A Spicy Perspective

Cold Tortellini Pasta Salad

Cold Tortellini Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Recipe – This cold pasta salad, kissed with fresh basil dressing and feta cheese, is a fabulous make-ahead for picnics and potlucks.

cold pasta salad

Cold Pasta Salad

A good pasta salad is a summer staple.

You know you’ve got an amazing pasta salad recipe, when people ask for it.

For instance, when your family begs you to make it over and over. Or when your friends either ask for the recipe or invite you to the next party with strict instructions to bring “that pasta thing.”

This is the sort of pasta dish that gets passed through families for generations. It is a springboard for nostalgic recollections of grandma’s Sunday dinner and church potlucks.

Don’t have that kind of pasta salad in your kitchen arsenal? I can help!

Cheese tortellini

Tortellini Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Over the years, I’ve shared several pasta salad recipes inspired by my family (links below) but there is always room for more.

Today’s Tortellini Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is a light and simple salad with tons of contrasting textures. You’ve got soft silky cheese-filled pasta mixed with crisp broccoli, and sweet juicy cherry tomatoes, and roasted peppers.

The dressing is made with fresh basil leaves, pureed into a fine tangy-sweet vinaigrette.

Scallions and feta cheese offer a final punch of flavor that brings the entire dish together.

tortellini pasta salad

Tortellini Pasta Salad AKA Summertime Comfort Food

Although this Tortellini Salad with Basil Vinaigrette has a few Greek ingredients and a few Italian ingredients, it doesn’t come across as a global dish.

Instead, the flavors mingle together into pure “melting pot” summertime comfort food.

You can make Tortellini Salad with Basil Vinaigrette up to a week before serving. I like to make it at the beginning of a week, and use it for lunches, several days in a row.

Sometimes I even place it in jars to take on the go, and pack fresh spinach leaves on top to add a little extra veggie goodness.

pasta salad

Tortellini Pasta Salad Ingredients

  • Refrigerated Tortellini – you can use cheese or spinach for this recipe
  • Small Broccoli Florets – cut them into pieces smaller than the tortellini 
  • Grape and/or Cherry Tomatoes – Cut these in half 
  • Jarred Piquillo Peppers – or you can use roasted red peppers
  • Chopped Scallions 
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Garlic Clove
  • Salt and Pepper
tortellini pasta salad

How to Make This Cold Pasta Salad Recipe

  1. Boil salted water in a large pot on the stove top. Then stir in the tortellini and cook them just under the time limit on the package (about 5 or 6 minutes). 
  2. Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water. Then toss it in a tablespoon of olive oil so the pasta does not stick together. 
  3. Make the basil vinaigrette by placing the basil leaves, remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and salt in a blender and puree until it is smooth. 
  4. Combine the tortellini, broccoli florets, tomato halves, chopped peppers and scallions into a large salad bowl. 
  5. Toss with the basil vinaigrette and toss the salad together to coat all the ingredients. Then gently mix in the feta cheese. Taste and flavor as needed then Serve. 

Get the Complete (Printable) Cold Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe Below. Enjoy!

basil vinaigrette

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe a day before? How long can this pasta dish last in the fridge?

This salad can be made and kept refrigerated up to one week in advance, so it is a fabulous make-ahead dish. 

You can also prep all the components the day before an event. Refrigerate them, then combine and mix right before serving. 

What can I add to this recipe?

Looking to pack more veggies into the recipe? You could add some asparagus, shaved carrot, cucumbers, or kalamata olives. You can even try using cauliflower instead of broccoli if you prefer. 

If I can’t find fresh basil, can I use dried basil?

It’s best not to use dried basil in this recipe. However, most grocery stores now offer basil paste in the produce department that would make a good substitute.

 What should I do if I don’t own a blender?

If you do not own a blender or food processor, you can finely mince the garlic and basil. Then whisk the basil vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. 

basil vinaigrette recipe

More Dazzling Pasta Salads

Check out our recipe card below…

Tortellini Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Recipe
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Cold Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Tortellini Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Recipe – This cold pasta salad, kissed with fresh basil dressing and feta cheese, is a fabulous make-ahead for picnics and potlucks.
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces refrigerated tortellini, cheese or spinach
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 pint grape and/or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup jarred piquillo peppers, chopped (or roasted red peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Set a large pot of salted water on the stove top. Bring to a boil. Stir in the tortellini and cook just under the set package instruction timeframe, about 5-6 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Then toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil so they don’t stick together.
  • Place the basil leaves, remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the blender. Cover and puree until smooth.
  • Pour the tortellini, broccoli florets, tomato halves, chopped peppers, and scallions into a large salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss to coat. Then gently mix in the feta cheese. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.

Video

Notes

This salad can be made and refrigerated up to one week in advance.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 269kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 353mg, Potassium: 180mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 820IU, Vitamin C: 41.5mg, Calcium: 116mg, Iron: 2.1mg
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

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7 comments on “Cold Tortellini Pasta Salad”

  1. I have made this recipe many times but I add some chopped seeded cucumber and use red onion rather than scallions. Also, to those of you that are pressed for time, I have found a new line of salad dressings by Ken’s … all vinagrette flavors. I used the garlic basil vinagrette and it really tastes home made. Just a thought. This is a perfect summer salad!

  2. This salad is packed full of amazing flavors!! A new favorite at my house!!

  3. I love the amazing flavors in this recipe! My entire family loves it!

  4. Such a perfect weeknight dish, we finished off the whole thing!

  5. Just made this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit. Definitely going in the keeper file!

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