3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad

3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad is a darn good cold dish that to add to your recipes. Read more to see how to make it a main course, a light salad, or a side dish. Also, see how to spark up the flavors and make it last 4-5 days in the fridge. It’s versatile so, it’s included in several of our leading recipes categories like Salads, Main Courses, Pasta, Sides, and Italian Cuisine.

Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad Recipe

Recipe for 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad

This is a cold Italian pasta salad rich in several paired flavors. It has a good variety of ingredients and maintains fresh Italian flavors.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 421kcal

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Pasta Salad

  • 9 ozs 3 Cheese Tortellini store bought, any type
  • 12 ea cherry tomatoes halved or quartered, 1/2 cup = 12
  • 4 ozs salami diced
  • ½ cup cucumber diced
  • ¼ cup red onion diced
  • ¼ cup black olives sliced, chopped, halved, or quartered
  • 2 ozs mozzarella cheese balls or shredded
  • 0 tsp salt optional, to taste
  • 0 tsp black ground pepper optional, to taste

Salad Dressing

  • 1 cup Zesty Italian Dressing or Italian Dressing
  • ¼ tsp Garlic Powder or double minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Add To Salad When Served

  • ½ cup spinach fresh leaves, coarsely chopped


  • Cook tortellini following its directions. When done, drain in colander, and run cold water through it. Let drain for about 10 minutes.
    9 ozs 3 Cheese Tortellini
    Cook and Drain Pasta for Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad
  • Prepare remaining "Pasta Salad" ingredients and combine into a mixing bowl.
    12 ea cherry tomatoes, 4 ozs salami, ½ cup cucumber, ¼ cup red onion, ¼ cup black olives, 2 ozs mozzarella cheese
    Initial Ingredients in Mixing Bowl for Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad
  • Run cold water over drained pasta to loosen it up and to cool it down further. Let it drain about ½ minute or so.
    9 ozs 3 Cheese Tortellini
    Run Cold Water over Pasta for Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad
  • Add pasta into mixing bowl of other salad ingredients. Then, mix together the salad dressing ingredients (dressing, garlic powder, onion powder), Parmesan cheese) and pour it in, mixing it up to coat everything. Still, leave out the spinach.
    1 cup Zesty Italian Dressing, 9 ozs 3 Cheese Tortellini
    Pouring Dressing into Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad
  • Transfer mixed contents into a non-metal salad bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Store chopped spinach separately in fridge also.
    Transferring Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad into Nonmetal Salad Bowl
  • When ready to serve, mix in the chopped spinach. However, if you'll have leftovers to store, only add spinach into each serving. Add salt and pepper to taste per serving.
    tsp salt, ½ cup spinach, tsp black ground pepper
    Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad with Chopped Spinach for Serving


Keeps for 1 day if spinach was added. Keeps 4-5 days refrigerated if spinach is separate.


Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 1407mg | Potassium: 194mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 436IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us all know how it was!
SOURCE: DarnGoodRecipes.com™

Introduction to 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad

The special blend of three different cheeses in the tortellini, combined with the rich flavor of Zesty Italian dressing, sets this pasta salad apart. It’s not just a cold salad; it’s a simple meal adding a rich cultural experience.

The Best Blend of Cheese and Pasta

The balance between the creamy cheeses and the pasta offers a texture and taste meant to happen by design. Whether you get three cheese tortellini or regular cheese tortellini from the grocer, you’ll be very satisfied with each bite. In this example, the three cheeses in this tortellini pasta are Ricotta, Romano, and Parmesan cheeses.

Why Zesty Italian Dressing Makes a Difference

The secret to a vibrant 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad lies in the dressing – a blend of Zesty Italian dressing, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. This mixture brings out the flavors and combines them to make a dish bursting with flavor. Enjoy this rich cultural experience.

Essential Ingredients in the Ultimate 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad

To make sure you’re creating the ultimate pasta salad, each component is chosen on purpose.

Choosing the Right Cheese Tortellini

There are several kinds of cheese tortellini. Whether opting for a three-cheese variety or a regular cheese-filled tortellini, the quality of pasta plays an important role in the dish’s overall success. Finally, you’ll be happier with refrigerated pasta instead of getting it frozen.

The 3 cheeses in this fresh 3 cheese tortellini are

  • Ricotta cheese
  • Romano cheese
  • Parmesan cheese

Also, for those who want to make your own, here’s a great Italian recipe of “How To Make Homemade Tortellini With Cheese” from the Slow Roasted Italian site. They’re full of other excellent Italian cuisine recipes.

The Role of Zesty Italian Dressing in Flavor Enhancement

You can use regular Italian dressing like other recipes call for. However, we’ve found Zesty is more tasty and exciting. Zesty Italian dressing brings out the best in this 3 cheese tortellini pasta salad. After the pasta is cooked, the rest takes just a few minutes to combine everything.

Adding Salad Fixings for a Burst of Tasty Flavor

You can add in some optional extras to enhance the flavors even more, if desired. For example, adding bacon or French’s crispy fried onion topping will give a good change.

