Tortellini caprese salad combines the goodness of cheese-filled tortellini with juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella pearls tossed in a simple balsamic dressing. It's a refreshing pasta salad filled with fresh summer flavors and the perfect side dish for your next backyard barbecue.
This pasta salad couldn't get any easier! It takes just a few simple steps to prepare and tastes great as a side dish or entree with green salad for a tasty summer dinner.
🤍Why you will love this recipe
- Flavor! This cold pasta salad is so refreshing and flavorful; and it's filled with simple, fresh ingredients.
- It's and easy salad that is also versatile; change it up and add more ingredients - see variations below.
Here is what you will need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this easy broccoli salad recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions.
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- Cheese tortellini pasta
- Pearl mozzarella balls
- Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- Fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Garlic powder
- Salad bowl
How to make Tortellini Caprese Salad
Prepare the ingredients: Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions, rinse the cooked tortellini under cold water and drain it.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, chop the basil and mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
STEP 1: Place the tomatoes, pearl mozzarella balls and basil into a large bowl.
STEP 2: Add the cooked and rinsed tortellini and the dressing; gently toss everything together.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Mozzarella cheese - I like to use fresh mozzarella pearls in this salad. If unavailable, they can be replaced with fresh mozzarella cheese cut into cubes.
Olive oil - Extra virgin olive oil is best for making salads and dressings. It can be replaced with regular olive oil if it's unavailable.
Basil - Fresh basil is the star of this dish, and should not be replaced with dried basil. If it's not available, you can use a tablespoon or two of fresh basil pesto.
Caprese tortellini pasta salad is simple and the perfect dish for versatility! Here are some ideas to get you started:
Pesto Tortellini Caprese Salad - Instead of balsamic dressing, use pesto sauce and a light drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Mediterranean Tortellini Caprese - Add sliced kalamata olives, red onion, chopped baby spinach leaves, crumbled feta cheese and chopped oregano.
Add vegetables - Toss in grilled or roasted vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant or red peppers.
How to store leftovers
Store leftover tortellini pasta salad in an airtight container for 3 days. If the dressing has been absorbed after sitting in the refrigerator, stir in a little bit of olive oil before serving.
- Cook the tortellini perfectly, follow the instructions on the package, don't overcook it, and aim for al dente.
- Since this salad is made with simple ingredients, try to use the freshest ingredients you can find for the best flavor.
Even though refreshing caprese salads are usually served chilled, you can serve this salad at room temperature or slightly warm. This can be done by not rinsing the cooked pasta under cool water and serving the salad immediately.
You can try using a basic Italian vinaigrette, a lemon herb dressing or just plain extra virgin olive oil.
This salad is filled with fresh ingredients, and it is not recommended to use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes, which will compromise the fresh flavors in this salad.
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Caprese Tortellini Salad
- 10 ounces Cheese Tortellini
- 8 ounces Mozzarella Pearls
- ½ cup Fresh Basil
- 14 Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Cook 10 ounces Cheese Tortellini according to the package instructions; rinse cooked tortellini in cold water
- Cut 14 Cherry Tomatoes in half, and roughly chop ½ cup Fresh Basil
- Place 8 ounces Mozzarella Pearls, cherry tomatoes and basil into a bowl.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl (3 tablespoons Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar, 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder)
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and gently toss.