Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy all types of salads. This tortellini pasta salad recipe is my new favorite! Filled with cheese tortellini, fresh vegetables, and a delicious pesto dressing, it’s perfect for a summer picnic or cookout. Give it a try – you will love having this dish on hand!
I told you you will love this Basil Pesto with Walnuts Recipe!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
Looking for a summer side dish that won’t heat up your kitchen? Tortellini pasta salad is the perfect solution! This recipe is easy to make and can be adapted to include your favorite ingredients. So why not give it a try today? You’ll be glad you did!
- This easy tortellini pasta salad is one of my go-to recipes for summertime gatherings.
- It’s a crowd-pleaser and can be made ahead of time, which is always a bonus in my book!
- The combination of pesto, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese is absolutely delicious and comes together in just a few minutes.
If you’re looking for a simple, yet tasty pasta salad recipe, that the whole family will love this is the one for you!
You only need a handful of kitchen tools to help you make this fresh salad recipe. Gather these tools and you will have a delicious salad in no time at all.
- large pot
- skewers – optional
- large bowl
You only need a handful of ingredients for this recipe! All of these ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store, after one quick trip to the store you will be enjoying this delicious fresh salad recipe.
- cheese tortellini (I used fresh), but you can use any type of filling or if your feeling adventurous make homemade tortellini.
- cherry tomatoes (melody)
- mini mozzarella balls
- basil leaves
- homemade pesto (or jarred)
- Basil Pesto with Walnuts
- fresh basil leaves for skewers
- salt and pepper to taste
Definitely not worth the expense. Oh and by the way, my Basil Pesto with Walnuts is way better!
HOW TO MAKE THIS TORTELLINI PASTA SALAD RECIPE
Making this easy pasta salad is so simple. Follow the directions below and you will have a delicious salad in no time at all. This Italian tortellini salad is perfect for potlucks, cookouts, and family parties.
STEP 1: PREPARE THE TORTELLINI ACCORDING TO THE PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS
Prepare tortellini according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep pasta in a medium bowl and cool in the refrigerator.
STEP 2: ADD OLIVES, TOMATOES, AND MOZZARELLA BALLS
Add olives, tomatoes, and mini mozzarella balls to the tortellini.
STEP 3: FOLD IN THE PESTO
Fold in pesto 2 tablespoons at a time until all ingredients are lightly dressed.
FOR TORTELLINI SKEWERS
STEP 1: ASSEMBLE THE SKEWERS
Thread kalamata olives, tortellini, tomatoes, and mini mozzarella balls with fresh basil on wooden skewers.
STEP 2: SERVE WITH FRESH PESTO FOR DIPPING
Serve with fresh pesto on the side for dipping.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH TORTELLINI PASTA SALAD
There are so many different things that you can serve with this delicious side dish recipe. Here is a small list of my favorites.
- Grilled Ribeye Steak
- Teriyaki Turkey Burgers
- Grilled Cheese Steak Sandwich
- Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Chicken
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
If you are looking to change up this perfect side dish recipe a bit, here are a few ideas.
- Try different types of pasta – This recipe would be just as delicious as any type of small pasta. Try bowtie pasta, farfalle pasta, or even elbow macaroni!
- Add different fresh veggies – Try adding chopped bell peppers, cucumbers, black olives, artichoke hearts, diced red onion, or green onions.
- Make it a main dish – Add some grilled chicken or shrimp to make this salad a meal.
- Add more flavor – You can add additional flavor by adding, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, feta cheese, parmesan cheese, black pepper, red wine vinegar, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Dressing – Instead of using pesto, you could also use a homemade vinaigrette, olive oil, or store-bought zesty Italian dressing.
There are so many different ways that you can adapt this recipe to fit your taste. So why not give it a try today? I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!
HOW TO STORE
This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this salad as the pasta will become mushy.
Do you have questions about this Italian pasta salad recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about this easy recipe.
Yes, tortellini can be eaten cold. This is one of the reasons why I love this amazing recipe so much! You can make it ahead of time and it will still taste great the next day.
Yes, you can make tortellini salad the day before. I would recommend adding the dressing just before serving though. This will help keep the pasta from becoming mushy.
Tortellini pasta is bad if it has a sour smell or if the pasta is mushy. If you are unsure, it is always best to throw it out. do you know if tortellini is bad?
OTHER GREAT RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY
- 1 12 ounce package cheese tortellini (I used fresh) cooked according to packaged directions
- 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (melody)
- 1 cup mini mozzarella balls
- 1/2 cup Basil Pesto with Walnuts
- fresh basil leaves for skewers
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare tortellini according to manufacture's instructions. Keep pasta in a medium bowl and cool in the refrigerator.
- Add olives, tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls to the tortellini.
- Fold in pesto 2 tablespoons at a time until all ingredients are lightly dressed.
For Tortellini Skewers
- Thread kalamata olives, tortellini, tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls with fresh basil on wooden skewers.
- Serve with fresh pesto on the side for dipping.
If you can't find mozzarella balls, dice a block of mozzarella into bite size chunks.
Cherry or grape tomatoes can be used in place of the melody version.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 782mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 20g
Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.
This recipe was first shared September, 2014. It has been updated with new photos and updated content June, 2022. The recipe has been unchanged.