Making Your Pasta Salad Ahead of Time

Making your 3 cheese tortellini pasta salad ahead of time makes the next meal convenient. It also gets those ingredients to meld together perfectly. When made ahead and stored in the fridge, it’ll keep good typically for 4-5 days. However, that’s only if you don’t mix in the chopped spinach. Just combine the spinach in when you’re actually serving this dish. This ideal meal choice is good through the week. Also, it’s great for those special get-togethers where you want to impress with no rushed effort.

Tips for Preserving Freshness and Flavor

Ensure your 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad keeps its melded tastes and texture, Remember, for optimal freshness, only mix in the spinach leaves when you’re ready to serve. You can add it to individual servings or to the entire bowl. Whatever is left in the bowl with no added spinach, will let the salad maintain its crispness and freshness for serving again anytime.

Best Pairings: What to Serve with Your 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad

When it comes to matching up your 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad, consider the other types of courses or sides. Look at serving warm Italian bread alongside this pasta salad. The bread, when dipped in a seasoned olive oil dip, creates an unbeatable balance of flavors and textures. Or, make some easy Crostini to add some garlic and crunch.

Storing Your Pasta Salad: A Guide to Longevity

To improve the shelf life of your 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad, proper storage is important. After making your salad, transfer it to an airtight food container. This reduces air exposure, which prolongs its freshness. If the lid doesn’t fit quite tight, you can cover it first with plastic wrap and then add the storage container’s lid after that.

How Long Will Your Pasta Salad Stay Fresh?

With the right storage, your 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad can stay fresh and tasty for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. To achieve this, it’s important to store the salad in an airtight container right after making it. Also, a big tip for maintaining top quality is to mix in ultra fresh ingredients like spinach leaves only when you’re about to serve. This helps prevent sogginess and keeps each bite fresh and flavorful.

Final Tips

Navigating Pasta Salad Do’s and Don’ts

Making the perfect 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad is more than just mixing ingredients together. You can serve it cold or near room temperature. The flavors are different and some say better when served near room temperature. Just don’t leave it out longer than 30 minutes to achieve this.

On another item, avoid overcooking the tortellini. If the pasta is overcooked, because it has cheese inside, it can have a mushy texture on the outside. And, when you bite into it, the cheese can be messy.

Adapting Your Salad to Suit Dietary Needs

Changing your 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad to meet dietary needs is not too hard. For those looking to reduce their meat intake, the salad can easily exclude the meat like the salami. Also, they do make a gluten-free tortellini. Also, regarding the added cheeses, you can select lower milk-fat types. These simple modifications let you accommodate to different peoples’ needs and differences.

Recommended Tools for Properly Making 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad

Having the right tools will streamline the pasta salad prep process. Use a large mixing bowl for combining those ingredients. It will reduce splatter and food spilling out. Having a proper colander makes draining time faster. Also, having appropriately sharp knifes makes the prep work speedy and easy when chopping vegetables. Finally, having a good-sized pot makes boiling the tortellini pasta easy and efficient.

Ready to Customize Your Own 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad?

Make your own changes to customize your 3 cheese tortellini pasta salad. Dare yourself to consider alternates or substitutions for ingredients. For example, use frozen cheese tortellini or regular cheese tortellini if three-cheese pasta isn’t available.

Keep these fresh vegetables like red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes. But change it out sometimes with a red or yellow bell pepper instead of the common green one. Also, consider to cut the grape tomatoes into fourths instead of just halves for a change. Another option is to add in some mozzarella pearls (balls) to add in a change. Another change to think about is to use a homemade Italian dressing. For the meat, consider using shredded or cubed chicken, ham, or even pulled pork instead. Finally, you can actually add ham plus the salami. Those 2 meats go together great.

Get Started with This Simple yet Delicious Recipe

Starting on the creation of your 3 cheese tortellini pasta salad begins with getting your ingredients. The recipe’s basis is the cheese tortellini, with mozzarella balls adding a delightful creaminess that complements the tangy zest of the Italian dressing. This simple yet fancy dish has many options you can change. You can make it based on available ingredients or dietary preferences.

Whether served as a main dish, a salad, or a side, it will be a crowd-pleaser. Remember, for the best experience, add in the spinach leaves only when ready to serve. Stored correctly, it will stay tasty and fresh for 4-5 days, making it an excellent choice for meal planning or special gatherings. With every bite, you’ll enjoy all the flavors and the joy of sharing a lovingly prepared meal.

Conclusion: Why This 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad Will Be A Repeated Dish

This 3 Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad isn’t that hard to make. After easily boiling the pasta and adding it to the veggies and dressing, it’s done. You just pop it in the fridge to get cold. So, it’s one of the speedy and easy main courses to make. It’s tasty because of the ingredients selected together so well. It’s convenient because you can make it in advance. It reduces stress because it keeps for 4 to 5 days and it can be a lunch to take to work. Lastly, it can be lighter if you leave out the meat.

So, put these things on your grocery list and plan it out now. Even better, make it more Italian and enjoy it with some warm Italian bread, dipping oil, and a glass of wine.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This website is an absolute gem! The content is incredibly well-researched, engaging, and valuable. I particularly enjoyed the ideas for optional changes in this salad.

  2. Fantastic site Lots of helpful information here. I am sending it to some friends and additionally sharing it being so delicious. And of course thanks for your effort