Tender cheese tortellini, fresh crunchy vegetables, and spicy mini pepperoni are tossed together in a zesty Italian dressing and then sprinkled with fresh parsley in this colorful and flavorful homemade Tortellini Pasta Salad recipe. It’s the perfect dish for a summer picnic, a BBQ, or a simple weeknight dinner.
Summer is the perfect time for light, refreshing meals that are quick and easy to prepare. And what better way to beat the heat than with a delicious pasta salad? One of my family’s favorites is Tortellini Pasta Salad – a combination of tender cheesy tortellini and crisp vegetables drizzled with a zesty dressing that is sure to appease your cravings while keeping you cool and satisfied!
With its colorful ingredients and bright flavors, this dish is perfect for summer gatherings, picnics, or just a light and filling meal on a warm evening. So, get ready to impress your family and friends with this simple yet crazy delicious Tortellini Pasta Salad recipe that is sure to become a staple in your summer menu!
I even have another tortellini-based recipe. This Tomato Tortellini Soup is such a treat. I know you’ll love this recipe too!
How to Make Homemade Tortellini Pasta Salad
Tortellini Pasta Salad is a simple pasta salad recipe that is ideal for summertime. It’s light yet filling and absolutely packed with flavor. And to create this pasta salad with cheese tortellini you’ll need just a few common ingredients and about 10 minutes of prep time.
The result is an easy-to-make, colorful, flavorful, and satisfying pasta salad that pairs perfectly with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, or pulled pork, or is great served on its own as a deliciously satisfying meal.
Kitchen Tools You May Need
Making Tortellini Pasta Salad is a straightforward process that requires very few kitchen tools. The ones you will need are simple and can be found in most kitchens, making this pasta salad a convenient and accessible dish to prepare.
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- large pot to boil water
- colander to drain the pasta
- sharp knife to cut veggies and parsley
- cutting board
- large bowl for mixing/serving
- wooden spoon for mixing
Pasta Salad Recipe Ingredients
This tortellini pasta salad is a perfect summer dish that combines the heartiness of pasta with the crispness of fresh vegetables and the tanginess of Italian dressing. And it is made with just 8 basic ingredients you probably have in the kitchen right now!
The star of the show is undoubtedly the tender, cheese-filled tortellini that provides a satisfying chewiness with the delightful crunchiness of fresh veggies.
Creamy mozzarella cheese adds a rich and savory note, mini pepperoni adds a touch of spiciness and saltiness, and the slightly briny flavor of the black olives contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of the green bell pepper, the brightness of the cherry tomatoes, and the sharpness of the red onion.
These ingredients are brought together with a generous drizzle of tangy Italian dressing and a sprinkling of fresh parsley, which is a match made in heaven for the flavors of the dish and gives it a zesty kick.
So gather up the following ingredients and get ready to whip up a batch of this mouthwatering pasta salad – your taste buds, family, and friends will thank you!
- Cheese Tortellini prepared – I used refrigerated cheese tortellini, but you can always use homemade or frozen. Any brand you like will work here!
- Italian Salad Dressing – my personal favorite is Olive Garden’s Italian Dressing, but you can also use homemade
- Mini Pepperoni – adds the perfect hint of spice!
- Mozzarella cheese – shredded; I love using freshly shredded from a block for the best flavor and texture, but using packaged shredded Mozzarella saves a lot of time.
- Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped – you could also substitute for yellow or red bell pepper
- Red Onion – finely chopped
- Cherry Tomatoes – halved
- Black Olives – drained and sliced – you can also use fresh olives
- Fresh Parsley – finely chopped, adds a touch of brightness
Step-by-Step Pasta Salad Recipe Instructions
This easy Tortellini Pasta Salad is super simple. Plus, it can be ready to chill in about 10 minutes. In fact, the hardest part of the recipe is waiting an hour for it to chill. So get ready to give it a try and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills!
