If there’s any salad that tastes like summer, this Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil and Corn absolutely has to be it. I’ve yet to take it to a covered dish gathering and have any left at the end of the evening. And, this salad tastes just a good as it looks.
Please Note: We do use referral links for products and services that Chef Alli loves and recommends.
Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, and Corn – This easy-to-make tortellini pasta salad is just 4 ingredients! Chock full of cheese tortellini, grape tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, and sweet corn, then all done up with a sweet and tangy vinaigrette dressing, this pasta salad is the perfect addition to summer picnics and easy weeknight dinners.
How to Make Tortellini Pasta Salad
Tortellini Pasta. We prefer to use the refrigerated type of cheese tortellini when making this salad, because it cooks super quickly. However, there are shelf-stable tortellini found in the pasta section of your favorite grocer as well as frozen cheese tortellini as another option. ANY of them work just fine for this salad. I’ve never used a meat-filled tortellini in this salad, but I bet it would be delicious.
Grape Tomatoes. I like the chunky-ness and size of grape tomatoes that have been cut in half for this salad, but you could actually use any type of fresh, firm tomatoes in this salad….such as Roma tomatoes. Just chop them, removing as much as the juice as you can – otherwise the tomato juice can make the tortellini soggy.
Fresh Basil. Is there ANYTHING better than FRESH BASIL???? I think it’s one of the sweetest things about summer and I love growing all types of basil right outside my kitchen door so I can “grab and go” what I need for my summer cooking. In a pinch, if for some reason you can’t locate any fresh basil for this recipe, you could add 1/2 tsp. dried basil to the vinaigrette dressing. The salad will still be quite tasty, but I will say that the fresh basil is a very key ingredient here.
Sweet Corn. In the heat of summer, I often have fresh corn that I can cut off the cob for this recipe. However, I’d say that 9 times out of 10 that I make it, I’m using thawed frozen sweet corn simply because it’s faster and easier. In a pinch, you could substitute canned corn, but I’d opt for white shoepeg corn if going the canned corn route.
Vinaigrette Dressing. This is a basic vinaigrette and you are welcome to customize it as needed. Sometimes if I don’t have any fresh lemons on hand, I’ll just add an extra tablespoon of red wine vinaigrette for the lemon juice. Or, if you want to leave out the honey and sweeten the dressing with a bit of agave nectar or even sugar, feel free. I’ve even used Splenda to sweeten this dressing before and it worked just great.
Optional: Parmesan Cheese. If you have a block of Parmesan cheese in your fridge, take your peeler to it and get some nice long strips of cheese to garnish your salad with – it looks so pretty!
Easy Recipe Tips for Making Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, and Corn
- How long will this salad keep in the refrigerator? Up to 3 days. Past that, the tortellini starts to get pretty soggy. But don’t kid yourself. There’s no way this salad will last longer that 1-2 days in your fridge because your family is going to go CRAZY for it, I promise!
- Do I need any special or helpful tools for making this salad? Not really. It’s nice to have a good strainer for draining the tortellini after they cook, and a set of kitchen shears for chopping the fresh basil and the grape tomatoes. I just use a Mason jar for my salad dressings, but if you want to get a dressing cruet, those are super handy to have, too. Oh, and that peeler I mentioned above if you want to slice off pretty, long strips of your Parmesan cheese for garnishing.
- Can I double this recipe if I need to make a bigger batch? Yes! In this instance, you’d double every single ingredient in the salad. As for the vinaigrette, doubling the lemon zest and the garlic may be over powering, so I’d go by taste on that one.
- Can I add other veggies to this pasta salad? I think adding al dente broccoli or even asparagus to this salad would be gorgeous and tasty. I once added fresh spinach to this salad when I was trying to stretch it to feed a big crowd – everyone loved it.
Looking for other corn salad recipes that your fam will enjoy? Try these:
Delta Cornbread Salad – Make this in a trifle dish because it’s gorgeous!
Summer Corn Salad – Chef Alli’s favorite Corn Salad recipe
Crunchy Corn Salad with Chili Cheese Fritos – Cool, Creamy, and Crunchy…all in one summer salad.
Printable Recipe for Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Corn
Tortellini Pasta Salad With Tomatoes, Basil, and Corn
If there's any salad that tastes like summer, this Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil and Corn absolutely has to be it. I've yet to take it to a covered dish gathering and have any left at the end of the evening. And, this salad tastes just a good as it looks.
- 22 oz. pkg refrigerated tortellini
- 3 cups grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 cups frozen corn thawed
- 1/3 cup fresh basil chiffonade
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, optional
- 1/2 cup olive oil or sunflower oil, I love to use Wright Sunflower Oil, from Kansas
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
- 1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
- 1 Tbs. honey, I love to use raw Kansas Wildflower Honey
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Boil tortellini according to package directions or just until al dente; drain and cool.
In a large serving bowl, place tortellini, tomatoes, chopped basil, and corn. In a Mason jar that has a tight-fitting lid, combine vinaigrette ingredients and shake well to emulsify.
Pour dressing over salad ingredients and very gently toss to combine.
Top with Parmesan, if desired. Salad is best served at room temperature.
We love hearing from our readers and followers, so leave us a comment if you’d like. And, if you don’t hear back from us shortly, know that we may not have seen your comment. Feel free to reach out to us by email: ChefAlli@ChefAlli.com
Let’s Get You Cookin’,
This recipe was happily shared on The Country Cook’s Weekend Potluck and Southern Bite’s Meal Plan Monday!