Tuscan Tortellini Pasta Salad
This easy and flavorful Tortellini Pasta Salad is loaded with veggies, has a simple homemade dressing and comes together in less than 30 minutes. It’s got sun dried tomatoes in it, sweet peppers, kale, olives and basil all tossed in a tangy dressing. I love the versatility of this Tortellini Pasta Salad as a quick and healthy main dish, or an easy, crowd-pleasing side for dinner with some grilled chicken or to bring to a potluck. It’s also customize with your favorite Italian ingredients! The salad holds up well for days, so it can (and should) be worked into your meal prep and packed lunches too. Make ahead instructions and tips are in recipe notes below.
I’m a big fan of recipes that are simple with minimal ingredients but have amazing flavor and texture. This Tuscan Tortellini Pasta Salad is just that! Its a good one! Everyone knows how good tortellini is. It’s my hubby’s favourite and he is always asking why I don’t have more tortellini recipes on the blog. A few of our other favorite tortellini recipes include my Creamy Tuscan Tortellini Soup , Easy Tortellini Amatriciana, and you might also enjoy my tasty one pot Creamy Tuscan Tortellini. Tortellini only get better as you add to their tastiness by adding all the rest of the ingredients in this pasta salad.
- Baby Kale or Spinach
- Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Sweet Red bell Pepper
- Olives - use any ones you like
- Dressing: Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Garlic, Herbs, and Honey
- Salt & Pepper
- Fresh Basil
- Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
About the tortellini: Use good quality Tortellini!
Although the dry packaged kind will work and so will the frozen for this recipe, I just don’t think they taste as good. The refrigerated kind only take a few minutes to cook once your water is boiling and they’re much better tasting. Use tortellini with any filling you like. I’m a fan of plain cheese ones but feel free to use whatever brand and one you like.
- Add protein: grilled chicken, tofu, shrimp or steak. White beans would be so good in this pasta salad too!
- Substitute what you already have! Incorporate other veggies and ingredients you like or already have on hand like roasted red peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and even some cocktail bocconcini.
- Adjust fresh and dried herbs: Use any ones you like and add some heat by including some chili flakes too
- Dressing: if you don’t want to make it from scratch you can add your favorite store-bought zesty southwest or Italian.
How to make tortellini pasta salad
This pasta salad is made in 3 easy steps
- Cook the tortellini according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a resealable jar or a bowl and either shake until combined or whisk.
- Add tortellini to a large bowl. Add the rest of the salad ingredients, then pour desired amount of dressing (you may not want to use it all) over the pasta and toss to coat.
More popular pasta salads you might like:
For the pasta salad
- 1-1½ lbs of fresh cheese tortellini
- ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced
- 1 cup pitted olives (feel free to rough chop them or leave them whole - I like to do a variety)
- 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 cup baby kale or spinach
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or fresh herb of choice
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
For the dressing
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar either red or white
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon honey or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- 1 clove garlic peeled and grated or finely minced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook tortellini according to package directions. Do not over cook!
- Drain and rinse under cold water until cool and transfer to large serving bowl.
- To make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, water, salt, honey, oregano, basil, garlic and salt and pepper.
- To tortellini add the rest of the ingredients drizzle over the dressing and gently toss until well combined. Garnish with Parmesan and extra fresh basil.
- Serve at once, or cover and place in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- When it comes to salads please feel free to take liberties on the amounts of ingredients for the salad itself or the dressing. If you want to add more olives add more olives that goes for all the ingredients.
Make Ahead Instructions
- Cook the tortellini, chop the veggies and make the dressing, but store separately. Combine everything just before serving! Now if you wanted to toss it all together beforehand and store it tossed you can but I would strongly recommend not adding the kale - only toss the kale in right before serving - I know it’s a pretty hearty green but it will still get soggy overnight.