tortellini pasta salad in a white bowl
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Tortellini Pasta Salad

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Tortellini Pasta Salad is a delicious but simple pasta salad made with tortellini pasta, black olives, and artichokes all tossed in a homemade dressing.

It was a hot day in Austin Texas. I was traveling for a business convention. A few other ladies and I decided to go off campus for lunch. We decided on a small family-owned deli near the convention center. I didn’t expect much from the looks of the place. It was an old run-down building with staleness in the air but it was the closest we could find in walking distance. The walls were worn and had an old-style deli counter that looked original to the building. One where you take a number and wait to be be called. As I stood in that crowded little delicatessen. I noticed that each patron was ordering the exact same dish. Tortellini Pasta Salad.

I am not really one to order such a thing but in this instance, I decided to go with my gut. When the man behind the counter handed the box to me. I thought I had made a mistake. Opening the lid, it looked plain almost boring. Small bits of olive, tortellini, and artichoke mixed together. It didn’t appear to have a dressing of any kind. In presentation it was nothing spectacular. But it was the flavor that got me. Dressed in olive oil and Italian herbs. Lightly seasoned but still flavorful. This humble pasta salad was delicious and worth recreating at home. This is my recreation of that very salad.

Why I Love This Tortellini Pasta Salad

There are a ton of different pasta salad recipes out there to try. Even ones using tortellini pasta and all variations are delicious. But this for me is a great light-style tortellini pasta salad. Not so overly dressed with heavy salami or creamy dressings to contend with. I like the freshness of the lemon and herbs. Along with the combination of olives and artichokes. Its simple, almost basic but jazzed up enough to set itself apart from the others. So why do I love this Tortellini Pasta Salad? Well it’s simplicity and freshness are hard to beat.

What You’ll Need To Make Tortellini Pasta Salad

20 oz package tortellini pasta

1 lemon

2 cups of jarred artichoke hearts

1 bundle of green onions (about a half cup)

1/3 cup good olive oil

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 clove of garlic

2 tbsp of dried Italian seasoning

1 cup cut black olives

cracked black pepper

sea salt

Directions

Begin by making the dressing. Add 1/3 cup of olive oil to a bowl. Sprinkle in the Italian seasoning. Finely chop the garlic clove and place it into the oil. Zest the lemon and add the zest to the bowl along with half the juice. Add a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Mix well and let sit while you put the pasta together. This will help the flavors in the dressing to develop.

tortellini pasta salad

Next, cook tortellini according to the package directions. Make sure not to overcook. You want the tortellini to be firm but cooked. While the tortellini cooks, quarter the artichoke hearts. Slice olives if not already precut. To assemble the Tortellini Pasta Salad, place the cooked tortellini in a large bowl. Add the olives, green onion, artichokes, and parmesan cheese. Pour over the dressing and toss well to make sure the dressing covers the pasta. Serve chilled. *Be sure to save the other half of the lemon. In case you need to additional lemon and olive to your pasta salad after chilled.

Cooking Notes for Tortellini Pasta Salad

  • Be sure to not overcook pasta. Doing so will result in a mushy pasta salad that won’t keep well.
  • Quarter artichokes so that they are bite-sized rather than using the whole heart.
  • Save the other half of the lemon. If you find the pasta has dried out a bit in the fridge, add additional olive oil and lemon to spruce it back up.
  • I like to use a blend of dried Italian herbs for this recipe. But you can use fresh if you’d like. Be sure to chop them finely when adding and note that dried herbs tend to be stronger than fresh.

Serving Suggestions for Tortellini Pasta Salad

  • Tortellini Pasta Salad pairs well with meat dishes since the pasta itself has none. Try it with this Grilled Spatchcock Chicken or these Oven Slow Cooked Ribs. Both are great to serve alongside this pasta salad.
  • Serve alongside a beautiful veggie dish like this Simple Tomato Confit.
  • This Tortellini Pasta Salad works great as a lunch side served alongside panini-style sandwiches. Check out this Ham and Zucchini Panini. It combines grilled zucchini, and sliced ham with pesto dressing on sourdough bread.

FAQ Tortellini Pasta Salad

Could I use sausage and cheese tortellini for this recipe?

Yes, sausage tortellini works great for this recipe. I normally use a plain cheese style but I find the sausage to compliment the flavors in this fine. This works especially well for making the dish a complete meal as opposed to just a standard side dish.

Would avocado oil work in place of olive oil?

Yes, avocado oil has a very similar taste and would work just fine for this recipe.

Can this recipe be doubled?

Absolutely! For gatherings and pot lucks I have doubled this recipe just fine and it came out perfectly.

Recommended Items For The Kitchen

Olive Oil Dispenser

Linen Apron

Farmhouse Kitchen Towels

Wooden Measuring Spoons

White Pasta Serving Bowls Set of 4

Cast-Iron Skillet Set of 2 (10 in and 12 in)

Pin For Later

tortellini pasta salad on a white plate

If you try this recipe and love it, I would appreciate you coming back to give it 5 stars!

tortellini pasta salad in a white bowl

Tortellini Pasta Salad

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Tortelini pasta tossed with herbs, olives and artichokes in a light dressing

Ingredients

  • 20 oz package of refrigerated tortellini pasta
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp of dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cups of jarred artichoke hearts
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 cup diced black olives
  • 1 bundle of green onions (about half a cup)
  • cracked black pepper
  • sea salt

Instructions

    1. Begin by making the dressing. Add 1/3 cup of olive oil to a bowl.
    2. Add the Italian seasoning. Finely chop the garlic clove and place it in the oil.
    3. Zest the lemon and add it to the bowl along with half the juice.
    4. Add a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Mix well and let sit while you put the pasta together.
    5. Next, cook tortellini according to the package directions.
    6. While the tortellini cooks, quarter the artichoke hearts.
    7. Cut olives if not precut.
    8. Place the cooked tortellini in a large bowl.
    9. Add the olives, green onion, artichokes, and parmesan cheese.
    10. Pour over the dressing and toss well to make sure the dressing covers the pasta.
    11. Serve chilled.
    12. **Be sure to save the other half of the lemon. In case you need to add lemon and olive to your pasta salad after chilled.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 373Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 624mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 5gSugar: 1gProtein: 13g

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*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through the links I provide (at no cost to you).

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