Step One: Prepare Tortellini
Prepare the tortellini according to the package instructions. Once finished, drain the pasta and rinse under cold water and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Step Two: Toss and Cool
Toss the cooked tortellini in about half of the salad dressing and then set it aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Step Three: Add Remaining Ingredients
Once the pasta is completely cooled, add in the pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, bell pepper, onion, black olives, tomatoes, and the remaining salad dressing. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Add salt and pepper if you’d like, then carefully stir the ingredients together until well mixed.
Step Four: Refrigerate
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool for at least one hour.
Step Six: Stir and Serve
After an hour, remove the pasta salad from the fridge and give it one more gentle but thorough stir before serving.
And that is it! Doesn’t it look delicious?!
Additions, Substitutions, and Variations
This homemade Tortellini Pasta Salad is a versatile dish that can easily be customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are some simple substitutions, additions, and variations you can try:
- Switch Meats: instead of using mini pepperoni, try some diced ham, salami, or turkey pepperoni for a lower-calorie option.
- Not a fan of black olives? Use Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or even artichoke hearts.
- Make it Vegetarian or Vegan: simply omit the cheese and replace it with chickpeas, tofu, or vegan cheese.
- Try switching out the fresh parsley for some basil or cilantro for a touch of added brightness.
- Add Extra Crunch: toss in some finely-chopped celery, cucumber, or shredded carrot.
- Add a Pop of Sweetness: add in some raisins, dried cranberries, or even chopped apples!
- Switch up the dressing and use either a creamy Ceasar or a balsamic vinaigrette.
- For a Mediterranean twist, add some feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.
- To make this pasta salad even more filling, try adding cooked chicken or shrimp.
- Switch out the mozzarella for goat cheese or grated Parmesan.
Overall, the possibilities are endless when it comes to making tortellini pasta salad. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients to find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Serve Tortellini Pasta Salad With?
The beauty of this pasta salad is that it goes so well with all sorts of foods! Here are some of my favorite pairings:
- Any type of sandwich
- Crushed Peppercorn Chicken Wings
- Hot Dogs
- Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Country Ribs
Can Tortellini Pasta Salad Be Made Ahead of Time?
Yes, it can be! This pasta salad is very make-ahead friendly. Prepare the pasta salad as directed in the instructions and then wrap it well or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Be sure you do not overcook their pasta.
How Do I Store Tortellini Pasta Salad?
Because this pasta salad recipe contains dairy, any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat again. You can then eat it cold or at room temperature. When stored correctly, Tortellini Pasta Salad will store for up to 5 days.
Why You Will Love This Summer Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Aside from the taste, there are plenty of reasons why you will love this Tortellini Pasta Salad!
- It is the perfect summer dish for parties, picnics, or potlucks!
- This Tortellini Pasta Salad recipe is a great option for outdoor gatherings since it can be served cold and won’t spoil quickly in the heat.
- It is also a great dish to have in your recipe repertoire. It’s easy to make, customizable, and perfect for any occasion and any setting.
- It’s hearty, comforting, and refreshing all at the same time.
- It’s a simple yet flavorful dish that is easy to prepare and you can even mix and match your favorite ingredients.
More Pasta Recipes
Looking for more easy pasta recipes? The possibilities are endless when it comes to pasta dishes, and there’s always something new to discover and enjoy. You have got to give these a try!
- Pasta Primavera with Shrimp
- Leftover Grilled Chicken Ranch and Bacon Pasta Salad
- Chicken Pesto Penne Pasta
And if you have any questions, drop them below and I’ll be sure to answer as soon as possible!
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Printable Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe Card
- 1 package frozen or refrigerated tortellini, prepared
- ½ cup Italian salad dressing (I used Olive Garden)
- 1 cup mini pepperoni
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 3-ounce can of sliced black olives, drained
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, if desired, to taste
- Prepare the tortellini according to the package instructions, and then drain and rinse the pasta in cold water.
- Toss the cooked tortellini in half of the Italian salad dressing and set aside to cool while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Once the pasta has completely cooled, carefully stir in the pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, bell pepper, onion, black olives, and the remaining Italian dressing,
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Add salt and pepper if desired.
- Gently stir until well mixed and coated.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- When ready to serve, carefully stir the pasta salad once again.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 490mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated with ingredients and serving size and may not be accurate. Please always double check with your own nutritional apps as well.