Tortellini Pasta Salad

This addictive Tortellini Pasta Salad is tossed with a flavorful homemade dressing and is sure to vanish quickly at your next party or BBQ!

This addictive Tortellini Pasta Salad is tossed with an uber-flavorful homemade dressing and is sure to vanish quickly at your next party or BBQ! :: It's quick, easy, and can be made ahead of time for a tasty grab and go dish!

Despite the fact that a good number of us are still relying on our heater for warmth, it’s Spring, glorious Spring!

I’ve always secretly wished that the first day of this much-awaited season fell on April 1st. That way, mother nature can sneak in an epic “Oh, you were expecting spring? APRIL FOOLS!” when she dumps snow on us one last time. Hopefully it’s warm where you are; I’ll come visit. Well, until it gets a bit too warm, and then I’m out of there! I seem to hold very high temperature standards and North Carolina only feels comfortable to me for a good 2-3 months out of the year.

Once it gets too hot or too cold I start to longingly stroke my passport and curse society for not delivering on those flying cars I was promised as a kid. I’m still waiting on that people. It’s 2013. Make it happen.

This addictive Tortellini Pasta Salad is tossed with an uber-flavorful homemade dressing and is sure to vanish quickly at your next party or BBQ! :: It's quick, easy, and can be made ahead of time for a tasty grab and go dish!

While I await my flying car and robot sidekick, you should hop in the kitchen and make some pasta salad. Yes I’m peddling that stuff again. It’s hard not to break out the pasta salad each week when your husband looks at you like you’re a sparkly unicorn every time you make it.

He lights up like a bird with a french fry, grabs a fork, and gets to work on that bowl like it’s the last thing he might ever eat. I guess some people react that way to cake or ice cream… but for Paul?  It’s pasta salad.  I love that man.

Cheesy Tortellini Pasta Salad

Perfect for 2 main dishes or 4 small sides // easily doubled or tripled to feed  a crowd!

This addictive Tortellini Pasta Salad is tossed with an uber-flavorful homemade dressing and is sure to vanish quickly at your next party or BBQ! :: It's quick, easy, and can be made ahead of time for a tasty grab and go dish!
Tortellini Pasta Salad
5 from 11 votes
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Tortellini Pasta Salad

This addictive Tortellini Pasta Salad is tossed with a flavorful homemade dressing and is sure to vanish quickly at your next party or BBQ!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Tortellini Pasta Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 9 oz cheese tortellini (the fresh refrigerated variety)
  • 1-2 cups chopped veggies
  • 2-4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (cut into cubes)
  • 1-2 tsp finely grated Parmesan and/or Romano cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

TASTY VEGGIE OPTIONS

  • tomatoes
  • bell peppers
  • sweet mini peppers
  • olives

HOMEMADE ITALIAN DRESSING

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add your tortellini and reduce heat to gently cook the pasta, according to package instructions, to either tender or al-dente.
  3. Once you think they're done, grab a noodle to taste-test and remove from heat.
  4. Strain/drain in a colander and pour into a medium-large serving bowl.
  5. Toss in your chopped veggies and cheeses and pour the dressing [see below for instructions] over the noodles.
  6. Cover the bowl and refrigerate to chill the pasta and allow the flavors from the dressing to soak into the salad. It acts almost as a marinade and infuses the noodles, veggies and cheese with flavor.
  7. When you're ready to dig in, feel free to drizzle a little extra dressing over the top and dust the entire bowl with parmesan romano cheese and dig. on. in.
  8. For the dressing: Whisk all ingredients together and allow to sit. Giving the dressing some time to mingle will not only infuse flavor into the oil/vinegar but also soften the dry herbs and seasoning. After letting it set, whisk once more and pour over your salad! It should keep in your fridge for about a week, if needed. If you're making this salad to serve the following day [it tastes awesome the next day!] feel free to follow my lead and make extra dressing so you can drizzle some extra over the salad just before serving.

special diets and swaps

Vegansaurus Chefs

Veganize by subbing regular pasta + nixing the cheese (like this)

T-Rex Chefs

Feel free to add bacon or roasted chicken/turkey/ham if you’d like!

Craving a creamy pasta salad? Mix the above Italian dressing recipe with your favorite homemade or natural store-bought caesar dressing.  I’m a bit obsessed with this one and won’t purchase any other brand.  Paul always adds this to his bowl.

Ever find yourself with a crisper full of vegetables to use up? Perfect! Grab your favorites and add them to this recipe! Bell peppers, olives, sweet mini peppers, banana peppers, cucumber… anything goes!

This addictive Tortellini Pasta Salad is tossed with an uber-flavorful homemade dressing and is sure to vanish quickly at your next party or BBQ! :: It's quick, easy, and can be made ahead of time for a tasty grab and go dish!

so… how was it?

