What’s better than cheesy tortellini with fresh antipasto ingredients? These tortellini pasta salad has all of those components in one bowl. It’s perfect as a main dish or as a side to serve at your next picnic or cookout!
Pasta salad used to be one of those foods that I just did not like. I honestly don’t know what it was about them, unless it was the fact that to me, pasta was something that should be served hot. Also, my mom really never made pasta salad so most of my experience with pasta salad was creamy pasta salads on salad bars that had so much mayo that you could not distinguish their individual ingredients.
As an adult, I’ve discovered a love for pasta salads, though. It could be the fact that they are ridiculously easy to make. It could also be the fact that they are ridiculously easy to serve. I mean, what’s not to love about a cold salad that you just grab from the fridge and dish from the bowl?
Make It How You Want It
The other clear advantage to pasta salads is their adaptability. The pasta salads of my youth were mostly “macaroni salads” (including my grandmother’s macaroni salad, which I honestly do not remember her making but it is delicious). However, pasta salads are definitely NOT limited to macaroni, nor are they limited to only creamy dressings.
My personal favorite pasta salad is the BLT pasta salad that I make that was inspired by a menu item at Southern Star. A friend of mine makes a fantastic bacon ranch pasta salad. And then there is this tortellini pasta salad…
Inspired By Antipasto Ingredients
A few years back I discovered a chopped salad on Smitten Kitchen that was inspired by the ingredients of an Italian sub, one of Philip’s very favorite sandwiches. The salad was hearty and did not disappoint. Every time I buy the ingredients I will eat the salad for at least a week.
I wanted to make something along the lines of that salad but with pasta instead. A tortellini pasta salad seemed to fit the bill because I❤tortellini. I mean, cheesy stuffed pasta, right?
This antipasto tortellini pasta salad is infinitely adaptable. I’m not Italian, but as I was researching antipasto ingredients it certainly seemed like there were few rules. You can use what you have on hand and it is definitely going to be delicious.
I used salami, pepperoni, mini bocconcini (mozzarella balls), sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, a sprinkle of basil, and a tart vinaigrette. Roasted red peppers, chickpeas, prosciutto, marinated mushrooms…there are lots of delicious things you could toss in there. Just let it chill in the fridge for a bit and you have a perfect tortellini pasta salad!
Yield: 4 main dish serves or 8-10 side dish servings
15 minPrep Time:
8 minCook Time:
23 minTotal Time:
- 2 tablespoons red wine, white wine, or sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 9-10 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini, cooked according to package directions (one regular sized package or 1/2 of a large package)
- 1/2 cup julienned or diced salami
- 1/2 cup julienned or diced pepperoni
- 2 canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, diced
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned or diced
- 4 ounces mozzarella pearls, diced bocconcini, or diced fresh mozzarella
- 1/4 cup julienned fresh basil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl or shake together in a small jar.
- Rinse the cooked tortellini with cold water and allow it to stand until cooled, shaking the colander occasionally to drain the water away.
- Combine the cooked tortellini in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients. Pour the vinaigrette over and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The salad will keep covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.