The best Italian pasta salad made with cheese filled tortellini, uncured salami, tomatoes, cucumber, fresh mozzarella and pepperoncini, all tossed in the best Italian dressing!
This salad is the perfect side dish for all of your summer potlucks!
The perfect summer potluck dish:
Italian Tortellini Salad
I am a sucker for pasta salad of pretty much any sort. You know I love pasta in general, and in the summertime, I love pairing a fabulous pasta salad with all my favorite grilled foods and accompaniments.
I'm drooling right now just thinking about some grilled salmon with pesto or chicken legs with BBQ sauce, some fresh watermelon and a pile of this tortellini goodness. Drool.
The salad itself is an incredible mix of creamy cheese tortellini, salty salami, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, squeeky fresh mozzarella and briny pepperoncini. Gosh, I'm still drooling.
I also absolutely love taking this salad camping. I make the dressing in advance, chop all of the veggies and prep the other salad ingredients, then toss it together about an hour before we're ready to eat it.
And when I share it with friends or family, there are seriously never any complaints, just pure delight.
If you bring this Italian Tortellini Salad to a party, you'll be the hero.
How to make the BEST homemade Italian salad dressing
The Italian dressing on this salad is to-die-for, and you likely have all (or almost all) of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge:
- White or red wine vinegar
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Good olive oil
You'll want to put this dressing on all the salads. (That's my goal here.)
How to make the pasta salad
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Grab a pot, fill it with water and get it on the stove. Crank up the heat and bring it to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water to cool off and set aside.
- The next step is to chop the salad ingredients. This includes tomatoes, cucumber, salami, parsley and pepperoncini.
- Next, mix together the fresh mozzarella, cooked and cooled tortellini, and the chopped veggies, herbs and meat and the dressing. Toss until everything is coated. Be sure to season the salad to taste!
- Let the salad hang out in the fridge for a bit. This gives the salad a chance to come together and will taste more delicious! I know it's difficult to wait, but it's worth it!
Store this salad in a glass bowl with a lid fitted on top. I use a glass bowl because the acidity from the dressing will react with metal if you use a metal bowl. It will not react with glass.
This salad stays good up to 3 days. If it gets dry, add a bit of olive oil and some additional salt and black pepper, if needed.
Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Each brand has a different recipe and they may require different cooking times. You want the tortellini to be cooked to al dente (a little bite, but not tough to chew).
If the tortellini is overcooked, it will fall apart and become soggy once it's tossed with the salad dressing.
Other summer side dishes you'll love:
- Healthy Potato Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
- Summer Succotash with Grilled Corn
- Green Bean Potato Salad
- Strawberry Cucumber Salad
- Healthy Broccoli Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing
- Fennel and Grape Potato Salad
Italian Tortellini Salad
The BEST Italian dressing tossed with cheese tortellini, salami, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, cucumber and pepperoncini.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: Serves 8 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: No-Cook, Stove-Top
- Cuisine: Italian, American
- ¼ cup white and/or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 9-ounces fresh cheese tortellini, cooked and cooled
- 3-ounces natural salami, cubed
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ medium English cucumber, diced
- ½ cup fresh mini mozzarella balls
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped, divided
- ½ cup pepperoncini, chopped (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, Parmesan, garlic, sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Slowly whisk in olive oil.
- Fold in the cooked tortellini, salami, tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella and half of the parsley until combined. Top with the remaining parsley and pepperoncini (if using). Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.*
Cooking Tip: After refrigerating and right before serving, stir again to coat with dressing. Add a bit more olive oil if necessary.
- Serving Size: ⅛ of recipe
- Calories: 260
- Sugar: 3g
- Sodium: 270mg
- Fat: 16g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 11g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 19g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 11g
- Cholesterol: 21mg
Keywords: easy, tasty, best, side dish, quick, party ideas, potluck, summer, fourth of July