Tortellini Pasta Salad is the ultimate summer side dish – loaded with cheese tortellini, a homemade Italian dressing, arugula, and zippy sun-dried tomatoes!
Nothing beats a summer dinner – steak or chicken off the grill, some fresh veggies from the garden, and a cold pasta salad to round things out! My favorite type of meal.
This Tortellini Salad is perfect for a hot summer night, with it’s fresh ingredients and the zesty, bright flavors. But it also is perfect for taking to a potluck!
The cheese tortellini is a universal favorite and we added arugula and tomatoes (both sun-dried and fresh!) to the mix. Of course, the homemade pasta salad dressing doesn’t hurt either!
Pasta salad might just be my love language, now that I think about it. Our Amish macaroni salad and homemade macaroni salad are a couple of favorites around here. Our Italian Pasta Salad (with tri-colored rotini and ALL of the veggies and meats) went viral a few years ago and is still a fan fav!
Pasta Salad Ingredients – This Italian tortellini salad begins with fresh cheese tortellini! You’ll find the pasta in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. You’ll also need plenty of chopped arugula, some cherry tomato halves, and some sun dried tomatoes in oil!
Dressing Ingredients – For the simple homemade Italian dressing you’ll need some balsamic vinegar, some of the oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and pepper! It’s an easy but flavorful Italian dressing mix.
Parmesan – We sprinkle freshly shredded or grated Parmesan over the top of the salad, just before serving.
What We Love About This Recipe!
This salad is loaded with fresh ingredients and big, bold flavors. It’s easy to whip up with minimal prep and is always a crowd pleaser. We often make this for a summer dinner, but it’s also great for a potluck!
How to Make Pasta Salad:
Pasta: To get started you’ll begin by boiling the cheese tortellini pasta. Just follow the package instructions and then drain when finished and let the pasta cool for 30 minutes in a bowl before moving on.
Salad: To start putting together the Italian tortellini salad you’ll need to chop up the arugula and cherry tomatoes. Add those to the bowl of pasta along with the sun dried tomatoes and give it a good toss.
Remember to reserve the oil that the sundried tomatoes came in. It’s full of flavor and will work perfectly in the dressing!
Dressing: With the pasta salad assembled you can now start preparing the Italian dressing that’ll go over it. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl, including the balsamic vinegar and the oil from the tomatoes. Whisk it all together until it’s well combined into a simple Italian salad dressing. Pour over the salad and stir.
Chill: Once your salad is fully combined, you’ll want to pop it in the fridge for at least one hour (and up to eight) to allow the pasta to really chill and let the flavors all combine.
Serve: Just before serving, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Want to stretch your salad to feed more people or just like loads of ingredients in your pasta salad? Feel free to mix in extra ingredients.
Try stirring in:
- Chopped Bell Peppers
- Black Olives
- Chopped Baby Spinach
- Red Onion
- Diced Salami
- Diced Pepperoni
- Pepperoncini Peppers
- Diced Cucumber
If you bought too much cheese tortellini, you’re going to want to use it up in our Tortellini Alfredo! It’s perfectly cheesy and the family can’t resist it!
Another favorite is our Baked Tortellini – loaded with marinara, beef, and plenty of cheese!
Our sausage tortellini soup is another family favorite.
You can keep this tortellini salad recipe in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Cover tightly and stir before serving.
This Italian pasta salad dressing is so quick to prepare, and it’s delicious over a green salad or other pasta salads as well. It’s an easy way to make use of the flavorful oil the sundried tomatoes comes in.
MORE ITALIAN RECIPES!
- Million Dollar Baked Ravioli
- Homemade Italian Dressing
- Air Fryer Eggplant
- Italian Beef
- Feta Pasta
- Homemade Alfredo Sauce
MORE PASTA SALAD RECIPEs!
Tortellini Pasta Salad
For the salad:
- 1 pound fresh cheese tortellini
- 3 cups chopped arugula lightly packed
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup sliced sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
For the dressing:
- 6 tablespoons oil from the tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 10 fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
To prepare the salad:
- Boil the tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool down for 30 minutes.
- Add the arugula, cherry tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes to the bowl of pasta. Reserve the oil from the tomatoes for the dressing.
To make the dressing:
- Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Refrigerate for at least 1-8 hours to chill before serving. The longer you refrigerate, the more flavorful the pasta will be as it soaks up the dressing.
- Stir before serving and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.