An easy tortellini pasta salad made with tri-color cheese tortellini, Kalamata olives, sweet grape tomatoes, and chunks of fresh mozzarella, all coated with a simple dressing loaded with garlic. If you love garlic, then this dish is for you.
I tried this tortellini pasta salad at a cookout and normally, I’m one to shy away from pasta salads because usually they’re tasteless, the pasta is overcooked, or just plain boring. I like to save my calories for something worthwhile. But this one had chunks of fresh mozzarella which caught my eye along with a ton of Kalamata olives. I couldn’t resist and I’m glad I gave in because it was damn good.
I needed to add this one to my repertoire of cookout dishes and It was simple to replicate. The pasta was coated with tons of minced garlic and a mild blended oil. There wasn’t much acid in the dressing which was interesting but I wasn’t going to question it. I figured a little Kalamata olive brine would do nicely and I was right (of course).
Basically, pile on the Kalamata olives, sweet grape tomatoes and chunks of fresh mozzarella and really, how can you go wrong? Another great thing about this tortilla pasta salad is you don’t have to worry about it turning in the heat. This can be left out at room temp and should be served at room temp because it tastes better.
Rather than use all extra virgin olive oil, blend it with a neutral oil like avocado oil. Trust me, it tastes better. Using all extra virgin olive oil makes it heavy. You want the garlic to shine through and the blended oil does the job.
You don’t have to use tri-colored tortellini but it sure does make it prettier. If you can’t find tri-colored use the plain ones. You're the master of your kitchen.
Give this a try. You won’t be disappointed and this makes the perfect dish when asked to bring something to a gathering.
Try some of my other salads:
- Spinach watermelon feta salad with lime vinaigrette
- Sweet and tangy cucumber salad
- Mexican street corn salad
- Sonoma chicken salad
- Peruvian oil and vinegar potato salad
- A macaroni salad worth eating
You'll also love these pasta dishes:
- Lemon herb pearl couscous
- Sausage pasta bake with mozzarella
- Sausage with broccoli and pasta
- Spaghetti with garlic butter and cheese
- Creamy fettuccine with peas and ham
- Simply delicious spinach and cheese pasta salad
Life is too short for mediocre food.
Easy Tri-color Cheese Tortellini Pasta SaladPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 pound tri color tortellini I only use frozen
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives I leave them whole
- 1 pint sweet grape tomatoes
- 8 ounces of mozzarella balls or fresh mozzarella sliced into chunks
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup neutral oil - I use avocado
- 1 tablespoon brine from the Kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Kosher salt to taste I use 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal
- A handful fresh basil leaves torn or chopped
- Cook the tortellini according to package directions. If the package gives a recommended time for al dente, cook one minute more. Check out my post on how to cook pasta for tips.
- Rinse the tortellini with cold water and drain.
- In a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Best served at room temperature.
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