Greek Tortellini Salad

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Easy Greek tortellini pasta salad with a healthier (no mayo) dressing. Feta, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, olives, tortellini.

Greek Tortellini Salad: Salty feta cheese, crisp cucumbers, juicy cherry tomatoes, sharp red onions, and sweet-bitter Kalamata olives are all stirred together with tender cheese-filled tortellini. This salad is tossed in a nutritious and flavorful Greek-inspired vinaigrette.

Pair Greek Tortellini Salad with marinated and grilled Greek chicken or Greek meatballs. And if you’re looking for a low-carb alternative to the tortellini, try this Greek quinoa salad next.

Greek tortellini salad with a spoon in the bowl, ready to be served with fresh vegetables and delicious dressing.

Greek Tortellini Salad

A good pasta salad is always a hit during the summer, especially when brought to a cookout or potluck! But adding tortellini in place of the pasta takes it to the next level.

Greek Pasta Salad is a popular recipe on the site, so I swapped a few ingredients and replaced the pasta with tortellini to create this fun twist on a classic. The tortellini completely change the salad, making it more savory and a lot more cheesy. 

Making the dressing, adding ingredients to a bowl, and combining everything with the dressing.

Greek Tortellini Salad dressing

To dress this Greek Tortellini Salad, we combine the ingredients listed below in a jar and shake to combine; it’s easy and quick! You can also use a bottled Greek vinaigrette from the store, and add it to taste over this salad.

  • Olive oil: Since olive oil is the star of the dressing, I recommend a good quality, extra-virgin oil.
  • Red wine vinegar: This variety of vinegar adds an overtly sharp and clean flavor with a hint of fruity aromas. It’s a classic Greek dressing ingredient!
  • Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice will taste the best and add vibrancy to the salad.
  • Honey: Feel free to add more honey if you find the dressing too tart, and alternatively, start with less if you prefer tangier dressings.
  • Dijon mustard: Don’t use regular yellow mustard; the two don’t interchange well in this dressing.
  • Minced garlic: Grab jarred minced garlic if you’re in a pinch for time, or use a garlic press to mince a clove quickly.
  • Dried oregano: While fresh oregano can certainly be used, I find it a bit overpowering in the salad. Dried oregano disperses more evenly and less intensely in the salad.
  • Salt and pepper: Added to taste preference!

Greek salad tortellini mixed with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and delicious homemade dressing.

Quick tips

  • Use good quality tortellini: There are frozen, fresh, and shelf-stable tortellini to choose from, as well as myriad brands, so it can be overwhelming. If you have a favorite tortellini, use that; otherwise, there are some taste-tested recommendations here and here!
  • Take away the bite of red onion: If you’re sensitive to the flavor of raw red onion, soak the diced onions in salted ice water for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly before adding to the salad.
  • Salt the water: Since Greek Tortellini Salad is eaten cold, the flavors tend to get muted. Make sure the tortellini are well salted as they cook– and don’t be afraid to add more salt to the finished salad if it needs it. I typically add 1 teaspoon of salt to 4 cups of water.
  • Cook the tortellini to al dente: Since the tortellini sits in dressing, it has a tendency to get soggy if overcooked. Cook the tortellini to the package directions for al dente.
  • Use Persian or English cucumbers: English/Persian cucumbers have smaller seeds that are easier to eat, taste less bitter, have a great crispness, and have a peel that is thinner and more edible. 

QUICK TIP

What does it mean to cook pasta al dente? That’s an Italian phrase that means “to the teeth.” Al dente pasta
has a little bit of firmness when you bite it. If you cut a piece of al dente pasta, you’ll see a bit of
uncooked starch in the middle. Al dente isn’t uncooked or hard pasta; it’s just ever-so-slightly undercooked.

