Tortellini pasta salad with spring greens, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and more! This simple side dish is a hybrid of a regular green salad and a pasta salad recipe for the ultimate refreshing, brand new take on pasta salad.

Large bowl of tortellini salad with wooden spoons, pine nuts and parmesan cheese to the side.

Move over traditional pasta salad, there’s a new tortellini salad in town! 

If you’re a big fan of cool and refreshing pasta salads or summer salads, this especially unique and delicious tortellini pasta salad is here to please! 

Don’t get me wrong, I love a classic Italian Pasta Salad, but pasta salad with tortellinis just hits differently.

The way I see it, using tortellini instead of regular pasta noodles enhances the whole side dish experience with no additional effort. 

You’re getting the fun squishy texture plus all the additional flavor from the tortellini stuffing. 

I love using gluten-free three-cheese tortellini for that incredible cheesy flavor everyone loves so dearly, but any type of tortellinis will work here! 

In addition to the yummy pasta and greens, we’re also getting big bursts of flavor from both sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, red onions, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, shaved Parmesan, Italian dressing, pesto sauce, and pine nuts. 

I know, can you even believe it?? There are so many fun flavors and textures in here!

Make this delicious side dish the next time you’re serving guests, having a bbq, or enjoy it as part of any weeknight meal! 

Tortellini Salad in a large white bowl with salad tongs ready to serve.

Let’s discuss the tortellini pasta salad ingredients.

Ingredients for Tortellini Pasta Salad:

Tortellini: Choose your favorite kind of tortellini noodles. I go with gluten-free cheese tortellini noodles, but any type will work! I always go with fresh tortellini in a refrigerated section next to the raviolis.

If you aren’t gluten-free, feel free to use regular tortellini. Spinach tortellini or any type of cheesy tortellini works great here. 

Leafy Greens: use any type of greens you love for salads. I like using spring greens, but baby spinach and romaine lettuce are great option too!

Whatever you use, be sure to give it a nice chop into smaller pieces to make the salad easier to eat. 

Veggies: Cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes), sun-dried tomatoes, red onion are the fresh and flavorful pops of vegetation. Use any summer vegetables you love here.

Feta Cheese and Parmesan Cheese: I know it’s wild, but I like adding both feta and shaved Parmesan cheese. You can pick just one or do as I do and use both. 

Italian Dressing: bringing all of the ingredients together, we use a store-bought or your own Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe. You can also get creative here and use any dressing you know you love. My Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette is great here too! Homemade dressing makes the absolute perfect side dish!

Optional Additions: While pesto sauce and pine nuts are certainly not mandatory, I like adding both for even more herby, creamy flavor and a little nutty crunch.

Go with your favorite store-bought pesto or make my Basil Pesto Recipe.

You can also use chopped walnuts, pecans or sunflower seeds for crunchy texture. 

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Add in some chopped artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers, or raw red bell pepper or green bell pepper for an easy Italian tortellini pasta salad.
  • For a spicy hit, chop up some pepperoncinis and add them in or add red pepper flakes. 
  • Mix it up with your favorite fresh vegetables like raw broccoli, grated carrots, cucumbers, green beans, red peppers, peas, corn, etc.
  • If you have fresh basil on hand, feel free to chop some up and sprinkle it in.
  • Instead of using the Italian dressing, you can drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad. 
  • Swap out the feta cheese for fresh mozzarella cheese balls. 
  • Use black olives instead of kalamata olives.
  • Toss in some Italian seasoning and black pepper to your personal taste.
  • Grate in a little lemon zest for some zesty flavor. 
  • Use any variety of tortellini. 

Now that we’re familiar with the simple ingredients for this easy pasta salad, let’s whip it up!

How to Make Tortellini Salad:

Cook the tortellini pasta according to the package instructions. Note: I typically cook them for 1 to 2 minutes less than what is indicated on the package directions for the best results to ensure they are slightly al dente and don’t fall apart easily.

