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This easy Tortellini Pasta Salad brings a fun twist to a classic side dish! This cold pasta salad with Italian dressing has just 6 ingredients and is oh so tasty!

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tortellini pasta salad with dressing being poured over it

When summer rolls around, I always look forward to all the outdoor activities and countless cookouts!  I think of burgers, baked beans, fresh fruit, pasta salad and cold drinks….the epitome of summer in the midwest.  This pasta salad is a breeze to whip up and is sure to become your go-to side dish!

Ingredients needed to make a Tortellini Pasta Salad laid out on a white background.

Ingredients Needed (amounts in Recipe Card below)

Cheese Tortellini – You can use frozen, refrigerated or the dry packaged tortellini.  More details on that below!

Fresh Vegetables – I like to use peas, yellow or red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and died red onion.  However, the options are limitless!  See below for more ideas.

Dressing – You can use store-bought or make your own simple homemade dressing with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and spices.

tortellini pasta salad close up

​Optional Add-Ins

I love how customizable this pasta salad is! Use your family’s preferences to make the pasta salad to fit your taste! Here are a few ideas….

  • Veggies
    • Black Olives or Kalamata Olives
    • Sun-Dried Tomatoes (chop into very small pieces)
    • Diced English Cucumbers
    • Diced Artichoke Hearts
  • Cheese
    • Parmesan Cheese
    • Feta Cheese
    • Cubes of Mozzarella Cheese
    • Fresh Mozzarella Balls
  • Meat
    • ​Diced Salami
    • Diced (or mini) Pepperoni Slices
A white bowl with tortellini pasta salad with a jar of Italian dressing in the background.

How to Make this Easy Pasta Salad

Start by boiling the cheese-filled pasta until al dente.  Drain the hot water then rinse the pasta with cold water until the pasta is cool.

Pour the pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.

Refrigerate the cold pasta salad until ready to serve.

If the salad needs a bit more dressing when it’s time to serve, stir in a little more dressing and enjoy!

Tortellini Pasta Salad Variations

Pesto Tortellini Salad – Add a couple spoonfuls of fresh basil pesto into the dressing before adding it to the pasta and veggies!  It adds a fun boost of flavor!

Greek Tortellini Salad – Use a Greek salad dressing and for the veggies, use tomatoes, olives, cucumber and onion.  Sprinkle with feta when ready to serve.

Zesty Italian Tortellini Salad – Use Zesty Italian Dressing and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a little added heat!

A forkful of pasta salad.

​Can I use refrigerated or dry tortellini?

Yes!  If you’re using the refrigerated kind, simply follow the instructions for cooking the tortellini to al dente, then rinse in cold water.  If you’re. using the dry packaged kind, cook them according to the package instructions (these will need to be boiled longer than the other options).  Again, rinse with cold water and continue as the recipe states.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does pasta salad need to be refrigerated? 

Yes. Once you’ve mixed the salad, go ahead and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll stay good 5 days in the fridge and the leftovers are delicious!!

Can I make pasta salad in advance?

Pasta salad is best after it has some time for the flavors to soak into the pasta, so making it a 12-24 hours in advance is great!    When you’re ready to serve the pasta salad, give it a stir. If it needs a little more dressing, add a couple tablespoons at a time until it it’s got enough for your liking.

Can I freeze pasta salad?

I don’t recommend it.  It’ll change the texture of the pasta (make it mushy) and the texture and color of the vegetables.

Pasta salad being stirred in a large clear bowl with a wooden spoon.

Other Cold Salads You’ll Love

Sweet Macaroni Salad

Cottage Cheese Pasta Salad

Orange Jello Salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Tortellini Pasta Salad
5 from 1 vote

Tortellini Pasta Salad

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
9 (2/3 cup) servings
Cheese-filled tortellini pasta brings a fun twist to a classic side dish!

Ingredients
 

  • One 14 ounce bag frozen cheese-filled tortellini pasta
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper diced
  • 3/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing**

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse in cold water; drain.
  • Add the pasta, peas, tomatoes, onion and peppers to a large bowl.
  • Add the dressing and stir.

Notes

*Depending what brand you get, you might also find 19 oz bags of tortellini.  Go ahead and use the entire bag and add a couple extra tablespoons of dressing, if needed!
 
**You can also use Roasted Red Pepper Italian Dressing (my favorite!), light Italian dressing or creamy Italian dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.4g | Protein: 6.7g | Fat: 6.3g | Saturated Fat: 1.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.9g | Cholesterol: 18.6mg | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 3.9g | Vitamin A: 217IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 0.9mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Love alot of her recipes. I love to cook for family & friends!