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Tortellini Pasta Salad

Tortellini Pasta Salad is a delicious and easy dish that’s perfect for spring and summer. Cheese-stuffed tortellini with juicy tomatoes, olives, and parmesan cheese, all tossed together in Italian dressing. It’s the perfect side dish for a warm summer day!

tuscan pasta salad in a bowl

Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe

Pasta salads are a classic dish that are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a summer barbecue, a potluck with friends, or a quick lunch at home.

And if you’re looking to switch up your go-to pasta salad recipe, you will love this delicious tortellini pasta salad.

This Italian pasta salad recipe is easy to make with fresh ingredients and packed with flavor. Featuring cheesy tortellini, fresh vegetables, and a zesty Italian dressing, it is a fun twist and takes a boring pasta salad to a whole new level.

With a prep time of just 15 minutes and a chill time of 30 minutes, this classic pasta salad is a great option for a quick and easy meal that’s light yet filling.

Why You Will Love It

  • Summer pasta salads are perfect for using up leftover fresh vegetables.
  • Easy to make.
  • Healthy and filling.
  • Crowd-pleaser
  • Budget friendly.
ingredients in a large mixing bowl

Ingredients Needed

Tortellini – I prefer to use the plain cheese tortellini but use your favorite flavor!

Onion – A red onion adds more of a bite or substitute a sweet onion.

Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes are easy to use for this or substitute grape tomatoes or Roma.

Squash – A green zucchini is perfect for this. Substitute yellow squash if desired.

Bell peppers – A mixture of red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper. Substitute your favorite color.

Olives Regular black olives are easy or substitute Kalamata or green olives.

Cheese – Parmesan cheese has a nice nutty flavor. Substitute feta cheese or fresh mozzarella pearls if desired.

Dressing – You favorite Italian dressing works well or make a vinaigrette with red wine vinegar.

Garnish – Fresh herbs like fresh basil or parsley are perfect.

Looking for more leftover worthy dishes? Follow LTB on Pinterest and pin to a board!

How To Make Tortellini Pasta Salad

First: Cook the tortellini according to package instructions. Run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and add it to a large bowl.

While the pasta cooks, mix the dressing ingredients if making it homemade.

Second: Add the sliced onion, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced and halved zucchini, chopped bell pepper, chopped basil, sliced black olives, and grated Parmesan cheese to the bowl with the tortellini.

Mix all ingredients together.

Third: Pour the Italian dressing over the mixture and mix again until everything is coated.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to an hour.

Fourth: Garnish and serve chilled.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

favorite pasta salad recipes

Serving Suggestions

This cheese tortellini pasta salad is a great salad to serve with many different dishes.

I like it with grilled chicken or burgers, a variety of sandwiches, any BBQ meats, or by itself with some kidney beans added it for protein.

How long does tortellini pasta salad last?

Stored in an airtight container, tortellini pasta salad can last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

However, the salad may become dry over time and the vegetables may lose their crunch, so it’s best to eat it in 2-3 days.

great with spinach tortellini

Can you make this in advance?

Yes, you can. I recommend cooking the tortellini, rinsing it in cool water, and draining completely.

Mix the other ingredients with the pasta and cover with plastic wrap.

Store in the fridge for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, pour on the Italian dressing and toss to coat. I recommend chilling the dressing before tossing in the salad.

Can you freeze tortellini pasta salad?

While pasta salad can technically be frozen, it’s not recommended.

Freezing makes the pasta mushy and the vegetables will release a lot of water making the pasta salad soggy.

bowl of pasta salad with tortellini and italian dressing

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. You might need to stir in a little more dressing as the pasta might absorb it making the salad seem dry.

If the salad was left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature, I don’t recommend saving any leftovers.

Can it be eaten cold?

Yes, Tortellini Pasta Salad is typically served chilled, making it a perfect dish for picnics, potlucks, or any outdoor gatherings.

The flavors mix together nicely while chilling, and the salad is refreshing and delicious when cold.

What are some proteins to add?

If you want to bulk up the salad or serve it as a full meal, add some protein. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Shredded rotisserie chicken.
  • Diced salami, smoked sausage, pepperoni, ham, or cooked bacon.
  • Seafood like cooked salad shrimp or crab.
  • Keep it vegetarian by adding tofu, chickpeas, kidney beans, or cannellini beans.
spoon of tortellini pasta salad

Easy Pasta Salad Recipes

bowl of tortellini pasta salad with wood spoon

Recipe Variations:

Italian tortellini salad: Add chopped salami, fresh mozzarella cheese, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning, and your favorite balsamic vinegar dressing.

Mediterranean pasta salad: Use Kalamata olives, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers, and a Greek dressing.

Southwest pasta salad: Try a southwest vinaigrette dressing and add black beans, green onions, and Mexican cheese.

Tips for No Leftovers

  • Use fresh, dried, or frozen tortellini. It’s delicious in chicken tortellini soup and my Tuscan tortellini soup.
  • When cooking tortellini, don’t overcook the pasta. Cook it al dente or a little under the recommended time.
  • Too much dressing will make the salad soggy.
  • Experiment with different flavors of pasta like spinach or mushroom tortellini.
  • Serve this dish as a side or vegetarian main course. 
  • This dish is best served chilled.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

delicious side dish with yellow banner and red text

Looking for a delicious and easy tortellini pasta salad? Try this delicious side dish! It’s quick to make and perfect for picnics or summer gatherings.

tortellini pasta salad in a bowl

Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Looking for a delicious and easy pasta salad? Try this tortellini pasta salad recipe! It's quick to make and perfect for any gathering.

Ingredients

  • 1 (20 ounce) package of cheese stuffed tortellini
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 zucchini, sliced & halved
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ bottle Italian dressing

Instructions

  1. Add cooked pasta shells to a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Top with all ingredients except for the dressing. 
  3. Mix well until ingredients are fully combined. 
  4. Add in dressing and mix again.
  5. Cover and place inside the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes - 1 hour before serving.

Notes

  • Use fresh, dried, or frozen tortellini.
  • When cooking tortellini, don't overcook the pasta. Cook it al dente or a little under the recommended time.
  • Too much dressing will make the salad soggy.
  • Experiment with different flavors of pasta like spinach or mushroom tortellini.
  • Serve this dish as a side or vegetarian main course. 
  • This dish is best served chilled.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 257mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and we can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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