Cheese tortellini takes this pasta salad recipe to the next level—thanks, Luigi!

Cheese tortellini is one of my favorite pastas. These tender pillows of dough and cheese, believe it or not, make a perfect main ingredient for this Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe. Pasta salads are great because they are perfect for potlucks, simple lunches, and leftovers. I have to thank my friend Luigi for this recipe. It was Luigi who turned me onto the idea of using tortellini in a pasta salad recipe instead of just noodles. It makes it heartier—and tastier too! Luigi always brings this when he comes to visit us on the farm.


Missing an ingredient or two? No problem. You can substitute and add to this easy salad to make it your own.

This dish includes a lot of different ingredients, from fresh herbs to salty olives and juicy tomatoes—it comes out beautifully, with an array of colors and bright, delicious flavors. Don’t forget to experiment and have fun in the kitchen—this pasta salad is really versatile. Try adding different ingredients to suit your taste: Sun-dried tomatoes, green or red bell peppers, olives, pastrami, prosciutto, ham… whatever you have on hand or whatever sounds good!

Pasta Salad

Pro tip: Make this dish in advance. It will taste even better that way!

My easy tortellini pasta salad recipe makes a wonderful side, but it also holds its own as a standalone main dish. It’s great made ahead of time and it keeps well in the refrigerator. In fact, after the flavors have had some time to meld, it tastes even more delicious. It might be too good, in fact… it never lasts more than a couple days!

Pasta Salad
Yield: Serves 8
Luigi’s Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette

Luigi’s Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette

Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 3 HourTotal time: 3 H & 30 M
Try using cheese tortellini in your next pasta salad. It’s delicious, filling, and versatile… It’s going to blow your mind!


For the Pasta Salad
  • ½ teaspoon salt, for pasta water
  • 12 ounces frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds, then quartered
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese pearls
  • 1 pound Genoa salami, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup sliced pepperoncini, drained
  • ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 ounces finely shredded Parmesan cheese
For the Homemade Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it reaches a boil, add ½ teaspoon salt. Cook the tortellini until they are al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse it gently with cool water. Transfer the cooked and cooled pasta to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, mozzarella pearls, salami cubes, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, and red onion into the bowl with the cooked tortellini. Toss gently to combine.
  3. In a jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients except the salt and pepper. Shake vigorously to combine. Taste the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the dressing to the bowl with the salad ingredients. Add the chopped Italian parsley and the Parmesan cheese. Toss gently to combine. I like to let this salad rest for 3 hours at room temperature or refrigerate it, loosely covered, overnight before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @blameitonbiscotti on instagram and hashtag it # PastaSalad
April 27, 2023 — Mary DiSomma