Soft pillowy cheese tortellini, crisp veggies, salami, fresh mozzarella & an herby Italian vinaigrette to tie it all together! This Italian tortellini pasta salad is an easy make-ahead dish that’s perfect for parties, potlucks or an easy dinner! You’ll be making it all summer long!
As the weather starts warming up, I’ve only got one thing on my mind…PASTA SALAD SEASON! And this Italian tortellini pasta salad needs to be at the top of your “to-make” list! It’s loaded with soft pillowy tortellinis, lots of veggies, salami, 2 types of cheeses and fresh basil all tossed in a vibrant & zesty homemade dressing! (Think of it as a tortellini antipasto salad if you will.😉) It’d be the perfect dish to serve at bbq’s, potlucks, picnics or any type of gathering you have this summer!
Ingredients For Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Tortellini: The base for your pasta salad! I’d suggest using a cheese or spinach tortellini for the best results. (We love sing Buitoni’s Three Cheese Tortellini for ours!)
- Salami: Presliced salami or a hard salami stick cut it into cubes both work for this pasta salad recipe! (We personally love the bigger chunks you get with the stick.)
- Tomatoes: Use cherry or grape tomatoes for the best results.
- Bell pepper: Red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers all work for this recipe. (We love using a combo of yellow and green for ours.😊 The different colors make your pasta salad look so appealing!)
- Onion: Use red onion for the best results. (Red onions are sweeter and don’t have a harsh “onion” flavor like yellow or white onions.)
- Fresh mozzarella: I highly recommend using mozzarella pearls! They’re the perfect bite-sized pieces and there’s no extra cutting involved!
- Shredded parmesan: Completely optional but it adds a ton of flavor! (We’ll usually sprinkle a little over top of the salad right before serving.)
- Black olives: Buy sliced black olives to make prepping this salad even easier!
- Fresh basil: Adding fresh herbs to your pasta salads makes such a difference! You’ll need at least a ⅓ cup of sliced fresh basil for this recipe.
- Herby Italian vinaigrette: An easy homemade Italian dressing that’s only 6 ingredients! It’s zesty, vibrant and adds so much flavor to your tortellini pasta salad!
How To Make Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
1. Prepare your tortellini. Cook your tortellini according to the package’s directions then drain it and set it aside to cool completely. Once cooled, add your tortellini to a large bowl and set it aside.
2. Make the vinaigrette. Whisk your vinaigrette ingredients together then set it aside while your prepare the rest of your salad.
3. Prep your salad ingredients. Dice your bell pepper and salami, slice your tomatoes and thinly slice your red onion and fresh basil.
4. Mix & chill. Add your prepped ingredients to the bowl with your tortellini and pour your desired amount of dressing over the top. Toss the salad until it’s evenly coated then cover the bowl and let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
5. Serve! Right before serving, toss the salad again then serve immediately with shredded parmesan sprinkled over the top of each individual bowl (or mix it into your whole salad if desired.)
- How do I store my leftover tortellini pasta salad? Pour your leftover pasta salad into an air tight container and keep it stored in the refrigerator. I’d also suggest saving some of your dressing (if you have any left) to toss your pasta salad in when you eat it again. (The tortellini tend to soak up the dressing as it sits so giving them a quick toss in the dressing helps to not have a dry pasta salad.)
- How long does tortellini pasta salad last in the refrigerator? Your salad should stay good for 4-5 days if stored properly.
- Can I prep any ingredients beforehand? Yes! Your tortellini can be cooked the day before and the rest of your ingredients (except the basil) can be cut 1-2 days in advance. The vinaigrette can also be made a few days before and stored in the refrigerator!
- 1 teaspoon seems like a lot of salt for the vinaigrette. Why so much? Ok so this dressing is not like a “normal salad dressing” and if you taste it no it’s own, it’s going to be salty – like wayyy salty… But there’s a reason for it! Because we’re using it to coat bland pasta and lots of raw veggies, it needs to be pungent enough to get the job done. (Trust me – ADD ALL THE SALT.)
Why you’ll love this cold tortellini pasta salad recipe!
- Bright colors & bold flavors! Crisp veggies, salty salami, creamy mozzarella & fresh basil – this pasta salad has it ALL!
- Perfect for parties! This recipe makes A LOT of pasta salad, making it perfect for serving a large group! BBQ’s, potlucks, family gatherings, even 4th of July parties – it’s a great option for them all!
- Easy to customize! Add as little or as much of each ingredient as you want! It’s so easy to make this pasta salad your own!
More pasta salad recipes you might like:
- Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad
- Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad
- Tuscan Tuna Pasta Salad
- Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
Easy Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
For the pasta salad:
- 1 20 oz. bag refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 9 oz. hard salami, cut into cubes
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup bell pepper, chopped (red, green, yellow or orange)
- 1 6 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
- 8 oz. mozzarella pearls
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
- ¼ cup red onion, sliced
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded or grated (optional)
For the Italian viniagrette:
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1½ Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
To make the vinaigrette:
- Whisk your vinaigrette ingredients together then keep it stored in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of your salad. (You may want to whisk the dressing again right before adding it to your salad.)
To make the pasta salad:
- Cook your tortellini according to the package's directions. Then drain them and rinse them under cool water. Set the tortellini aside to cool competely before adding them to a large bowl.
- Next add your remaining ingredients (except the parmesan) to the bowl with your tortiellini and pour your desired amount of vianigrette over the top.
- Toss the salad until it's evenly coated then cover it and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Right before serving, toss the salad again then serve immediately with shredded parmesan sprinkled over the top of each individual bowl (or mix it in to your whole salad if desired.)