Tortellini Antipasto Pasta Salad

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Antipasto and pasta salad are two of my all-time favorite summer dishes. But, do you know what is even better than those two? Combining them into one amazing antipasto pasta salad!! Antipasto pasta salad is the perfect combination of savory meats, crunchy vegetables, and zesty dressing, all tossed with delicious filled tortellini.

Homemade pasta salad with antipasto ingredients

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Another pasta salad recipe, Michael!?”

Friends, I just can’t help myself. You know I can’t pass up a great pasta salad. Plus, summertime and pasta salad go hand-in-hand. I couldn’t resist.

If you’ve never made something like this before, you’re in for a treat! This antipasto pasta salad made with tortellini is the perfect dish for your next summer gathering (indoors or out!). It’s packed with flavor and loaded with all the classic antipasto ingredients, like salami, mozzarella, and olives. I think this would be delicious paired with a big pitcher of refreshing sangria, some pineapple chicken kabobs, and an ice cream dessert to finish it all off.

This unique and delectable pasta salad recipe will quickly become your new entertaining go-to! Keep reading to learn how to whip up this mouth-watering antipasto pasta salad that will leave your taste buds satisfied—and your guests coming back for seconds.

Antipasto pasta salad with tortellini on a serving plate

What does antipasto / antipasta mean?

Antipasto pasta salad may be a familiar dish to many, but have you ever wondered what exactly antipasto means? Antipasto, or antipasta as some may say, is an Italian term that translates to “before the meal.” It typically refers to a selection of appetizers or small bites served before the main course.

In the context of antipasto pasta salad, it means incorporating ingredients such as cured meats, cheese, olives, and vegetables that are often found in antipasto platters. These ingredients are combined with pasta to create a satisfying and flavorful dish that can stand on its own as a main course.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s bursting with flavor. Think of this like a salad party for your mouth! It’s got all the classic antipasto favorites but with a tangy salad dressing on top.
  • Easy to make ahead of time. This recipe will keep for about 3 days in the fridge, so it’s a perfect make-ahead meal. In fact, I almost think it tastes better with time as the flavors meld together!
  • Completely customizable. Hate olives? Just leave ’em out! Want more tang? Add some extra pepperoncini. This dish is more art than science.
  • Comes together quickly. This recipe can be put together in 30 minutes or less. And while I do recommend chilling it in the fridge for an hour or two, the hands-on time is minimal.
  • Crowd-pleasing recipe. This antipasto pasta salad is a delicious side dish for summer entertaining, picnics, parties, and the list goes on! I took this to a recent party, and afterward, I left with an empty container and several requests for the recipe. Without a doubt, it’s a winner!
pasta salad made with antipasto ingredients on a plate with a serving bowl in the background

Ingredients

The idea behind this recipe is pretty simple. Essentially, it’s all the wonderful goodies you’d find in antipasto mixed together with tortellini and a simple dressing. What’s not to love, right?

To make this salad, you’ll need:

  • cheese tortellini – cooked until al dente
  • cherry tomatoes – cut in half
  • olives – I like to use a mix of olives, but if you have a favorite between green and black, go with that. Just make sure they are pitted!
  • salami and pepperoni
  • mozzarella pearls – if you are unable to find these, you can also use feta cheese
  • cubed sharp provolone cheese – it’s rare to find this pre-cubed, and I honestly think buying a block and cutting it yourself tastes better anyways!
  • roasted red peppers
  • diced red onion
  • pepperoncini – I typically use mild, but if you have a crowd that likes it spicy you can swap it out for the hot variety.
  • sun-dried tomatoes – for this recipe, you’ll want to use the sun-dried tomatoes that are canned in oil. Make sure to drain and chop them before you add them to the pasta salad.
Close up of antipasto pasta salad ingredients - olives, pepperchinios, tortellini, mozzarella, tomato, onion, and basil

This pasta salad also has a delicious homemade vinegar dressing that brings the flavors all together. For the dressing, you’ll need:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • minced garlic – this is one of those recipes where fresh garlic really does make a difference.
  • chopped basil – again, go for fresh basil here!
  • sugar – you can also use honey or maple syrup.
  • dried oregano
Close up of a antipasto pasta salad

How to Make

And with that, let’s make some Tortellini Antipasto Pasta Salad! I’ll walk you through the steps below. I’ve also provided a full ingredient list and detailed instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Begin by preparing the tortellini according to the package directions. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Then, add the cooked tortellini to a large bowl. Next, add in the rest of the pasta salad ingredients.
Pasta salad ingredients in a bowl before mixing
  1. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, basil, sugar, and dried oregano.
homemade red wine vinegar dressing
  1. Finally, pour the dressing over the pasta salad and mix gently to evenly coat.
Pouring dressing over a bowl of antipasto pasta salad
  1. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving. Right before you serve, garnish the antipasto pasta salad with fresh basil. Yum!

