Tortellini salad with pepperoni makes a delicious, filling pasta salad. Great for hot summer days or cozy winter nights. It’s a Good potluck recipe, side dish or stand alone light meal.
This is easy an Antipasto salad to assemble with lots of powerful Italian Flavor! This Italian pasta salad is Food Safe for an outdoor party table. It makes a good grill side or stand alone light meal. Take it anywhere!
What is Antipasto?
“Antipasto is derived from the Latin root “anti” meaning “before” and “pastus,” which means “meal. So antipasto means the teaser recipes before a large meal.
An Appetizer tray or a salad like our pasta with pepperoni have a good antipasto vibe. Traditionally we see cured meats and cheeses alongside marinated or pickled vegetables on an antipasto tray.
This pepperoni pasta salad is almost like eating straight from an antipasto tray. It’s filled with pepperoni, cheesy tortellini, kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts peppers and tomatoes.
The cubes of pepperjack cheese also add that zip of flavor you find on an appetizer tray. There are lots of potent flavors in this salad. And they go together so nicely.
In summer when temperatures climb this cold pasta salad makes a nice light meal replacement. I am a serious pasta salad freak. Easy pasta dishes like this one are often stored in my fridge for lunches throughout the week.
In the winter, Tortellini salad is a welcome comfort food. A filling, heavy, cheesy pasta salad seasoned with rich Italian flavor. I appreciate grabbing a bowl for a quick snack.
More Pasta Salad Recipes
Here’s a few more pasta salad recipes your family will love.
This tortellini salad recipe, as written is excellent. But do feel free to make it your own.
- Love spicy Hot peppers? Feel free to replace the bell peppers with them. Or add red pepper flakes. Or pepperoncini.
- Hate heat? Make those peppers sweet. Jarred roasted red peppers are also good in this recipe instead of fresh peppers.
- This is popular potluck dish. I usually tone down the pepper heat for a large crowd to play it safe.
- The homemade Italian dressing included here is easy to adjust. If you wish you can use a bottled Italian dressing of your preference.
- You can change out the pepper jack for Mozzarella if you wish. We enjoy the extra flavor pepper jack adds to this recipe.
- If you are not a kalamata olive fan use black olives.
The combination of ingredients in this salad is flavorful! Adding sun dried tomatoes in the winter salad version brings up the Italian presence!
I add my own Sun dried tomatoes, and use our fresh tomatoes from our greenhouse. In late summer, our peppers grace this salad. Today I added Pepperoncini peppers for a bit of zing.
TIP: You need refrigerated, fresh, five cheese tortellini. Don’t use dried cheese tortellini pasta found in the noodle section of your grocery. It cooks up a chalky cheese filling and tough noodles! I recommend getting refrigerated, fresh five cheese tortellini for the best flavor and texture.
Versatile best describes this salad. I have made several versions of this yummy salad over the years. Other than the base ingredients, let your cupboard and taste buds be your guide.
Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe:
I added a list of suggestions in the recipe. There are no hard and fast rules. It’s salad! Play!
This is an easy pasta salad recipe to throw together. And it makes a lot. That’s great for a potluck or leftovers through the week. Feel free to adjust the proportions of the salad components and the dressing to suit your needs.
Want this salad even easier?…use bottled organic Italian salad dressing. There are now many choices in your grocery store if you prefer that to making the one we have here. I think you’ll be very happy with our homemade salad dressing but store bought will work if you buy a good Italian dressing.
- Boil the five cheese tortellini (not an affiliate link) to al dente. Rinse with cold water then drain the pasta.
- Toss to coat the drained pasta with a bit of olive oil and Italian seasoning. This prevents the noodles sticking to themselves while cooling.
- Pour the cooked pasta into a large bowl with the remaining salad ingredients. Stir until combined.
- Make the dressing per instructions or use store bought.
- Pour the dressing and Italian seasonings over the salad.
- Chill until serving. At least two hours to meld the flavors.
Your Printable Tortellini Recipe Card:
Tortellini salad with pepperoni makes a delicious, filling pasta salad. Great for hot summer days or cozy winter nights. It's a Good side dish or stand alone light meal. Lots of powerful Italian Flavor! This salad is Food Safe for an outdoor party table. Great grill side or stand alone light meal. Take it anywhere!
- 16 oz. five cheese tortellini
- 2 Tablespoons dried Italian seasonings
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 7 oz. pepperoni
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- 2 green onions
- 6 oz. kalamata olives
- 6.5 oz. marinated artichoke hearts
- 6 oz. pepper jack cheese
- 15 grape tomatoes whole
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Italian herb or bruschetta seasoning
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon flat leaf parsley
- Cook the tortellini according to package instructions, drain in a colander set in the sink, and rinse with cold water. Toss with olive oil and seasonings.
- Chop the pepperoni, green onions, olives, artichoke hearts, and mozzarella cheese into cubes or bite sized pieces and put them into a large salad bowl.
- Add the tomatoes either chopped for large tomatoes or whole for grape or cherry tomatoes into your salad bowl.
- Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients.
- Add the salad dressing and the Italian seasonings to the salad.
- Gently stir to combine, and refrigerate to chill before serving. For even better flavor, let chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Garnish with fresh parsley leaves at serving.
Suggested Add-ins and substitutions include:
- Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Switch the pepper jack cheese to mozzarella
- use Black olives in place of Kalamata
- You can use any peppers you prefer. Adjust the heat level to suit your purpose.
The salad dressing ingredient proportions may be adjusted to suit your tastes. The salt and pepper really bring out the flavor of this salad.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382 Total Fat: 28g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 44mg Sodium: 976mg Carbohydrates: 22g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 12g