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Lunch/ Pasta/ Summer Lovin'

Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad

May 4, 2023 by Chris Collins

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…

tortellini pasta salad in large white bowl with salad tossers at the back

Marinated Tomatoes

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).

4 step by step photos showing how to marinate tomatoes

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!

Extra Goodies

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).

4 step by step photos showing how to make tortellini pasta salad

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.

caprese tortellini pasta salad in large white bowl with brown salad tossers

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?!

close up shot of caprese tortellini salad in large bowl with salad tossers

How to make Tortellini Pasta Salad (Full Recipe & Video)

tortellini pasta salad in large white bowl with salad tossers at the back

Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad

This tortellini pasta salad is so simple, yet it's packed with the most gorgeous flavour!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 4 - 5 people
Course: Lunch / Main Course
Cuisine: Al Fresco Dining / Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Calories per serving: 574kcal
Cost per serving: £2.50 / $3

Equipment:

  • Medium-Sized Pot & Colander (for cooking pasta)
  • Large Salad/Mixing Bowl
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Whisk
  • 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

Instructions:

  • 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!

Notes:

a) Tortellini - 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!
b) Make Ahead - You can make the whole salad ahead of time, it'll just start drying up after a few hours. Which is fine, it'll still taste lovely, you just lose the texture of the dressing. Just tightly store in the fridge until needed.
c) Cherry Mozzarella - You can use regular fresh mozzarella and tear it into chunks if you'd prefer. Bocconcini also works well!
d) White Balsamic Vinegar - If you're in the UK they sell this in Sainsbury's and a couple of other supermarkets. 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.
e) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 4.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 574 Calories from Fat 316
% Daily Value*
Fat 35.07g54%
Saturated Fat 12.44g62%
Trans Fat 0.069g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.747g
Monounsaturated Fat 15.995g
Cholesterol 77mg26%
Sodium 894mg37%
Potassium 322mg9%
Carbohydrates 41.35g14%
Fiber 2.6g10%
Sugar 3.46g4%
Protein 24.51g49%
Vitamin A 1107IU22%
Vitamin C 9.5mg12%
Calcium 440mg44%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

For another Caprese pasta recipe check out my Caprese Burrata Pasta!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  • Reply
    Debbie Saag
    May 25, 2023 at 2:08 pm

    5 stars
    this was awesome!!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 26, 2023 at 9:42 am

      Thanks Debbie! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Stu
    May 13, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for the first BBQ for the year and it was a huge hit. Everybody asked for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 15, 2023 at 10:11 am

      Great to hear! Thanks for the review 🙂 C.

    5 KNOCKOUT

    DINNERS

    YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING!

    A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER