This Tuscan Tortellini Salad is the ultimate potluck salad. It can be customized to your liking and served cold or warm. Perfect for a quick lunch or as a side dish for dinner!
Tuscan Tortellini Pasta Salad
Cheesy tortellini, salami, mozzarella, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, and basil combine to make a satisfying and refreshing pasta salad. This dish is then topped with tangy Italian dressing. Perfect for spring and summer gatherings, it's a must-have on your table.
- Avoid overcooking the tortellini to prevent it from falling apart when tossed.
- Use fresh ingredients to ensure maximum flavor.
- Customize the salad with your favorite Italian ingredients such as artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes.
- Toss the pasta with half of the dressing immediately after draining to prevent sticking.
- Save the remaining dressing to add just before serving for optimal flavor.
- Use fresh mozzarella balls for the best taste, but substitute with shredded or cubed mozzarella if necessary.
- Tortellini: Use fresh or frozen tortellini. Be careful not to overcook it to prevent it from falling apart when tossed.
- Spinach: Fresh spinach adds a healthy dose of greens to the salad. You can also substitute it with arugula or kale if desired.
- Salami: Sliced salami is a classic Italian ingredient that adds a savory flavor to the salad. You can also use prosciutto or pepperoni instead.
- Black olives: Sliced black olives add a salty taste and a nice texture to the salad. You can use green olives as well.
- Mozzarella balls: Fresh mozzarella balls add a creamy texture to the salad. Substitute with shredded or cubed mozzarella if desired.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes provide a sweet and tangy flavor to the salad. You can also use fresh cherry tomatoes instead.
- Basil leaves: They add a fragrant taste and a pop of color to the salad. Use parsley or cilantro if desired.
How to Make Tuscan Tortellini Salad
- Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
- While the tortellini is cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic glaze, dried oregano, thyme, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Once the tortellini is cooked, pour half of the dressing over the warm pasta and gently toss until it is well coated.
- Add the remaining salad ingredients to the serving bowl and toss them together until well coated with the dressing. If you plan to serve the salad immediately, add the remaining dressing and toss again. However, if you plan to serve the salad the following day, cover the bowl and refrigerate it without adding the remaining dressing. Toss the salad with the remaining dressing just before serving.
Tuscan Tortellini Pasta Salad Variations
- Add Protein: Add grilled chicken, tofu, shrimp, or steak to make the salad more filling. White beans would also be a great addition.
- Substitute Ingredients: Feel free to incorporate other veggies and ingredients you like or already have on hand, such as roasted red peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and cocktail bocconcini.
- Adjust Herbs and Spices: Use any fresh or dried herbs you like, and add some heat by including chili flakes.
- Change up the Dressing: If you don’t want to make the dressing from scratch, you can use your favorite store-bought zesty southwest or Italian dressing instead.
Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions and make the dressing. Store each component separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
If you prefer to mix everything together beforehand, you can, but we suggest holding off on adding the spinach until just before serving. It can wilt overnight and affect the texture of the salad.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If the salad seems a little dry when you're ready to serve, you can drizzle a little extra dressing over it and toss gently before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can add grilled chicken, shrimp, steak, or tofu.
Yes!! Omit the salami and mozzarella and use a vegan tortellini.
Yes, you can use a store-bought dressing if you prefer. Just be sure to choose a dressing that complements the flavors of the salad.
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