Tortellini Pasta Salad

5 from 1 vote

The perfect side dish, lunch, or light dinner!

Our Tortellini Pasta Salad is a dish that everyone can enjoy!

When I need to prepare a dish for a potluck or backyard barbecue, there are a few ideas that I typically gravitate towards. One of these ideas is pasta salad! Why? Because it’s easy to prepare and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand already. Plus, pasta salad always turns out delicious, and it’s easy to make a vegetarian version that still pleases the meat-eaters in the group. Recently, I’ve been making this tortellini pasta salad. The cheese-stuffed tortellini cook up quickly, and using them removes the need to add extra cheese.

This seven-ingredient pasta salad is ready in 25 minutes, including 15 minutes of resting time to let the flavors meld. It’s a perfect side dish, but I also love serving it as a light lunch or dinner. Simply add some sauteed shrimp or grilled chicken for a more filling, protein-packed meal.

What are Tortellini?

Enjoy this beautiful tortellini pasta for lunch, a light dinner, or an incredible side dish!

Tortellini are small, ring-shaped stuffed pasta. They’re similar to ravioli but significantly smaller. Some tortellini contain meat fillings, but the ones we use for this recipe are stuffed with cheese (like a blend of ricotta, Parmesan, and Romano). You’ll usually find them in the grocery store in the refrigerated or freezer aisles, although some brands sell dried tortellini in the pasta aisle.

These pasta are just as easy to cook as other noodles, too. Each package direction differs, but it usually involves adding the tortellini to salted, boiling water. Once they hit the water, set the timer for approximately three minutes for refrigerated tortellini, five minutes for frozen, and ten minutes for dried pasta.

What Makes this Tortellini Pasta Salad So Tasty

This pasta salad is rich in delicious flavors, but healthy too!

Our secret ingredient for this tortellini pasta salad is the combination of cheese-filled pasta, savory basil pesto, and tangy red wine vinegar. The flavors of the pesto really shine through here: herbaceous basil, toasted pine nuts, salty Parmesan cheese, and oil to bring it together. Of course, you don’t have to use basil pesto. We have a great recipe for an oil-free pesto that uses spinach, which would taste fantastic in this pasta salad recipe.

From there, it’s all about just tossing the ingredients together. You don’t have to dirty up multiple bowls and cutting boards to make it happen, either. Simply add the ingredients to a bowl and let the pasta salad sit for about 15 minutes to let the flavors meld together. You can easily make the pasta salad in advance, letting it sit in the refrigerator, covered, overnight. If you end up with leftovers, they should be good for up to three days.

Serving Tortellini Pasta Salad

This is the perfect side dish for almost any occasion!

Serve this recipe as a side dish to any main course that you’d serve with regular pasta salad. That might be sandwiches, grilled meats, pulled pork, barbecue chicken, or any number of vegetable dishes. Here are some of our favorite pairings:

5 from 1 vote

Tortellini Pasta Salad

This easy tortellini pasta salad is full of complementary flavors and makes a great lunch, dinner, or side dish!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 8 people
Serving Size 0.5 cup
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian


  • 1 pound cheese tortellini cooked
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup red onion diced small
  • 1 cucumber diced small
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots


  • Combine all ingredients together. Mix well to coat all ingredients with the pesto. Let sit for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine beore serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 713mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 32350IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 2mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 10
Keywords Budget-Friendly, Pasta, Vegetarian

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Chef Nichole

Nichole has a culinary degree from Great Lakes Culinary Institute and has worked in the culinary industry for 10 years. She also has the knowledge to write recipes using the most nutritious, fresh, and balanced ingredients. Nichole enjoys creating healthy and tasty recipes anyone can prepare, no matter their cooking skill level.

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