serve it.
  • Can I make this Italian tortellini salad ahead of time? Yes! This is a perfect make-ahead salad. Just keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge overnight, for serving the next day.
  • How long does this salad last?  This salad will last at least 3 days, covered tightly in the fridge. Just give it a good stir before each time you serve it.
Print

Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad

This Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad is a perfect summer (or any time) side dish! Loaded with tortellini, tomatoes, olives, cheese, salami, artichoke hearts, and fresh basil, all tossed in a tangy parmesan garlic dressing.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Marinating Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad

Ingredients

Units Scale

Tortellini:

  • 1350 g package of cheese tortellini

Italian Salad Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (regular white)
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

Salad Additions:

  • 1 can pitted whole black olives
  • 1398 mL can artichoke hearts, cut into small pieces
  • 1200 g container mini bocconcini cheese, drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped dry cured salami
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • pepperoncini peppers (small)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Cook the tortellini pasta according to package directions. When they are done, drain then rinse them with cold water. Set aside
  2. While the noodles are boiling, you can make the dressing.
  3. Combine the oil, vinegar, dried basil, oregano, garlic, parmesan cheese and pepper.
  4. In a large bowl toss the cooled tortellini in the dressing.
  5. Then toss in the black olives, artichoke, bocconcini cheese, salami, red onion, and pepperoncini peppers. Mix well.
  6. Chill for at least 1 hour, more is better.
  7. Make sure to stir the salad well before serving it, as the dressing tends to go to the bottom of the bowl.
  8. Then stir in the chopped fresh basil.
  9. Enjoy!

Keywords: pasta salad, tortellini pasta salad, tortellini salad, Italian salad

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