ITALIAN TORTELLINI SALAD
This Italian Tortellini Salad is a hearty salad that mixes together cheese tortellini, roasted red peppers, pepperoni, tomatoes, green onions, red onion, cubed cheese, Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and an Italian style dressing.
I like to bring this salad to a get together because it feeds a crowd and is like a meal all in itself.
This salad is loaded with dairy offering a good dose of protein and calcium helping your guests feel full and energized.
Real milk is naturally nutrient-rich like no other beverage. It offers a unique combination of 13 essential nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, selenium and protein that are vital to a healthy immune system and overall wellness.
The nice thing about today’s tortellini pasta salad is that it is very customizable to your tastes and what you have on hand.
I often will add in green olives, red bell pepper, artichokes or pepper jack cheese.
If you are looking for other pasta salad recipes to add to the rotation you should also try this Italian Pasta Salad, Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad, Greek Orzo Pasta Salad or this Summer Orzo Pasta Salad.
INGREDIENTS FOR ITALIAN TORTELLINI SALAD
TORTELLINI: I used a fresh tortellini that only requires about 5 minutes of boiling to prepare it. You can use any variety of tortellini that you like.
PEPPERONI: I love adding pepperoni or salami to this salad but if you want a vegetarian version leave this out.
CHERRY TOMATOES: I like to use cherry tomatoes and cut them in half or quarters. If you don’t have cherry tomatoes any variety of tomato works.
ROASTED RED PEPPERS: I added roasted red peppers because I like the flavor. You can skip this and use fresh red bell pepper if you prefer.
RED ONION: The red onion adds flavor but can be left out. You could also use sweet onion in its place.
FRESH HERBS: Fresh herbs take salads to the next level. I always try to use fresh basil, parsley and oregano if I have it on hand.
GREEN ONION: I like to chop the white and green parts of green onion to add to this salad.
MOZZARELLA AND SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE: I added cubed mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese to this salad. You could also use pepper jack or colby jack.
PARMESAN CHEESE: Try using a fresh Parmesan cheese for the best results.
ITALIAN STYLE DRESSING: I made a homemade Italian style dressing but you could also use a store-bought dressing.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A TORTELLINI SALAD?
MAKE THE DRESSING: If you are making a homemade Italian dressing prepare it ahead by placing all ingredients in a mason jar and shaking until combined. If you don’t want to make a homemade dressing you can use your favorite store-bought Italian dressing.
COOK THE TORTELLINI: Cook the tortellini in salted water according to the directions. Drain the tortellini and then rinse with cool water and drain.
ADD INGREDIENTS TO THE MIXING BOWL: Add the tortellini to a large mixing bowl.
MIX INGREDIENTS TOGETHER: Add the remaining ingredients to the tortellini and gently mix together.
ADD DRESSING: Pour half of the dressing over the salad and gently toss. Taste and add more dressing to taste or save the remaining dressing and add to the salad before serving.
TIPS FOR MAKING A TORTELLINI PASTA SALAD
- The dressing will need to be shaken before using if you let it sit for a period of time because the ingredients will begin to seperate.
- Do not overcook the tortellini. You want to cook them until al dente. If you overcook them then they can start to fall apart.
- Add other ingredients like celery, artichokes, olives, banana peppers, pepperoncinis, chickpeas, white beans, salami, bell peppers or cucumber.
- Cheese is one of my favorite parts of this recipe. You can mix it up and add other cheeses like pepper jack, fresh mozzarella, feta cheese or shredded cheese in place of the cubed cheese.
- The salad soaks up the dressing once it sit for a while. You will want to toss additional dressing in the salad before serving.
- Fresh herbs take this salad to the next level. I love adding fresh basil, parsley, oregano and thyme.
IS DAIRY NUTRITIOUS FOR ME?
- The amount of dairy foods you need each day depends on your age. For those 9 years or older, USDA recommends eating three daily servings of low fat or fat free milk, cheese and yogurt every day to meet dairy food group recommendations, close key nutrient gaps and contribute to nutritious and healthy eating patterns.
- Dairy foods provide nutrients people of all ages need to grow and maintain stronger bodies and minds. The protein in dairy – whey and casein – keeps you feeling full longer, provides energy to fuel your day and helps muscles recover. Today’s salad is loaded with dairy to help keep you energized!
- Pairing dairy foods with plants, like the vegetables in this tortellini pasta salad, can help pack in nutrients that kids and adults need, and often do not get enough of in their daily diets.
- Healthy eating patterns that include dairy foods are linked to reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as improved bone health, especially in young people.
- Milk, cheese and yogurt are delicious paired with plant-based foods, including whole grains and a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables—which tend to be more affordable because they are most abundant.
For more information about dairy nutrition, to find delicious new recipes and to meet Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers, visit www.Drink-MIlk.com, and follow the American Dairy Association Mideast on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Did you make this Italian Tortellini Salad? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 - 20 ounce bag refrigerated cheese tortellini, cooked
- 1 cup pepperoni, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 6 ounces roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1/3 red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 5 green onions, white and green parts chopped
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
- 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
FOR THE HOMEMADE ITALIAN DRESSING
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- If you are making a homemade Italian dressing prepare it ahead by placing all ingredients in a mason jar and shaking until combined. If not, you can use your favorite store-bought Italian dressing.
- Cook the tortellini in salted water according to the directions.
- Drain the tortellini and then rinse with cool water and drain.
- Add the tortellini to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the tortellini and gently mix together.
- Pour half of the dressing over the salad and gently toss. Taste and add more dressing to taste or save the remaining dressing and add to the salad before serving.
The dressing will need to be shaken before using if you let it sit for a period of time because the ingredients will begin to seperate.
Do not overcook the tortellini. You want to cook them until al dente. If you overcook them then they can start to fall apart.
Add other ingredients like artichokes, olives, banana peppers, pepperoncinis, chickpoeas, white beans, salami, bell peppers or cucumber.
Today’s post is sponsored by ADA Mideast. As always all opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that allow me to create new and exciting recipes.