This tortellini pasta salad is so simple, yet it’s packed with the most gorgeous flavour!
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to use tortellini in a pasta salad. I mean, it’s a no-brainer! So much heartier and so much more flavour. You’re going to love this one. Follow me…
So for this recipe we’re going caprese style, and one of the most important steps is marinating the tomatoes. For two reasons:
- Flavour – The marinade will inject heaps of flavour into the tomatoes.
- Dressing – As the tomatoes marinate the salt will draw out their juices, which in turn helps to create a gorgeous dressing for the tortellini.
What kind of tomatoes should I use?
You’ll want to use baby plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. They’re nice and sweet, so they take on the tangy flavours of the marinade really nicely. They’re also the perfect size for a pasta salad when halved!
How long do I marinate them?
Honestly, marinated tomatoes are the gift that keep on giving. I recommend a minimum of an hour, up to overnight.
Process shots: add extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, shallots, garlic, basil and s&p to a large bowl (photo 1), whisk (photo 2), add tomatoes (photo 3), toss (photo 4).
Caprese Tortellini Salad
As I mentioned, we’re going caprese style for this tortellini salad. It’s got a subtle but really gorgeous flavour!
Cooking the tortellini
You’ll want to take a minute or so off the packet timings, just because the tortellini will suck in a little dressing as it rests.
Rinsing the tortellini
Once it’s cooked, you’ll want to rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Make sure it’s all completely cool before tossing in the tomatoes/dressing. Just toss the tortellini with care, otherwise, you risk them splitting and losing their filling!
With the tortellini, tomatoes and leftover marinade, we’re going in with some fresh mozzarella, shaved parmesan and basil, alongside some toasted pine nuts too.
Process shots: add drained tortellini to bowl (photo 1), toss (photo 2), add mozzarella, parmesan, basil & pine nuts (photo 3), toss (photo 4).
Tortellini Pasta Salad FAQ
What kind of tortellini should I use?
I actually use cappelletti here, which is great because it’s a little smaller than tortellini. You can really use your favourite filling, granted it pairs well with the flavours of a caprese salad. I often use prosciutto crudo, but spinach & ricotta or even a chicken-based tortellini would work well!
Where can I find white balsamic vinegar?
You’ll find it in most UK supermarkets – I usually find it in Sainsbury’s.
Can I sub the white balsamic vinegar with anything?
You can use regular balsamic vinegar, it just stains everything that’s all. You can use white or red wine vinegar if you have no balsamic on hand, but balsamic is slightly preferable.
Serving Tortellini Pasta Salad
I usually serve this around 15 – 30 minutes after tossing everything. That way you’ve still got a light dressing, but the flavours have all had time to marry together. You can make it ahead of time and rest in the fridge, it’ll just dry up the longer it rests that’s all.
Also, feel free to add in more of your favourite filling (parmesan, pine nuts etc).
Alrighty, let’s tuck into this tortellini pasta salad shall we?!
How to make Tortellini Pasta Salad (Full Recipe & Video)
Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Medium-Sized Pot & Colander (for cooking pasta)
- Large Salad/Mixing Bowl
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Spatula/Salad Tossers
Ingredients (check list):
- 10.5oz / 300g Tortellini, filling of choice (see notes)
- 9oz / 250g Baby Plum or Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 7oz / 200g Cherry Mozzarella Balls, halved (see notes)
- 1oz / 30g shaved Parmesan
- 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar (see notes)
- 2 tbsp finely diced Fresh Basil, plus a handful of small basil leaves
- 2 tbsp Pine Nuts, preferably toasted
- 2 small Shallots, very finely diced
- 1 small clove of Garlic, very finely diced
- 1/4 tsp EACH: Salt, Black Pepper
- In a large mixing/salad bowl whisk together extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, shallots, garlic, 2 tbsp basil and 1/4 tsp salt & pepper. Toss in the tomatoes and leave to marinate for as long as you have time for. I recommend at least an hour, which you can do at room temp. Any longer cover in the fridge (up to overnight).
- Cook the tortellini in salted boiling water (take a minute or so off the packet timings). Drain and gently toss in cold water until completely cool.
- Combine the tortellini with the tomatoes and dressing, then toss in the mozzarella, parmesan, pine nuts and a handful of small basil leaves (or torn large ones).
- Serve up right away or store in the fridge until needed.
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
For another Caprese pasta recipe check out my Caprese Burrata Pasta!
For more similar recipes check out these beauties:
Pasta Salad Recipes
- Tuna Pasta Salad
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Deviled Egg Pasta Salad
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Pizza Pasta Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad