This Mediterranean tortellini pasta salad recipe has everything we love in a pasta salad – chewy pasta, a homemade vinaigrette dressing, crunch and color with veggies, and loads of flavorful and salty bites with olives, cheese, and salami. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and makes for a delicious side dish to a grilled protein or main course salad that’s perfect in the summer months. It’s sure to be a hit at the potluck table or keep it all to yourself, it’s up to you. 😉
If you love pasta salads as much as we do, be sure to try my peanut and chicken pasta salad (this is a favorite in the Weeknight Dinner Club), bruschetta chicken pasta salad, or cherry chicken pasta salad next time.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
- What You'll Love About Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Tortellini Salad VIDEO
- How to Make Mediterranean Tortellini Pasta Salad
What You’ll Love About Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Delicious fresh flavors
- Salty, acidic, sweet, crunchy, chewy flavors in each bite
- Works as a main course or summer side
- Can be prepped ahead
- Just 25 minutes total time + chilling
- Made with simple ingredients
Mediterranean Tortellini Salad VIDEO
- Dressing – We kept the dressing ingredients for this Mediterranean pasta salad quite simple and it’s made of lemon zest, red wine vinegar, olive oil, vegetable oil, garlic, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Cheese tortellini – Look for refrigerated cheese tortellini for best flavor. You can also use shelf-stable or frozen tortellini if you prefer or that’s what you can find.
- Cucumber – Use an English cucumber or Persian cucumbers for best flavor as they have less seeds and the peel is tender and mild enough to leave on.
- Tomato – Use any grape or cherry tomatoes that you prefer.
- Mozzarella – Love for fresh mozzarella balls. They will either be in a small ball package or a container with liquid. If you can’t find them, you can use any fresh mozzarella, just cut it up into small pieces, about 1/2 inch big.
- Salami – Use a thick-cut salami if you can find it, but if not, regular salami will work fine. You can also omit this if you want it to be vegetarian, but we preferred the flavor with it.
- Olives – We recommend kalamata olives, but you could really use any olive variety, just make sure the olives have been pitted. Castelvetranos are a milder olive and would also be fantastic.
- Pepperoncini – This adds great flavor and acidity to the salad to balance everything out, don’t skip it!
- Basil – Finish the pasta salad with fresh basil for some fresh flavor and green color.
How to Make Mediterranean Tortellini Pasta Salad
This is an overview on how to make pasta salad with cheese tortellini, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.
Can cheese tortellini be eaten cold?
Yes, tortellini can be eaten cold, but it does need to be cooked first. This cold pasta salad with tortellini is cooked and then made into the cold salad so you can eat it chilled or let it come to room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
Can you use a different kind of tortellini?
Yes, you could absolutely use a different tortellini, just make sure the filling works with the flavors. Some versions are filled with meat, herbs, or different cheeses and any would be fine to use here, as long as the flavors work.
Store leftover cold pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It’s best eaten within 1-2 days.
What to Serve with Mediterranean Tortellini Pasta Salad
You have some options when it comes to serving this healthy pasta salad. It’s quite filling, so you could definitely serve it all on its own for a cold summer night or take it on a picnic, or you could serve it as a side to one of these mains:
How to Feed Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe to the Whole Family
I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.
I would recommend serving the tortellini salad in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter and know that it’s very common for younger eaters to not like food mixed so even though they may enjoy these foods on their own, it might not appeal to them if it’s mixed.
More Summer Salads
If you like this summer pasta salad, you might also like some of these other summer salads:
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This Mediterranean tortellini pasta salad recipe has everything we love in a pasta salad – chewy pasta, homemade vinaigrette, crunch and color, and loads of flavorful and salty bites.
For the dressing:
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or use citrus zester!)
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
For the pasta salad:
- 20 oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 1 cup sliced English cucumber (about half cucumber, sliced into half moons)
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls
- 4 oz. thick cut salami (chopped)
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives (sliced in half)
- 1/2 cup pepperoncini (chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil ribbons
- In a large bowl, combine lemon zest, red wine vinegar, olive oil, vegetable oil, grated garlic, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. Whisk until emulsified.
- Cook tortellini according to package instructions in salted water. Rinse with cold water and add to bowl with dressing. Toss with dressing.
- Prepare ingredients:
Thinly slice cucumber.
Slice tomatoes in half.
Slice olives in half.
Roughly chop pepperoncini if necessary.
Thinly slice basil.
- Add cucumber, tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, olives, and pepperoncini in a large bowl. Gently toss together.
- Garnish with sliced basil.
Keywords: tortellini pasta salad, tortellini pasta salad recipe, cheese tortellini pasta salad, Mediterranean pasta salad,
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