Tortellini Salad

Looking for a dish to pass at a cookout or picnic? This tortellini salad would be perfect! It's filled with fresh basil, juicy tomatoes, and a zingy dressing.

Tortellini salad

What’s more fun than regular pasta salad? Tortellini pasta salad! The tortellini are chewy and cheesy, not to mention adorable, and they make this summer salad such a blast to eat. Their nooks and crannies catch the zingy Italian dressing, and their pillowy texture contrasts beautifully with the juicy cherry tomatoes and creamy white beans. If you’re looking for a fresh dish to pass at a cookout this weekend (or a yummy idea for lunch next week), this tortellini salad recipe would be perfect.

Fresh tortellini pasta

Oh, and if you’re vegan or dairy-free, you can still make this recipe! We’ve tried making it with regular cheese tortellini (pictured here) and with Kite Hill vegan tortellini. Both ways are delicious! Just make sure you use fresh pasta – not dried. Look for it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

Recipe ingredients - cherry tomatoes, basil, arugula, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, red onion, white beans, pasta, and homemade dressing

Tortellini Salad Recipe Ingredients

Tortellini aside, here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Cherry tomatoes – I love how their juicy texture contrasts with the chewy pasta.
  • White beans – They add creamy texture and plant-based protein. I recommend using small white beans, such as navy beans, here. I like how they tuck themselves into the crevices of the tortellini.
  • Thinly sliced red onion – For sharp, savory flavor and crunch.
  • Artichoke hearts and pepperoncini – They pack the salad with tangy, briny flavor.
  • Arugula – For gorgeous green color and peppery flavor.
  • Fresh basil – A pasta salad essential! It adds fresh, sweet, and citrusy flavor.
  • Grated cheese – Totally optional, but (of course) delicious. If you want to make this tortellini salad recipe extra-cheesy, fold in some grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese just before serving.
  • Red pepper flakes – For heat.
  • And homemade Italian dressing – This zingy, herbaceous dressing ties the salad together. It’s easy to make with basic ingredients like olive oil, dried herbs, and fresh lemon juice.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Tortellini salad ingredients segmented in a bowl - cherry tomatoes, red onion, artichoke hearts, white beans, pasta, and pepperoncini

How to Make Tortellini Pasta Salad

This tortellini salad recipe is super simple to make! Here’s how it goes:

First, cook the tortellini. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare the pasta according to the package instructions, cooking until al dente. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking. Allow the tortellini to cool before assembling the salad. I like to spread it out on a large plate or baking sheet to help it cool quickly.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Find the recipe here!

When the tortellini is cool, assemble the salad. Place the pasta, artichokes, pepperoncini, tomatoes, onion, and beans in a large bowl.

Pouring homemade Italian dressing over pasta salad ingredients

Pour in the dressing, and toss to combine. Add the arugula and basil, and toss again. If you like, sprinkle in some Parmesan and red pepper flakes. Toss one more time, garnish with more basil, and then season to taste.

That’s it!

Hands using wooden spoons to toss tortellini salad

Tortellini Salad Serving Suggestions

Serve the tortellini salad right away, or store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you make the salad ahead, wait to garnish it with fresh basil until right before serving. I also like to toss it with an extra drizzle of olive oil after a day or two in the fridge.

Enjoy this salad for lunch, or serve it as a side dish at a summer picnic or cookout. It pairs perfectly with classic cookout fare like veggie burgers, grilled vegetables, and fruit salad. For more BBQ recipe ideas, check out this post!

Tortellini salad recipe

More Favorite Pasta Salad Recipes

If you love this tortellini salad recipe, try one of these summer pasta salads next:

Tortellini Salad

rate this recipe:
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Serves 6
This tortellini salad recipe is a perfect picnic side dish or make-ahead lunch! It's filled with juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, briny artichoke hearts, and a zingy homemade dressing.

Ingredients

  • 18 ounces cheese tortellini or vegan tortellini*
  • Italian Dressing
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 5 pepperoncini, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 1 cup fresh basil, torn, plus more for garnish
  • Parmesan or pecorino cheese, optional
  • Red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

  • Cook the tortellini according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and let cool.
  • Prepare the dressing according to the instructions in this recipe.
  • In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, tomatoes, artichokes, beans, onion, pepperoncini, and the dressing and toss to combine. Add the arugula and basil and toss again. Season to taste, and add Parmesan and red pepper flakes, if desired. Garnish with more fresh basil. Serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

*Look for fresh tortellini in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

8 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Loren
    08.09.2022

    5 stars
    Soooo fresh, delicious, and easy!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.10.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Jessica
    08.06.2022

    5 stars
    Easy to make and very satisfying and delicious for a summer pasta salad. Still very good after refrigerating and having the next day!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.10.2022

      Hi Jessica, I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    Wonderful summer salad… I’ve made it several times for guests and everyone raves!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.19.2022

      I’m so glad it was a hit!

  4. Malinda
    06.02.2022

    5 stars
    Very very good! Left out the artichoke and added calvestrato olives. Excellent. Will make again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.03.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.