Easy Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad is full of fresh summer veggies, salami, and tortellini pasta. It is tossed in a zesty italian dressing and is always the hit of the potluck!
Easy Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
Recently, I went to a fun birthday BBQ for my husband’s cousin. I’m always down for a good backyard BBQ with delicious grub. All of the side dishes were fantastic! I especially loved this Italian Tortellini Salad. I kept thinking, why don’t I have this on the blog yet!? It makes the perfect side for a potluck!
So you better believe I made this for our next BBQ!
This Italian pasta salad comes together quickly and easily. It is perfect with the fresh summer veggies inside, along with the salami, olives, and mozzarella cheese balls. It gets tossed with tortellini pasta and italian dressing. Such a delicious classic with so many fresh ingredients. You are going to love it just as much as we did!
Ingredients for Pasta Salad:
- Refrigerated tortellini: I used spinach and cheese.
- Cherry tomatoes: Chopped in half to bite size.
- Cucumber: Brings a fresh flavor to the salad.
- Olives: Add a smooth, savory flavor.
- Mozzarella cheese balls: I love the mild flavor of the mozzarella with the spice of the salami.
- Italian salami: Cubed pieces work great and add awesome texture and flavor.
- Italian salad dressing: Use store bought or make your own. I used pre-made for this recipe.
- Grated Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated gives you the most flavor.
- Sesame seeds: The texture of these little seeds in the dressing is fantastic.
- Paprika: Gives great color to the dressing.
- Celery seed: A versatile spice that gives a great celery flavor to this pasta salad.
- Garlic powder: Garlic is the perfect favor to go with this Italian pasta salad!
How to Make Italian Pasta Salad:
- Cook the pasta: Prepare according to the package directions. Then, drain and rinse in cold water.
- Add all other ingredients: Combine cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, mozzarella cheese balls, and italian salami to the pasta in a large bowl.
- Make the dressing: Whisk together italian salad dressing, parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, celery seed, and garlic powder.
- Toss: Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss until coated.
- Chill: Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Tips for the Best Tortellini Pasta Salad:
This recipe is super simple to make and is very quick and easy to put together, so you should take the time to follow these few extra tips to make this the best pasta salad you have ever made!
- Don’t overcook noodles: Your pasta salad will become mushy if your noodles are too soft. Plus the acids from the dressing will continue to break down starches in the pasta as it sits.
- Shock the noodles: When the noodles are cooked to al dente, drain the noodles. Then, place the strainer of pasta in an ice bath (equal parts ice and water). This will stop the noodles from continuing to cook.
- Cool the pasta: Even if you do not choose to shock the noodles, make sure the you allow time for the pasta to cool before combining it with vegetables. This is because you do not want the warm pasta to soak in the dressing and become gummy. Also, you do not want the heat of the pasta to cook the vegetables.
- Make ahead: Allow the pasta salad time to sit before serving. This will give the flavors time to permeate through the pasta. Cover and allow it to sit for at least 1 hour before serving for the best results.
- Cut the ingredients to equal sizes. Make sure all the veggies are cut before adding them in. Think of trying to get some of everything into each bite.
Serving and Storing Cold Salad:
As the Italian tortellini pasta salad chills, the flavors may become more mild. So, give it a taste test before serving. Then decide if you need to add any additional seasoning before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Although, I find it is most delicious on day 2. Do not leave out at room temperature longer than 2 hours. Do not freeze it once mixed for best quality. However, you could freeze the ingredients separately and combine once thawed.
More Pasta Salad Recipes:
- Greek Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Orzo Pasta Salad
- Kale Pasta Salad
Easy Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
- 1 20 ounce package refrigerated tortellini (I used spinach and cheese)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes chopped in half
- 1 large cucumber diced
- 1/2 cup olives sliced
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese balls
- 1/2 cup italian salami cubed
- 1 cup Italian salad dressing
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Add cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, mozzarella cheese balls, and italian salami to a large bowl.
To make the dressing: Whisk together italian salad dressing, parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, celery seed, and garlic powder. Pour over salad and toss until coated. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Updated on May 21, 2020
Originally Posted on: July 9, 2017