Once the tortellini are cooked, drain them into a colander and rinse them with cold water. Set aside until ready to use.

Transfer all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Pour in the salad dressing and toss until everything is well combined.

Ingredients for tortellini salad in a large serving bowl.

Add in the cooled cooked tortellini pasta and gently toss the salad again until the pasta is integrated into the green salad.

Salad and tortellini noodles in a large salad bowl

Serve tortellini salad alongside your main entrée and enjoy!

Store leftover tortellini salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Note: If you know there will be leftovers, I recommend adding the spring greens just before eating the salad so that you don’t end up with wilted lettuce in your leftovers.

Just like all pasta salad recipes, this Italian tortellini salad tastes even better as it sits!

Make-Ahead Instructions:

If you’re making this recipe ahead of time, I recommend preparing the full recipe, but leaving out the spring greens and Italian dressing until just before serving the pasta salad. This way, the greens stay fresh and crispy rather than becoming wilted. 

The rest of the pasta salad saves very well so if the plan is to do some advance prep or to have leftovers, just be sure to add the greens just before eating, as needed. 

Another option is to skip the leafy greens altogether to omit the potential for wilting with leftovers. 

Large white serving bowl of pasta salad with wooden serving spoons.

And that’s it! Fresh veggies, delicious Italian dressing and a variety of cheese makes this tortellini salad recipe POP!

This amazing side dish will be a crowd pleaser at all of your summer barbecues and gatherings! Mix it up to your heart’s delight to customize the salad according to your personal preferences.

Take your summer pasta salad game to a whole new level with this easy pesto tortellini pasta salad recipe!

If you’re looking for more summer salad recipes to beat the summer heat, here are some reader favorites.

More Salad Recipes:

Get obsessed with this fabulous new way to enjoy tortellini pasta!

Tortellini Salad in a large white bowl with salad tongs ready to serve.

Tortellini Pasta Salad

5 from 1 vote
A beautiful combination of green salad and pasta salad with a twist! This tortellini pasta salad recipe is a fresh new take on classic pasta salad!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • 16 to 18 ounces refrigerated gluten-free tortellini noodles 2 packages*
  • 5 ounces Spring greens or leafy greens of choice
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • cup kalamata olives or black olives chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes drained
  • cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian Dressing or more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped

Optional Additions:

  • ½ cup homemade or store-bought pesto sauce
  • ½ cup pine nuts

Instructions

  • Cook the tortellini pasta according to the package instructions. Note: I typically cook them for 1 to 2 minutes less than what is indicated on the package directions for the best results to ensure they are slightly al dente and don’t fall apart easily. Once the tortellini are cooked, drain them into a colander and rinse them with cold water. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Transfer all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Pour in the salad dressing and toss until everything is well combined. Add in the cooled cooked tortellini pasta and gently toss the salad again until the pasta is integrated into the green salad.
  • Serve tortellini salad alongside your main entrée and enjoy!

Notes

*Use any regular tortellini noodles if you aren't gluten-free. I recommend using a cheese tortellini for the tastiest result!
Store leftover tortellini salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Note: If you know there will be leftovers, I recommend adding the spring greens just before eating the salad so that you don’t end up with wilted lettuce in your leftovers.
Just like all pasta salad recipes, this Italian tortellini salad tastes even better as it sits!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 10) · Calories: 420kcal · Carbohydrates: 27g · Protein: 13g · Fat: 29g · Saturated Fat: 5g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 20mg · Sodium: 1541mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 7g
Author: Julia
Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pesto tortellini salad, tortellini pasta salad, tortellini pesto salad, tortellini salad recipe
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I’m anxious to try it for our family vacation. Gluten free pasta brands can be hit or miss. Do you have a brand of tortellini to recommend for this salad?

    1. Hi Shirley! My favorite is Taste Republic, which I’ve found at Whole Foods and a few other grocery stores in my area. I hope you’re able to find it where you are! xoxo