Backyard BBQ

Cheesy Tortellini Salad

June 24, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 3-4
Author Notes

Pasta salad is a summer staple in my home. With so much space to customize, you can have fun playing with different kinds of pasta, dressings, vegetables, and, of course, cheeses. Frozen tortellini is an easy swap for standard penne or farfalle. Full of rich cheese, tortellini add a decadent, creamy base to contrast the fresh, crunchy vegetables. Think of this recipe as a clean-out-the-fridge pasta salad: cucumbers, peppers, onion, tomatoes, herbs galore, anything goes. To bump it up, I like to add some fresh mozzarella and savory salami for a little antipasto moment. You can serve this at room temperature, right after mixing, or if you’d like to make it in advance, just pop it in the fridge.  —Marissa Mullen

What You'll Need
  • Cheesy Tortellini
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag of frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup cup bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls), halved
  • 3/4 cup diced Italian hard salami
  • 1 Persian cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill fronds
  • 1 finely chopped basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the tortellini and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, according to the package instructions, until tender. Drain and let cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and honey into the olive oil to emulsify. Add garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix until combined.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, mozzarella, salami, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, olives, artichokes, basil, dill, salt, and pepper to a bowl. Top with dressing, season with additional salt and pepper, and mix to combine.
  5. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for 20 minutes to 2 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jomolager
  • Jessica
Marissa Mullen is a Brooklyn-based food stylist, recipe developer, photographer and cheese lover. She is the founder of That Cheese Plate and creator of the Cheese By Numbers method. She is also the author of the best-selling cookbook, That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life, a step-by-step styling guide for crafting beautiful and delicious cheese plates as a form of creative expression. Featured on The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Business Insider, Vox among others, Marissa is dedicated to bringing people together through creativity, food and entertainment.

2 Reviews

Jomolager May 25, 2023
Multiplied most of the ingredients by 12 because I used 10 pounds of ready made (Costco) tortellini. People went for seconds and thirds, many said it was the best tortellini they’ve ever had. No leftovers. People took what was left home.
Followed the recipe almost 100, used lots of dill, had no fresh basil, did not use salame, too expensive for the amount I needed, added crumbled Feta cheese, (tortellini themselves) tasted bland, and lots of arugula to the salad, and anchovies to the vinaigrette. Thanks for making my effort a great success.

Jessica August 25, 2022
I think I've found my new go-to pasta salad recipe ! My only swap was my store had perlini mozzarella balls instead of bocconcini so I didn't have to cut mine in halve. This was a big hit for everyone that tried it. The balsamic dressing was delicious. I am not sure why I've never thought to use this type of vinegar in a pasta salad before but I think that's what made it exceptionally delicious.