Tortellini Pasta Salad with Pepperoni and Italian Vinaigrette

This is a classic tortellini pasta salad that’s perfect for cookouts, BBQs, and potlucks! It’s a universal crowd-pleaser thanks to cheesy pasta pockets and all the other fresh and flavorful ingredients. Make it for your next picnic! 

Image of tortellini pasta salad on a white plate with wooden spoon

I’m coming at you with another pasta salad recipe because it looks as though warm weather is finally going to stick around for awhile! With lots of picnics and BBQs coming up, and this tortellini pasta salad is absolutely perfection for any cookout.

With our basement finished, I have been really itching to have some people over! Well, we don’t have furniture down there yet, so I should probably cool my jets a little.

Side note: It’s coming this week! I can’t wait. We actually bought new furniture for our living room and we’re moving our current living room furniture to the basement.

This is a classic tortellini pasta salad that's perfect for cookouts, BBQs, and potlucks! It's a universal crowd-pleaser thanks to cheesy pasta pockets and all the other fresh and flavorful ingredients. Make it for your next picnic! 

I’m also itching to perk up our outdoor space – we want to expand our patio, but in general, I need to do some spring cleaning up. The patio will have to wait for a bit (basements and roofs are expensive!), but it doesn’t keep me from dreaming about plans!

About this tortellini pasta salad

This tortellini pasta salad is a major crowd pleaser with classic pasta salad ingredients like green peppers, olives, onions, pepperoni and flavorful chunks of cheese. I can never get enough vegetables so I also added cucumber and tomatoes. I finished it off with tons of fresh parsley to brighten things up and an easy homemade vinaigrette to bring everything together.

This is a classic tortellini pasta salad that's perfect for cookouts, BBQs, and potlucks! It's a universal crowd-pleaser thanks to cheesy pasta pockets and all the other fresh and flavorful ingredients. Make it for your next picnic! 

Variations on this pasta salad

As always, this is a recipe you can have fun with and make your own!

  • If you don’t like one of the ingredients, leave it out! There is a lot going on in this salad (in a good way), so the omission of one ingredient won’t make a huge difference. I mean…don’t leave the tortellini out…that’s a given, right?
  • Vegetarian? Leave out the pepperoni.
  • Gluten-free? Find gluten-free tortellini.
  • Like it a little on the spicy side? Add more red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Have fun with the cheese. I used mozzarella (it was fitting for the Italian vibe of this pasta salad, but it was also maaaaybe because it’s what I had), but provolone or cheddar would also be delicious.

This is a classic tortellini pasta salad that's perfect for cookouts, BBQs, and potlucks! It's a universal crowd-pleaser thanks to cheesy pasta pockets and all the other fresh and flavorful ingredients. Make it for your next picnic! 

Tip: If you’re making this in advance, the pasta may soak up some of the vinaigrette.

You could either

a) add half of it and reserve the second half for right before serving

or

b) make a little extra dressing right before serving and give it another little shower of vinaigrette love

This is a classic tortellini pasta salad that's perfect for cookouts, BBQs, and potlucks! It's a universal crowd-pleaser thanks to cheesy pasta pockets and all the other fresh and flavorful ingredients. Make it for your next picnic! 

Happy BBQing friends! You are going to adore this salad. I can’t wait to make it again.

More great pasta salad recipes for you to try:

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Pepperoni and Italian Vinaigrette

This is a classic tortellini pasta salad that’s perfect for cookouts, BBQs, and potlucks! It’s a universal crowd-pleaser thanks to cheesy pasta pockets and all the other fresh and flavorful ingredients. Make it for your next picnic!

Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

Ingredients:

For Salad:

  • 10 ounces spinach or cheese tortellini, cooked according to package, drained and rinsed with cold water
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper (about 1 large bell pepper)
  • 1 cup cup halved or quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup diced red onions (see note) – more to taste
  • 1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounce)
  • 4 ounces sliced pepperoni, cut into quarters
  • 1 can (3.8oz) sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

For Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon sugar or agave nectar

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine cooked and cooled tortellini with bell pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, mozzarella, pepperoni, olives, and parsley.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together dressing ingredients: olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. You can also add a bit of sugar or agave to dressing to sweeten it if you don’t prefer it as tangy as we do. Pour dressing over salad and stir to combine all ingredients and coat with dressing.
  3. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 10 side servings, Serving Size: 1 of 10 side servings

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 298 Calories
  • Total Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 42mg
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 12g
Actual nutrition may vary depending on how recipe is prepared.
All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

Verdict: I’ll be honest, I don’t actually love raw onions or olives. I put them in for you guys. This is weird (I think), but I do love the subtle flavor they add, if I don’t actually eat them. That makes sense in my brain…
Husband’s take: Ben feels the same way I do about onions and olives, but aside from that, he had absolutely no complaints about this pasta salad.
Changes I would make: None are necessary! If you really don’t like a particular vegetable, you could leave it out for sure. You could also make this vegetarian by omitting the pepperoni.
Difficulty: Easy!

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1 comment

  1. very similar to my antipasto salad

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