Italian Pasta Salad with cheese tortellini, tomatoes, salami, pepperoni, cheese, peppers, olives and more in a zesty homemade Italian dressing. Side or main dish, it’s ready to eat in under 30 minutes.
Even if the weather hasn’t officially said summer, this salad does. We’ve had our fill of cold days and plates loaded with comfort food.
It’s time for summer fare, dips in the lake, toasted s’mores, staying out after the streetlights come on and Italian Pasta Salad with cheese tortellini and the BEST Italian salad dressing.
Italian Pasta Salad has all the flavors of an Italian sub or but in pasta salad form. Don’t let the season pass with gatherings we’re now able to have without trying this one.
Most of the ingredients for this salad come from the deli counter and produce section of the grocery store and you may already have many of the salad dressing ingredients on hand.
what’s in Italian Pasta Salad with tortellini?
- provolone cheese
- bell peppers (mini OR full size may be used)
- grape tomatoes
- red onion
- fresh basil
- black olives
- banana peppers
- Italian dressing (homemade recipe below or your favorite bottled)
- salt and pepper
Homemade Italian Salad Dressing:
- small pinch of red pepper flakes
How to make Italian Pasta Salad:
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl OR add them to a small jar with a lid and shake vigorously then set aside.
Next cook the tortellini to al dente (watch closely they cook fast!) then drain and rinse in cold water, draining again well.
Transfer the tortellini to a large bowl then add the salami, pepperoni, bell peppers, tomatoes, cheese, olives, onion and banana peppers. Fold in half of the Italian dressing then gently toss to coat and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors blend.
When you’re ready to serve, add the remaining dressing and stir to blend.
TIPS FOR THE BEST PASTA SALAD:
- Unless you already have a favorite dressing, give the Homemade Italian Dressing a try.
- Don’t overcook the tortellini or it will fall apart. Cook to al dente so there’s still some bite to it.
- Drain and rinse the tortellini in cold water to stop the cooking process.
HOW TO CUSTOMIZE THIS SALAD:
- green olives
- fresh mozzarella
can i make this salad ahead of time?
Yes – make the salad one day ahead of time adding just half of the dressing. When you’re read to serve, blend the salad with the rest of the dressing.
HOW LONG DOES italian pasta SALAD with tortellini LAST?
This salad will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
If you make this Italian Pasta Salad recipe or any other on the blog, then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating below.
Italian Pasta Salad with Tortellini
- 2 9 ounce each packages cheese tortellini Buitoni brand used
- 8 ounces salami chopped
- 1/2 cup pepperoni halved
- 8 ounces provolone cheese chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced mini bell peppers or 1 whole large pepper chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 6 ounce can sliced black olives drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup banana peppers rough chopped
- 1 cup Italian dressing homemade (see BELOW) or your favorite bottled
- Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
BEST Salad Dressing
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (dry)
- small pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together OR add to a small jar with a lid and shake vigorously.
- Cook the tortellini according to package directions then drain and rinse in cold water and add to a large bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl (except salt and pepper) then fold in 1/2 cup of the Italian dressing. Toss with the remaining dressing just before serving then taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate 2-4 hours for best flavor.