And that’s it! You’re ready to enjoy this amazing flavor-packed antipasto pasta salad!

colorful pasta salad topped with fresh basil

Storage

This is a super easy dish to make ahead of time, which is one of the reasons I love it!

If you are planning to make this dish a few days in advance for a party or gathering, I would go ahead and make everything, but keep the dressing separate. Then, the morning of the event, toss everything together and stick it back in the fridge.

On the other hand, if you make this dish, serve it, and happen to have leftovers (it rarely happens!), it will keep fine in the fridge for 3-5 days in an airtight container.

Unfortunately, pasta salad (and pasta in general) doesn’t freeze well, so I don’t recommend putting this in the freezer.

close up of a delicious tortellini antipasto pasta salad

Variations

In regards to the ingredients that I used in this recipe, feel free to make it your own. If there is something you don’t like or something you feel is missing, switch things up to create a pasta salad you are excited to serve and eat.

Other additions could include:

  • garbanzo beans
  • marinated artichokes
  • cucumbers
  • cannellini beans
  • sweet drop peppers
  • chicken

As you can see, the options are practically endless!

There is so much to love in this Tortellini Antipasto Pasta Salad. I hope you’ll give it a try. Feel free to make it your own with all the yummy additions you love.

homemade pasta salad with antipasto ingredients

More Recipes You’ll Love

I have PLENTY of unique pasta salad recipes to share with you. Take a peek at all of my best pasta salad recipes, but here’s a list to get you started:

I hope you’ll try this delicious antipasto pasta salad. I know you’re going to love it! If you do, please stop back and leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. 

Want more from Inspired by Charm? Follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my processes. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest!

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Tortellini Antipasto Pasta Salad

Flavorful antipasto and classic pasta salad come together to create this bold and beautiful Tortellini Antipasto Pasta Salad. This unique and delectable pasta salad recipe will quickly become your new entertaining go-to!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: antipasto, pasta salad, tortellini
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 503kcal

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup mixed olives pitted
  • 1 cup chopped pepperoni
  • 1 cup chopped salami (I used soppressata)
  • 1 cup mozzarella pearls
  • 1 cup cubed sharp provolone cheese
  • 3/4 cup sliced roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup sliced pepperonicini
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained and chopped)

Dressing:

Instructions

  • Begin by preparing the tortellini according to the package directions. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Add the cooked tortellini to a large bowl. Then add in the rest of the pasta salad ingredients.
  • In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, basil, sugar, and dried oregano.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and mix gently to evenly coat. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh basil.

Nutrition

Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 1203mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 459IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 245mg | Iron: 3mg

Thank you to Morgan of hostthetoast.com for inspiring this recipe. My recipe is adapted from hers.

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17 Comments

  1. Wonderful! I didn’t have the mozzarella so I just left it out. The dressing is great- that little touch of sugar really makes it pop! This is such a colorful dish. I am serving it with baked chicken, but really, it could stand on it’s own for a light summer lunch or dinner.

  2. I know that cheese tortellini varies a lot across the range of available brands. What brand do you suggest? Or at the very least are you using a dried product, a frozen product, or a refrigerated product?

  3. I made this pasta salad for dinner and paired it with a simple, breaded chicken breast cutlet. It was so delicious and perfectly cool for the hot summer days we are experiencing in Texas. My husband loved it so much that he packed the leftover pasta salad for his lunch tomorrow. Definitely a recipe that I will keep on hand. Thanks!

  4. My daughter found this recipe and we made it for our 4th of July family get-together. They LOVED LOVED LOVED it and all left with the recipe. The biggest compliment a cook can receive is when you are asked for the recipe. My daughter was thrilled that it was a huge hit.

  5. I enjoy your blog. You always have great recipes and you are talented in so many ways. Can’t wait to make the Tortellini salad.

      1. I found you not long ago, and so happy I did! Made a 1/2 batch of this for dinner last night and it is delicious. Only change I made was to use lemon olive oil in my dressing. Planning on making the full recipe for a family get together next week. Thanks for a great recipe!

  6. Just made this for a nice summer dinner. Pretty much the same except I cooked cauliflower florets with the spinach tortellini and added in. Also made the dressing with sun-dried tomato pesto and a little mayo instead…turned out delicious, thanks for the idea!