Italian Pasta Salad with Tortellini
Italian Pasta Salad bursting with your favorite Italian fixings and on your table in 25 minutes! This Italian Pasta Salad recipe is is made 1000X better with cheesy, pillowy tortellini and homemade Italian Dressing!  It’s a quick chop and throw together recipe that can be made ahead of time for the perfect stress-free side for all your potlucks and parties!
    Servings Prep Time
    10servings 15minutes
    Cook Time
    Servings Prep Time
    10servings 15minutes
    Cook Time
    top view of easy Italian Pasta Salad with pepperoni, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, mozzarella with wooden tongs
    • 1 Recipe Italian Dressing
    • 120 oz. bag refrigerated cheese tortellini
    • 1 cucumberpeeled, sliced and quartered
    • 1pint cherry tomatoeshalved
    • 16 oz.can black olivesdrained and halved
    • 1 orange bell pepperchopped
    • 2tablespoons chopped pepperoncini’s
    • 8oz. fresh mozzarella ballsquartered
    • 8oz. sliced salamichopped
    • Optional: feta cheese, Parmesan, parsley
    1. Prepare Italian Dressing according to directions. Refrigerate until ready to use then shake or whisk to recombine before using.
    2. Cook tortellini in salted water according to package directions. Rinse with cool water, drain and add to a large serving bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the warm pasta and toss to combine. Add the remaining salad ingredients to the tortellini.
    3. If serving within the hour: toss with desired amount of remaining dressing. Although you can serve salad immediately, I highly recommend refrigerating for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld and salad to chill.
    4. If serving later: Gently toss ingredients to combine but do NOT add remaining dressing yet. Cover and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve, toss with desired amount of remaining dressing. This salad is excellent the next day.
    Recipe Notes

    Italian Pasta Salad Ingredient Tips

    • Italian Dressing: I beg you not to but if you must use premade Italian Dressing, then your salad will need about ¾-1 cup.
    • Tortellini: I use fresh refrigerated tortellini.  You can any type of cheese and even think sausage would be yummy!
    • Cucumber: You can substitute the slicing cucumber for an English cucumber and then you don’t have to peel it.
    • Tomatoes: Don’t substitute the cherry tomatoes for Roma or another variety because they will fall apart in the salad.
    • Olives: I use whole olives and then chop them because they are juicer and tend to hold together better but you can use sliced olives if you prefer.  Sicilian olives would also be delicious! Olives are optional, and I actually don’t love olives, but I loved them in this salad!
    • Bell Pepper: You can substitute the orange bell pepper for whatever you have on hand but my fav for this Italian Pasta Salad is orange.
    • Pepperoncinis: Pepperoncinis can be found with the relishes and other pickled condiments.  They are tangier and have a slight more kick than banana peppers but if you already have banana peppers on hand then you can use those.  This recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons but you are welcome to taste and add more for additional tangy sweet heat.
    • Mozzarella: I prefer to use fresh mozzarella balls, cut into bite size pieces. These can be found in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store. You can also use fresh mozzarella logs and slice into cubes.  If this mozzarella is too expensive or you don’t want to make a separate trip, you can substitute mozzarella cubes.
    • Salami: You can substitute chopped pepperoni or chopped summer sausage for the salami.


    • Feta
    • zucchini
    • Pepperoni
    • Italian sausage
    • Crispy thick-cut bacon
    • shrimp
    • grilled or shredded chicken