Tortellini Caprese salad is quick, easy, and has only 6 ingredients! Start with the classics. Heirloom cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic dressing. Then toss in delicate and cheesy tortellini pasta. Yum!
What is tortellini Caprese salad?
Tortellini Caprese salad is a hearty twist on the classic Italian Caprese salad. This variation adds cheesy tortellini to the beloved tomato, mozzarella, and basil combo. Dress it with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a vibrant finish. This tortellini summer salad is so quick and easy to prepare! It makes a perfect light summer meal or side dish. It is also a wonderful take-along dish for BBQs, picnics, potlucks, and showers.
Ingredients & Substitutions
The ingredients for this tortellini Caprese are super simple. I recommend using the highest quality ingredients you can find.
I like using dried three cheese tortellini. You can also use fresh or frozen tortellini. Prepare according to package directions.
The best mozzarella to use is fresh mozzarella pearls. They are already bite-sized! Or, cut 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella into bite-sized pieces.
You want to source some vine-ripened heirloom cherry tomatoes for this. If you don’t want to use cherry tomatoes, you can substitute a large diced heirloom tomato.
You need fresh basil! Do not use dried in this recipe.
Last, dress this pasta salad with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and kosher salt. The dressing is simple and lets the flavors shine. You’ll notice a flavor difference when you use high-quality oil and vinegar. Look for vinegar made from 100% grapes with no fillers. Epicurious has a good read for a more in-depth look at choosing balsamic vinegar.
- Drizzle it with balsamic glaze before serving for an extra burst of flavor.
- Add grilled chicken for a heartier option with more protein.
- Give it a swirl of homemade pesto.
- Add salt flakes for a subtle yet fancy garnish.
- Garnish with whole basil leaves.
How to make tortellini caprese salad
Cook the tortellini to al dente. Then rinse it under cold water and drain it.
Cut your tomatoes and basil. Half or quarter the tomatoes & thinly slice the basil leaves.
Add everything to a large bowl.
Stirt to combine. Let it sit at room temperate for a few minutes before serving.
Frequently asked questions
Grow them yourself. My favorite seeds are from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. We’ve been ordering from them for a couple decades!
Visit a local farm or a farmers market! If you have trouble finding one, check out www.usdalocalfoodportal.com/
Check your grocery store in late July or August. It will depend on the store. My small-town grocery store started sourcing produce from one of our local farms!
I highly recommend using fresh basil in this recipe. Dried basil will not work as a substitute. If you can’t find fresh basil, leave out the olive oil and fresh basil and use ½ cup of prepared pesto instead. If fresh herbs are hard to find in your area, try growing them in your garden or a small pot!
If you can find gluten-free tortellini, you can substitute it. Otherwise, you can swap out the tortellini for your favorite bite-sized gluten-free pasta. Rotini would be a good fit.
How to serve this summer tortellini caprese salad
- Enjoy it as a main dish for lunch or supper.
- It makes a great summer side dish.
- Pack it in a party bowl and take it to a bbq or potluck.
- Pack it up for a picnic.
More summer recipes
- Heirloom Tomato Caprese
- Veggie-loaded pasta salad
- Spicy Salmon Salad
- Caprese Crostini with Balsamic Glaze
Did you try this tortellini Caprese? Let me know in the comments!Print