The best! It’s been a good year since I’ve last made this tortellini salad, so when the pilot came home to a big bowl of it, it was licked clean within the hour. Clearly I need to put this dish on heavy rotation this Spring and Summer. We miss it so fiercely int he colder months!

Make this as an addition to one of my awesome veggie burgers or serve it up all on it’s own!  This tasty tortellini pasta salad is perfect for cheese addicts whom, as you know, are some of the best type of addicts.  Other than veggie addicts, of course.  Those are just plain awesome.

Hope you kids a fantabulous holiday weekend! <3 

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Comments

  • Valerie C


    I was wondering which olives you used, green or black olives?

    • Hi Valerie! I’ve had some readers mention they added olives but they didn’t specify which kind! I’d say if you’re a big fan of olives just use a little of your favorite? I’m more of a banana pepper girl so when I want something briney/vinegary to add to salads I beeline for those!

  • Nellie Tracy


    I’ve been looking for a new way to spice up my traditional pasta salad and I think I found it! So beautiful and so delicious!

  • Joanie


    This is one of my favorite salads! So fresh, full of so much flavor and perfect for lunch or dinner.

    • Ours too! You can’t go wrong with tortellini in pasta salad!

  • Cindy


    Looks great. Can I make it a day ahead? Thanks.

    • Hey Cindy! You can absolutely make this the day before! I like to save half of the dressing for the next day to drizzle over before serving, as the pasta soaks most of it up if dressed in advance.


  • What a delicious combination! I’m going to make this all summer long—everyone loves it!

  • April


    Tortellini is my favorite! This is SO GOOD.

  • Samantha Dawn


    A great recipe to have on hand during busy weekdays. My family adores the Mrs. Dash seasoning mix!

  • D BLanton

    i bought tortellini at the store this morning then came across this PIN. I wii be making this tomorrow. The pic looks yummy. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Jenn

      Thanks! Hope you love it as much as we do!!! 🙂

  • Anonymous


    I just made this last night for my family, and it was gone in maybe 3 minutes max. Great, easy recipe!! The dressing is YUMMY and I love putting cheese on my cheese.

  • Anonymous


    Hi. I made this salad this weekend for my son’s bday party. I added green peppers, cherry tomatoes, Gorgonzola and Parmesan cheese. It was a hit. Thanks for the recipe.

  • That sounds tasty, but just wanted to say you are so funny!! Flying cars and lights up like a bird with a French fry! Lol I love your writing.

  • Lauren


    I made this over the weekend for a group. Everyone loved it!

    Thanks!
    Lauren


  • Made this last night and it was so good! I served it over baby spinach and added cucumbers to get some extra veggies in. 🙂

  • This looks so good. I love it.

  • nicole

    this looks so good! i’m always looking for easy side dishes and this will be perfect. we’re having friends over sunday and i think i’m going to have to try this!

  • Your tortellini salad looks delicious! It’s great that you made your own dressing for it–and that Mrs. Dash could play a part. Before your next purchase, be sure to download a coupon from our website:
    http://www.mrsdash.com/Save-50-Cents-Coupon.aspx

  • I love Mrs. Dash on everything – but cheese + pasta may take the cake 😉

  • That Mrs. Dash seasoning is super amazing!!! I do LOVE that blend!

  • This sounds so tasty!! I didn’t try tortellini for the first time until recently (I know, how is that possible?!), and I’m kind of in love with it now. Do you have a recommended brand for the tortellini?

    • Thanks Caroline! I can’t recall the brand Sams Club carries but it’s delicious! I also *love* the buitioni brand tortellini – the fresh kind from the refrigerated section in the store beats the frozen and shelf stable ones hands down!

  • I just pinned this bad boy! My husband and sons thank you! 🙂

    Happy Easter!

  • Looks so gooooood’nn

  • I was just telling my fiancee yesterday that tortellini is the one thing I miss about being gluten free. I need a substitute that doesn’t taste like cardboard. Maybe I’ll just eat this anyway and feel sick later. It’s worth it sometimes…

  • Yum … love this one. This would be great to make for a party!!

  • Ahhh, I recognize those pics! 😉 Love it! I seriously want to just put my face in that big ass serving bowl! I don’t know why, but I have NEVER bought the cheese tortellini (which just took me THREE tries to spell…sheesh!) and now I seriously need to get to the store for that Dash blend…I swear I should own stock in that company for as much business as they get from me! Their chipotle seasoning is my FAVE!

    Happy Easter babe! Hope it warms up a bit for ya…it’s been yucky and rainy here all week! I totally second the whole flying car gig! Or at LEAST some sort of hologram shit! C’mon people…get with it!

  • Oh my goodness. I need to make this asap. Looks so good! My mom makes a similar one but its with different pasta.

  • We must hangout. You can make the Italian dinner and I’ll bastardize an Italian dessert (PB cannoli… on a bagel for the baby-bagel?).

  • Since I am a cheese and veggie addict, this is just perfect. It looks fabulous.

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