Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad


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pasta salad in a blue dutch oven

Looking for your next picnic or potluck dish? Look no further than a colorful Italian pasta salad. This Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad is hearty enough to serve on its own or makes a great side dish.

There are lots of versions of tortellini pasta salad floating around, but what I love about this version is the dressing. Many recipes use store-bought Italian Vinaigrette (which works great – so feel free to just grab some to save time!), but I love the fresh flavor of this simple vinaigrette that is made with red wine vinegar and pantry staples.

This dish is great as leftovers for lunch, especially if the weather is hot and you don’t want to heat anything up. 

What You’ll Love About Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad

This fresh pasta salad has so much color and flavor. The Italian-inspired ingredients can be customized however you’d like, but it’s a great way to add a substantial side to a meal that doesn’t need to be warmed up and still feels hearty and satisfying. 

This recipe is:

  • Colorful
  • Make-Ahead Friendly
  • Packed with Flavor
  • Guest-Worthy

peppers, tortellini, sausage and olives in white bowls

Tips for Making Pasta Salad Ahead

Pasta soaks up liquid as it sits, so if you are making pasta salad ahead, add half the dressing when you make the dish and stir the second half in right before serving. The pasta salad will soak up the flavor as it sits, but waiting to add some of the dressing will ensure it isn’t dried out when you go to serve it. 

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4.80 from 5 votes

Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad

Looking for your next picnic or potluck dish? Look no further than a colorful Italian Pasta Salad. Made with tortellini, this pasta salad is hearty enough to serve on its own or makes a great side dish.
To adjust the servings in this recipe, click on the number next to servings.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 10


  • Saucepan
  • Colander
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk or Immersion Blender


Antipasto Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 5 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt (see note)
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Pasta Salad:

  • 1 lb Tortellini, fresh or dried
  • 8 oz Salami, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cup halved Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped Marinated Artichokes
  • 5 oz Mozzarella Pearls (be sure to grab the “pearls” which are small enough that they don’t need to be chopped before adding them to the salad)
  • 1/2 cup Pitted Olives (green olives or kalamata are great here)
  • 1/4 cup diced Red Onion (see note)
  • 1/4 cup Sliced Pepperoncini Peppers, drained and rinsed (look for mild or medium, depending on your spice preference)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped Fresh Basil or Parsley (optional)


  • Boil tortellini according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
  • Whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette (or blend them using an immersion blender.)
  • In a large mixing bowl, gently combine all ingredients for the pasta salad. Drizzle vinaigrette over top and toss to combine.
  • Just before serving, fold in fresh herbs.


Make ahead - If making the salad ahead, toss the salad with half the vinaigrette and then refrigerate up to 8 hours. Toss with the remaining vinaigrette right before serving. 
Kosher Salt - I test my recipes with Morton’s Kosher Salt. If using table salt, reduce by about half. If using Diamond Kosher Salt, increase by about 25%. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the amount of salt they like, so be sure to taste and adjust as you go. 
Onion - To cut down on the onion “bite”, whisk the onion directly into the dressing. The onion flavor will mellow the longer it sits.


Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1021mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 382IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $8.00
Calories: 409
Keyword: easy side dish, make ahead, potluck recipe, summer
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.80 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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