Summer tortellini salad is an easy pasta salad recipe made with tortellini, fresh summer produce, and a simple homemade vinaigrette dressing. This pasta salad is the perfect side dish for your next summer picnic!
Looking for a fun new recipe to bring to summer parties and events? Try making a summer tortellini salad.
This pasta salad is made with cheese tortellini, zucchini, tomatoes, fresh basil, and feta cheese, tossed in a homemade vinaigrette dressing. The best part? This pasta is easy to make a day ahead and store until ready to serve.
Bring a summer tortellini salad to your next backyard barbecue, Fourth of July party, summer picnic, or serve alongside grilled chicken for dinner.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Tortellini - You'll need 20 ounces of fresh or frozen small tortellini for this recipe. Ravioli tend to be larger, and wouldn't work well in a pasta salad recipe, so I don't recommend them as a substitute.
- Zucchini - One medium zucchini can be substituted with a cucumber or bell pepper if desired.
- Cherry tomatoes - You'll need one pint of cherry tomatoes, or 3 to 4 small diced roma tomatoes.
- Feta cheese - Feta cheese can be substituted with your favorite cheese. Mozzarella pearls, goat cheese, or even shredded mozzarella are great substitutes.
- Fresh basil - Fresh basil adds plenty of fresh flavor to this pasta salad. I do not recommend substituting with dried basil (we're already using Italian seasoning below), so if you can't find fresh basil, it can simply be omitted.
- Olive oil - Extra virgin olive oil is a great option for dressings.
- Red wine vinegar - Can be substituted with apple cider vinegar if needed.
- Seasoning - Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper add flavor to your homemade vinaigrette. If you don't have an Italian seasoning blend on hand, this can be substituted with equal parts of your favorite dried herbs, like basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Can tortellini be eaten cold?
Yes, just like a traditional cold pasta salad, tortellini can be cooked, cooled, and eaten cold.
Make ahead and storage
Summer tortellini salad is a great recipe to make ahead and store before an event or party. I recommend making your pasta salad at least 2 to 3 hours ahead of time to chill in the refrigerator and allow flavors to meld.
Tortellini pasta salad will keep for 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. However, fresh produce degrades over time. Pasta salad looks and tastes best when served within 1 day of preparing.
Summer Tortellini Salad
- 20 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini, uncooked
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium zucchini, cubed
- ½ cup fresh basil, julienned
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook tortellini according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain and rinse with cold water until tortellini is room temperature.
- Place tortellini in a large bowl with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and feta cheese. Set aside.
- In a bowl, add olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour over pasta salad ingredients and toss until evenly coated.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to chill and allow flavors to meld.
- Prepared pasta salad will keep for 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator, but will have best flavor and appearance if served within the first day.
- Pasta salad will continue to soak up dressing as it sits. If it begins to look dry, feel free to toss in additional oil and vinegar.
- Optional additions/substitutions: sliced olives, chopped bell pepper, cubed cucumber, and mozzarella cheese.