Tortellini Pasta Salad

Tortellini Pasta Salad

This tortellini salad comes together quickly and is as pretty as it is delicious. With cheese tortellini, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, olives, onions and a homemade Italian inspired dressing this cold salad makes a great side dish or a refreshing lunch or dinner on its own.

The tortellini pasta salad served in a large white bowl, displayed on a white table with an aqua colored linen underneath and a serving spoon in the background.

 

The only cooking involved with this dish is boiling the tortellini. Like this garden pasta salad and this Italian pasta salad, it’s perfect for summer barbecues, potlucks and busy weeknights.

 

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Can this salad be made ahead?

You can put the salad together and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap. Make the dressing and store it in a jar or bowl with a tight fitting lit. Don’t dress the salad until ready to serve and stir the dressing right before adding it in. It will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days. I don’t recommend freezing it. The tortellini, cheese and tomatoes won’t hold up well.

A close up image of the salad in a white bowl.

 

Ingredients

Homemade Italian Dressing

  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Garlic Clove, grated or finely minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt – we used kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Pinch Crushed Red Pepper, optional

 

Tortellini Salad

  • 18 ounces Tortellini, we used a combination three cheese refrigerated tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 ounces Grape or Cherry tomatoes cut into halves or quarters depending on how large they are – or use one or two large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 8 ounces Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 3 ounces Salami, sliced into thin strips
  • 4 ounces Black Olives, pitted and sliced into rounds
  • 2-3 tablespoons Sliced Onions, slice them as thin as possible – we used yellow onion

The ingredients for the salad before being prepped arranged on a wood cutting board.

 

Make the dressing

We’ll make the dressing first so the flavors have a chance to come together. Use a small jar, or other container with a tight fitting lid to mix the dressing. I like to use canning jars. They are super convenient and come in a variety of sizes. Plus the lids fit tight so I can shake without spills, which is great for dressings and sauces like this stir fry sauce and this chimichurri.

 

Since this dressing is made with raw garlic we want to make sure it all but dissolves in the oil and vinegar. The best way to achieve this is to use a microplane (zester/grater) to grate the garlic. If you don’t have one, then finely mince the garlic then press it with the side of the knife until it resembles a paste.

 

  • Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper to a small jar or container. Cover tightly and shake vigorously to mix. Refrigerate until ready to use. Give it a good shake right before using.

 

Cook the tortellini and prep the salad

Next, we’ll cook the tortellini because we need it to cool completely before assembling the salad.

 

Cook the tortellini to package directions. Take care not to overcook them so they don’t get mushy. Drain completely and place them in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat. Use a silicone spatula to toss the tortellini. They are quite delicate and could tear, so be gentle.

 

Give the tortellini a stir once in a while to let the steam escape; this will speed up the cooling process. Refrigerate after it cools a bit to let it cool completely.

 

Prep the remaining ingredients while the tortellini chills

  • Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters depending on how large (or small) they are
  • Cut the mozzarella cheese into small cubes
  • Slice the salami into thin strips
  • Slice the black olives into rounds
  • Slice the onions into paper thin strips
  • Refrigerate the ingredients until ready to use

 

Build the salad

When the pasta has cooled completely, add the tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, salami, black olives, onions and the dressing and toss together until completely coated. Add as little or as much of the dressing as you’d like. Toss gently to prevent tearing the tortellini.

A close up of the salad served in a large, white bowl.

 

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The tortellini pasta salad served in a large white bowl, displayed on a white table with an aqua colored linen underneath and a serving spoon in the background.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Tortellini Pasta Salad

This tortellini salad comes together quickly and is as pretty as it is delicious.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cold pasta salad
Servings: 8
Calories: 430kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

Italian Dressing

  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Garlic Clove grated or minced finely
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper or to taste
  • Pinch Crushed Red Pepper optional

Tortellini Salad

  • 18 ounces Tortellini we used a combination of three cheese refrigerated tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 ounces Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 8 ounces Fresh Mozzarella Cheese cut into small cubes
  • 3 ounces Salami sliced into thin strips
  • 4 ounces Black Olives pitted, sliced into rounds
  • 2-3 tablespoons White Onions thinly sliced

Instructions

Make the Dressing

  • In a small jar, or a container with a tight fitting lid, add ¼ cup olive oil, red wine vinegar, grated garlic, dried oregano, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper, if using. Cover the container and shake or stir to mix. Refrigerate until ready to use, stir vigorously before using too.

Cook the Tortellini

  • Cook the tortellini to package directions. Drain the tortellini completely, and place it in a large bowl. Add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil, toss to keep them from sticking. Give the tortellini a stir once in a while to let the steam escape. Refrigerate the pasta and allow it to cool completely.

While the Tortellini Cools

  • Cut the tomatoes in half or quarter
  • Cut the mozzarella cheese into small cubes
  • Slice the salami into thin strips
  • Slice the black olives into rounds
  • Slice the onions as thin as possible
  • Refrigerate the ingredients until ready to use. When the pasta has cooled completely, add the tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, salami, black olives, onions and the dressing to the tortellini. Add the dressing, use as much or as little dressing as desired. Toss the tortellini salad gently to combine the ingredients.

Notes

Use a rubber spatula to stir the pasta salad to avoid breaking the delicate tortellini and mozzarella.
 
Refrigerate any leftover dressing it will keep for a couple of days.

Nutrition

Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 990mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 484IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 245mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.


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