Variations:

  • Add a creamy element, such as a ripe avocado. Since avocados don’t hold up well in the salad, if you use them, add them to individual plates right before serving. 
  • Make it a Greek Chicken Tortellini Salad. Add in some diced grilled chicken (rotisserie chicken, Greek-seasoned-and-cooked chicken, or use this delicious chicken marinade).
  • Swap black olives for Kalamata olives if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Add roasted red pepper: Roasted red peppers would make a great complement to the other veggies in this salad. You can buy jars of roasted red peppers at the store; they are usually near things like pickles, capers, and artichoke hearts. Alternatively, a raw red or green pepper would be a great addition.

Finished side dish delicious, and ready to be enjoyed.

How long will Greek Tortellini Salad last?

We prefer it the same day it’s made, as the onion and olive flavors get stronger the longer it sits. The dressing also begins to break down the tortellini.
 
You can refrigerate the ingredients separately in meal prep containers (veggies, tortellini, feta cheese, and dressing) and dress the bowls individually at mealtime. This way, Greek Tortellini Salad will last 4 to 5 days in the fridge. You can find more meal prep tips in this recipe for Greek couscous salad.
 
This salad doesn’t freeze or thaw well, due to all the raw veggies. Tortellini also don’t hold up when frozen and thawed.
 
If you have time, make the dressing in advance. This dressing benefits from being made in advance and chilling in the fridge; the flavors meld and intensify, plus it’s just better chilled! When chilling the dressing, separation is normal. Let it sit out for 5 or so minutes and give it a good shake before adding it to the salad.

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Greek Tortellini Salad

4.84 from 12 votes
Greek Tortellini Salad: salty feta cheese, crisp cucumbers, juicy cherry tomatoes, sharp red onions, and sweet-bitter Kalamata olives are all tossed together with tender cheese-filled tortellini. This salad is tossed in a nutritious and flavorful Greek-inspired vinaigrette.
Greek tortellini salad with a spoon in the bowl, ready to be served with fresh vegetables and delicious dressing.
Print Recipe

Greek Tortellini Salad

Greek tortellini salad with a spoon in the bowl, ready to be served with fresh vegetables and delicious dressing.
4.84 from 12 votes
Greek Tortellini Salad: salty feta cheese, crisp cucumbers, juicy cherry tomatoes, sharp red onions, and sweet-bitter Kalamata olives are all tossed together with tender cheese-filled tortellini. This salad is tossed in a nutritious and flavorful Greek-inspired vinaigrette.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 as a side dish
Chelsea Lords
Calories 383kcal
Cost $6.02

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 package (16 ounces) fresh or frozen cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1/2 cup (60g) red onion, diced
  • 1 cup (125g) English or Persian cucumbers, cut into half moons
  • 1 cup (160g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup (93g) Kalamata olives, halved or thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup (50g) feta cheese, crumbled
  • Optional: 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (90g) olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons EACH: lemon juice, honey, and Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Instructions

  • DRESSING: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Shake thoroughly to combine, making sure no honey or Dijon is stuck on the bottom. Use a spoon to stir, and then shake again if needed. Store dressing in the fridge until ready to use. To serve, shake dressing again, right before adding to the salad, and then drizzle over salad.
  • TORTELLINI: Prepare the tortellini according to package directions. Make sure to generously salt the water (I add 1 teaspoon to every 4 cups of water). Don't forget to salt the pasta water or the whole salad will taste under-seasoned. Drain, rinse under cold water, and toss with 2 tablespoons of the prepared dressing. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
  • VEGGIES: Prepare the veggies: dice the red onion, cut the cucumbers into half moons, halve the cherry tomatoes, halve or slice the olives, crumble or cut the feta cheese into chunks.
  • ASSEMBLE: Toss together the completely cooled tortellini with all the veggies and add in some chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Drizzle on the dressing to your preference; you may not want to use it all (We love dressing, so we use all of it on this salad!). Toss to combine and then add in the feta cheese. Toss again gently. Taste and adjust to personal preference adding any additional salt/pepper as needed.
  • ENJOY: Cover tightly and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Toss once more, serve, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

