Everyone will rave about this Italian-inspired Tortellini Salad at your next summer BBQ. This tasty and unique pasta salad is made with cheese tortellini, fresh veggies, artichokes, salami, and a simple homemade vinaigrette.
Tortellini Pasta Salad is one of my favorite summer side dishes, and it’s also hearty enough to be a light meal all by itself!
This easy summer salad recipe comes together quickly, with a handful of fresh, flavorful ingredients. Your tortellini salad will definitely be the star of the show when you bring it to the next potluck or party.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- One Bowl – All you need to make this recipe is a knife, a cutting board, and a large salad bowl. Everything gets added to the same bowl and mixed together. This recipe is super easy!
- Fresh Flavors– I love summery pasta salads with lots of fresh veggies. The crunch of the cucumber and the acidity of the tomatoes pairs wonderfully with a bright lemon and olive oil dressing.
- Versatile Recipe – I think I’ve perfected the art of the tortellini salad with this recipe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment! Try adding cheese, other veggies or meats, or different flavors to your version of this summer salad.
Ingredients In Tortellini Salad
Here’s what you need to make this easy tortellini salad:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Tortellini – Cheese tortellini is great here, although you could use other types as well. Choose bite-sized tortellini so that the salad is easy to eat. I prefer the refrigerated tortellini for this recipe, but you could also make this with dried or frozen ones if you like.
- Veggies – Chopped cherry tomatoes, sliced English cucumbers, and a thinly sliced red onion add crunch and fresh flavor to this pasta salad.
- Artichokes – A simple can of artichokes takes this salad to the next level! Drain them and chop them into smaller pieces.
- Salami – This cured meat adds flavor and a bit of protein to the mix.
- Pasta Salad Dressing – Why buy bottled Italian dressing when it’s simple to make your own vinaigrette? You’ll need fresh garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, and chopped basil to dress this salad, plus some salt and pepper to ensure it’s perfectly seasoned.
How To Make Summer Tortellini Salad
- Cook Pasta: Cook the tortellini according to the package directions until fully cooked but not falling apart. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain in a colander.
- Prep Ingredients: Chop salami, artichokes, tomatoes, and cucumbers into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the red onion, mince the garlic, and chop the basil leaves.
- Fill the Bowl: Add the cooked tortellini, chopped veggies and herbs, and salami to the bowl.
- Dress: Add olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and basil directly to the salad. Season with salt and pepper, toss to combine, and serve.
There’s no need to dirty another bowl to make this pasta salad dressing. Simply add it directly to the salad and stir well to combine.
- Don’t overcook the pasta: You want the tortellini to be fully cooked, but not falling apart. Follow the package instructions, and be sure to rinse the tortellini after it’s done boiling so that it stops cooking and cools down.
- Take a Shortcut. You can use store-bought Italian dressing to make this dressing if you’d rather not mix your own. The ingredients here work well with a zesty, savory dressing rather than a sweet one, but use whatever you like! Homemade Olive Garden Italian Dressing would also be delicious on this cold tortellini.
- Other Veggies: Chopped bell peppers, pickled banana peppers, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped spinach, green onions, and chopped zucchini would all be delicious here if you’d like to add more veggies to the salad.
- Try Including Cheese: Shredded Parmesan or fresh mozzarella pearls will fit in perfectly with the other Italian ingredients in this salad.
- Make it Vegetarian by leaving out the Salami. There are so many ways to tweak this easy summer salad to feed whatever crowd you have!
Store leftover tortellini salad covered and in the fridge for up to 5 days. This makes it perfect as a make-ahead side dish or weekly meal prep dish.
If the salad seems dry after storing it’s just because the pasta has absorbed most of the dressing. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to freshen it up again.
What To Serve With Summer Tortellini Salad
This type of salad is perfect for outdoor parties, BBQs, and casual get togethers all season long. Try some of my other classic summer meals.
Fire up the Smoker: Low and slow is the way to go for summer BBQ! Try Smoked Meatloaf, Smoked Brisket, and an amazingly flavorful Smoked Queso Dip.
No Bake Desserts: I’ve made so many new and delicious ones this year! Check out my Banana Icebox Cake and Strawberry Pretzel Parfaits.
More Summer Side Dishes: Mexican Fruit Salad and a simple Red Potato Salad will round out your summer menu beautifully.
This can happen if there is not enough dressing. If you mix all of the ingredients and the salad seems dry, you can either double the dressing ingredients, or simply add some extra olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to the bowl.
Cured meats like salami, pepperoni, and ham are always delicious, but you can also try adding shredded chicken, cheese, or beans.
The best texture comes from fresh tortellini, so that’s what I suggest using to make this salad. You can use frozen tortellini as well, just be very careful not to overcook it.
Good quality extra virgin olive oil will solidify at cold temperatures. If you find that the oil has gotten clumpy on your salad, just let it sit at room temperature for a bit and it will thaw and return to normal.
Everyone will want the recipe for this easy Tortellini Salad! Make sure to Pin it so you can find it again, and share it with your friends and family.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
- 16 ounces (450g) cheese stuffed tortellini
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- ½ cup diced salami
- 14 ounce can artichokes drained and chopped
- ½ English cucumber diced
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large pot with salted water, cook the tortellini according to the package instructions until fully cooked but not falling apart. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain in a colander.
- To a large bowl, add the cooled tortellini, cherry tomatoes, salami, artichokes, cucumber, onion, and garlic.
- To the same bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the salad to combine, and serve.
- Fresh tortellini works best in this recipe, but you can also use dried or frozen pasta. Be sure not to overcook the pasta.
- Storebought Italian dressing can be used in place of the dressing ingredients here if you’d like a shortcut.
- Feel free to add other veggies or cheese to this salad.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen
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