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Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad

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Cheese filled tortellini with Olive Garden creamy Italian dressing makes an amazing pasta side salad perfect for BBQ, picnics and potlucks. One of the best things about award winning pasta salads is that they are not only incredibly filling, but are super easy to customize.

Find your favorite dressing, whether that is an oil based Italian dressing, a packet of Italian dressing or creamy Olive Garden Parmesan Dressing (like we used) and this recipe is a snap!

Creamy Tortellini Pasta

Sure to be a hit side dish recipe, this tasty and simple tortellini pasta salad comes together in about 20 minutes and stores easily in the fridge till time to eat.

As a side note, I like cheese tortellini but feel free to use multi-colored or even chicken stuffed tortellini to mix it up.

Tortellini Pasta Salad ingredients

  • 24 oz. Cheese Tortellini – usually find this in the cheese area of many stores as tortellini needs to stay in the cold section. If you cannot find a larger bag, grab (2) 12 oz. bags.
  • 6 oz. bag pepperoni slices
  • 8 oz. package of sliced provolone cheese – additionally you can grab a block of provolone and cut into squares, but I like the ease of slices. An 8 oz. bag usually comes with 12 slices of cheese that I cut down (like a pizza) into 8 slices a piece.
  • 2 cans of sliced olives – drained of excess water
  • 16 oz. bottle Olive Garden Creamy Italian Dressing
  • 1 jar 3.7 oz. artichokes – drained of excess oils and chopped down
  • black pepper

How to make Tortellini Pasta Salad

  1. To get started on creamy tortellini pasta salad, first make the tortellini. Tortellini can be found in bags or plastic containers usually in the cold section of the store near cheese. Make tortellini according to package instructions. Once tortellini is made, rinse with cold water to cool down the pasta and set aside to completely drain.
  2. Stack pepperoni slices and cut down the middle in both directions, leaving 4 pieces of each pepperoni.
  3. Stack 12 slices of provolone cheese and slice like a pizza into much smaller bite sized pieces.
  4. Drain artichokes (and chop) and olive jars.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pour on (1) 16 oz. bottle of Olive Garden Signature Italian dressing. Stir well.
  6. Season tortellini pasta salad with black pepper.
  7. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour to chill prior to serving.
cooked pasta, cheese, pepperoni and artichokes

What is Tortellini Salad? 

Tortellini salads are a pasta salad that uses tortellini (stuffed pasta) over regular pasta like macaroni or rotini. The tortellini shell, which comes in a variety of flavors, can have cheese, mushrooms, or even chicken stuffed inside, which brings a lot of complex flavor in a simple salad. 

Best Tortellini for Pasta Salad

I always purchase the refrigerated tortellini shells, which are typically by the Ricotta Cheese in a store. They come in cheese, spinach, mushroom, sausage – sometimes you can even find them in seasonal flavors like pumpkin (I do not recommend that for this salad, of course)

For the pasta salad, you will need to properly boil or pressure cook the pasta. I personally prefer just a regular old stovetop as this pasta is delicate and needs very little time on the stove. Just follow the package instructions. 

Pasta Salad Variations

While this salad is most often seen in the spring and summer months where there are a lot of picnics and gatherings, if you are serving Tortellini salad with dinner, you may want to change up the flavors.

  • Make it Greek – change out black olives for Kalamata olives and add some feta cheese.
  • Make it a Meal: Add some cooked shredded chicken.
  • Make it Pretty – Instead of cheese tortellini, try spinach tortellini. Some of the other tortellini pastas include a variety of colored pastas.
  • Make it Cheesy: A bit of cheese is always a great addition, we recommend some shredded Parmesan or even small cubed cheddar cheese.
  • Make it healthy: Well….this is carb loaded because its pasta. However, its fine to add bite sized pieces of rainbow colored vegetables (like red, orange, and yellow peppers) for some color and crunch. 
tortellini pasta salad with olives and pepperoni

What Italian Dressing is best for Tortellini Pasta Salad?

After trying out Olive Garden Dressing in our slow cooker chicken, I just knew it would make a great addition to a creamy pasta salad so I suggest kicking the old clear version you are used to and using this one instead for a super creamy salad. You can find Olive Garden dressing in the regular salad dressing aisle.

olive garden dressing

Can you make Tortellini Salad ahead of time? 

Absolutely. Salads rooted in pasta generally work amazing the night before as it allows all the flavors to really work together. The only issue is that sometimes pastas dry out a bit after a night in the fridge so you have two choices. 

  1. Make the pasta the night before and place sealed in the fridge. Rinse with cold water and dry completely and then assemble the rest of the salad day of serving. 
  2. Make entire salad and add a bit of extra dressing and stir day of. 

How long will Tortellini Pasta Salad Last? 

I always say 3 days, sealed, and well stirred prior to serving. It may need a little extra dressing to bring it back to life and avoid some pasta dryness from the fridge. 

More Amazing Pasta Salad Recipes

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Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Creamy tortellini salad with Olive Garden dressing, sliced pepperoni, provolone cheese, sliced olives and bits of artichokes. Great potluck pasta salad that feeds a crowd. Can be made quickly in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients
 

  • 24 oz. Cheese Tortellini
  • 6 oz. bag pepperoni slices
  • 8 oz. package of sliced provolone cheese
  • 2 2.5 oz. cans of sliced olives
  • 16 oz. bottle Olive Garden Creamy Italian Dressing
  • 1 jar 3.7 oz. artichokes
  • black pepper

Instructions

  • To get started on creamy tortellini pasta salad, first make the tortellini. Tortellini can be found in bags or plastic containers usually in the cold section of the store near cheese. Make tortellini according to package instructions. Once tortellini is made, rinse with cold water to cool down the pasta and set aside to completely drain.
  • Stack pepperoni slices and cut down the middle in both directions, leaving 4 pieces of each pepperoni.
  • Stack 12 slices of provolone cheese and slice like a pizza into much smaller bite sized pieces.
  • Drain artichokes (and chop) and olive jars.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pour on (1) 16 oz. bottle of Olive Garden Signature Italian dressing. Stir well.
  • Season tortellini pasta salad with black pepper.
  • Place in fridge for at least 1 hour to chill prior to serving.

Notes

Please see article for ingredient variations and suggestions.
Keep pasta salad in refrigerator for up to 3 days in an air tight container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 471mg | Fiber: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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