STORAGE: We prefer this salad the same day it's made, as the onion and olive flavors get stronger the longer it sits. The dressing also begins to break down the tortellini.
You can refrigerate the ingredients separately in meal prep containers (veggies, tortellini, feta cheese, and dressing) and dress the bowls individually at mealtime. This way, this Greek tortellini Salad will last 4 to 5 days in the fridge. You can find more meal-prepping tips in this recipe for Greek Couscous Salad.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 6as a side dish | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.4g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18.3g | Cholesterol: 39.2mg | Sodium: 496.6mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 7g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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49 Comments

  1. This looks wonderful- can’t wait to try it! By the way, I ordered your book and still haven’t received it, I think I choose Pay Pal. How was it supposed to come?

    1. Hey Barbara, I’m so sorry to hear you are having problems with the book. You should be emailed a link to download the book as soon as you purchase it, so perhaps check your “spam” folder. If you cant find it, just email me your confirmation code and I can send you a new link to download the book! Thank you for your support!

  2. I’m a diabetic. This sounds wonderful but I’m not sure about the pasta and my carb intake. How can I find out how many carbs there are? Thanks!!!! Cindy

    1. Thank you Cindy. I would recommend plugging in the ingredients to an online calculator such as My Fitness Pal and that should give you the carbs on it 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Well Chelsea, I actually MADE your Easy Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad with NO modifications, to take to a backyard oyster roast. I left with an empty bowl and friends asking for the recipe! It was delicious. Thanks!

    1. Wahoo!! So happy these were a hit and you left with an empty bowl 🙂 Thanks for the comment!!

  4. 5 stars
    I made your Greek Tortellini Salad today and everyone loved it. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. 5 stars
    This salad looks and sounds delicious. Can’t wait to make it! How long does it keep in the fridge (in the unlikely event there are any leftovers ?)?

  6. Can you make this a night ahead, or do you think the tortellinis will get soggy in the dressing?

    1. I think it’s best the same day it’s made. If you do make it beforehand, maybe just hold the dressing until close to serving time!

  7. Just wanted to let you know I have made this dish 3 times this summer. Twice for a cookout and most recently (last night) for supper. It just keeps getting better and better as local ingredients come into season. I add two teaspoons of dijon mustard to the dressing to help emulsify and to to add a little tang. Its so, so good! Thank you for this recipe!

    1. I’m so thrilled this pasta salad has been a hit!! You’re so welcome, and thank you for the comment! 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    I made this twice last summer and it is delicious. I’m getting ingredients tomorrow to make again. One of the times I made it I added some chopped up pepperoni.

    1. I’m so happy to hear you love this recipe! Thanks for the tip on the pepperoni, that sounds delicious! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  9. I made this and we loved it! There’s only two of us and have some leftover. Do you think it could be frozen?

    1. So glad to hear that!! Unfortunately I don’t see this freezing very well, I think it will all end up pretty soggy 🙁

  10. This turned out excellent. I like the salad dressing so much, I keep some in the fridge for regular salads. I also tried it as dressing for potato salad. Very good.

  11. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. SO good! I did add the parsley, and I chiffonaded some fresh spinach to go in. The dressing is amazing! I could drink it, it’s so good. Going to try as a marinade for chicken and fish. So delicious! Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    This has become a salad favourite in our home. I did change it to satisfy everyone’s dislikes and likes. I put in artichokes instead of olives and spring onions instead of red onion. And I so love the dressing! Good on any salad!! Such a handy salad alternative when greens are unavailable or less than desirable (wintertime) — other ingredients usually available year round. Thank you.

  13. I’m thinking of adding either Pecans or Almond Slices. What are your thoughts as to which or if you think it won’t work?

    1. I’d think almond slices would do better. I’d toast them first so they don’t get soggy!

  14. The dijon in the dressing throws off the whole balance of the dish IMHO.

    Recommend omitting it entirely.

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