Italian Pasta Salad ~ favorite smoked meats from an Italian sub, plus garden fresh vegetables and cheese tortellini, lightly dressed in Italian dressing.

Italian Pasta Salad

Side Dish | August 10, 2016 | By

Hopefully you’re still ready for a few more summer meals ~ it is, after only mid-August. Part of me still wants to eat barbecue, cold salads and appetizers like I’m training for the Olympics ~ it is an Olympic sport, right? Another part of me is thinking ahead to mashed potatoes with rich, savory gravy and casseroles blended with melted cheese ~ comfort food. But in the meantime, let’s take a few more dips in the lake, toast another s’more or three, stay out after the streetlights come on and make some Italian Pasta Salad. It’s all my favorite smoked meats from an Italian sub, plus garden fresh vegetables and cheese tortellini, lightly dressed in Italian dressing. It’s a salad that acts like a meal that acts like a side dish that acts like a. . .

Italian Pasta Salad ~ favorite smoked meats from an Italian sub, plus garden fresh vegetables and cheese tortellini, lightly dressed in Italian dressing.

Okay so maybe Italian Pasta Salad is a salad with an identity crisis, but don’t hold that against it because it’s so darn good you need ~ and I do mean need ~ it at your next get-together. Don’t let summer pass with all its farm stands, vine-ripped tomatoes and barbecues without trying this one.

Last weekend we hosted a family get-together for about 25. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were in town from Florida. Last year when they came north, our temps were in the 70’s. My sister-in-law needed long-johns. I’m only somewhat exaggerating. This year it was in the 90’s. I was melting like the witch in the Wizard of Oz. She loved it. Temps aside, it was so great seeing them and always fun getting the family together. We’re a close group that really enjoys eachother’s company.

Italian Pasta Salad ~ favorite smoked meats from an Italian sub, plus garden fresh vegetables and cheese tortellini, lightly dressed in Italian dressing.

Check out all this delicious flavor in one bowl! 

  • 1 – 9 ounce package of tortellini (I like Buitoni brand)
  • 1/4 cup of mini pepperonis
  • 1/2 cup of sliced mini bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup of provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup of salami cut in bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup of black olives
  • 1/4 cup of very thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 – tablespoons of banana peppers, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, sliced chiffonade
  • Italian dressing – whatever kind is your favorite!
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Italian Pasta Salad ~ favorite smoked meats from an Italian sub, plus garden fresh vegetables and cheese tortellini, lightly dressed in Italian dressing.

I intentionally didn’t list any amount for the dressing because of personal preferences. I drizzled the slightest amount of  dressing onto the salad and offered a bottle of the dressing on the side for guests to add more if they wanted. 

Do you have any restaurant type squeeze bottles?

 

I bought one from Walmart for under $1.00! Their round shape makes them easier to handle than a regular bottle of dressing so guests can squeeze as much or as little as they like. 

Cook the tortellini according to package directions (see NOTE below). Fold in all the ingredients along with a bit of Italian dressing. Refrigerate several hours or for the best flavor, overnight. 

What are you doing to enjoy these last few weeks of summer? 

italian pasta salad

What’s your favorite summer salad?

 

Italian Pasta Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1 - 9 ounce package of tortellini (I like Buitoni brand)
  2. 1/4 cup of mini pepperonis
  3. 1/2 cup of sliced mini bell peppers
  4. 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes, halved
  5. 1/2 cup of provolone cheese
  6. 1/4 cup of salami cut in bite-size pieces
  7. 1/2 cup of black olives
  8. 1/4 cup of very thinly sliced red onion
  9. 3 - tablespoons of banana peppers, rough dropped
  10. 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chiffonaded
  11. Italian dressing - whatever kind is your favorite!
  12. Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions (see NOTES below).
  2. Allow the tortellini to cool.
  3. Cut and add all ingredients in a large bowl, stirring gently to combine.
  4. Drizzle a small amount of Italian salad dressing over the top and stir.
  5. Refrigerate several hours or for best flavor, overnight.
  6. Provide extra Italian dressing on the side when serving.
Notes
  1. I've found when I let this brand of tortellini cook as long as directed they're a bit overdone for my taste. I check/taste them about 2 minutes before the minimum cooking time and adjust if necessary.
http://www.agoudalife.com/

  1. Mary
    August 11, 2016

    What a gorgeous salad…fresh summer tomatoes! This is a great recipe to keep in the frigde for a quick and easy lunch. YUM! Pinned. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

    • Bernie
      August 11, 2016

      Hi Mary! Thank you! This salad would definitely make an easy lunch, especially on a warm day. Hope it’s a good weekend on your end and let’s chat again soon.