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Tortellini Pasta Salad

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Tortellini Pasta Salad with cheese tortellini, tomatoes, basil, and corn in a light vinaigrette dressing is the perfect summer salad.

Tortellini pasta salad with tomatoes, corn, basil and a light vinaigrette dressing in a red bowl with parmesan cheese over it.

Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad

If there’s any salad that tastes like summer, this cheese tortellini pasta salad with tomatoes, basil, and corn absolutely has to be it. 

I love this salad because it is perfect for all of those summer parties where I need to bring a side dish and also works for a easy summer dinner recipe for the family.

The light, sweet and tangy vinaigrette made with Italian dressing will quickly become one of your favorite dressings for summer, too!

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Cheese tortellini with corn and tomatoes in a summer salad with vinaigrette dressing being poured over it.

Ingredients for Tortellini Pasta Salad

For the 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 and frozen cheese tortellini as another option.  ANY of them works just fine for this salad.  I’ve never used meat-filled tortellini in this salad, but I bet it would be delicious.
  • Grape Tomatoes. You could use any type of fresh, firm tomatoes, such as Roma tomatoes. Just chop them, removing as much of the juice as possible—otherwise, the tomato juice can make the tortellini soggy.
  • Fresh Basil.  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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

For the Vinaigrette

  • Olive oil or sunflower oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh lemon zest
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Honey
  • Garlic crushed
  • Kosher salt

How to make tortellini Pasta salad

Boil cheese tortellini according to package directions or just until al dente.

Drain and cool the tortellini pasta.

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.

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.

Pour dressing over salad ingredients and very gently toss to combine.

Top with Parmesan, if desired. Salad is best served at room temperature.

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!

Double the recipe if I’m cooking for a crowd

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.

Other Summer Salad Recipes to Enjoy

If there's any salad that tastes like summer, this Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil and Corn absolutely has to be it.

Tortellini Pasta Salad

Tortellini Pasta Salad with cheese tortellini, tomatoes, basil, and corn in a light vinaigrette dressing is the perfect summer salad.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 462kcal
Author: Chef Alli

Ingredients

  • 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

Vinaigrette

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

www.ChefAlli.com

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 569mg | Potassium: 264mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 719IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 193mg | Iron: 3mg

Enjoy a satisfying bowl of Tortellini Summer Pasta Salad.

Tortellini Pasta Salad is a great summer tortellini side dish.

Summer isn't summer without Tortellini Pasta Salad.

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