Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad is perfect for summer bbq’s and picnics, this creamy pasta salad recipe is made with tortellini instead of traditional dried pasta. Rainbow colored vegetables are tossed with the pasta and a deliciously sweet and tangy dressing!

tortellini pasta salad in a bow

Step aside from traditional pasta salad recipes and give this creamy one a try!  It’s very similar to what we in the Midwest call macaroni salad, with a sweet and tangy dressing… but this rainbow version is full of brightly colored vegetables and is made using cheese-filled tortellini instead of elbow pasta.  Trust me, make this for your next cookout or summer bbq and everyone will be asking for the recipe!!

We’re headed into one of my favorite seasons.  Not Spring, not Summer… but even better… cookout season!!  There’s something so magical about family and friends gathered together, food is sizzling away on the grill, a warm breeze is blowing softly, freshly cut grass can be smelled, and a table full of glorious side dishes awaits!

Hey guys, it’s Amanda from The Chunky Chef.  I love being a contributor here on TSRI, and will be here sharing some of my favorite recipes each month!  I look forward to bringing some of my midwestern flair and enjoying some treats together.

There are SO many fabulous cookout side dishes… potato salad, pasta salad, corn on the cob, broccoli salad, Mac and cheese, and one of my favorites, macaroni salad!  Here in the Midwest, macaroni salad is tossed with an ultra creamy sweet and tangy dressing.  It’s also made with traditional elbow macaroni.

This pasta salad uses the same dressing, but with some fun change-ups with the add-ins and pasta itself!

Helpful Tips to make Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad:

  • Use tortellini instead of dried elbow shaped pasta.  The tortellini adds a beautiful savory contrast to the sweet dressing, as well as added protein.
  • Use whichever colorful vegetables you prefer.  For the red I use red bell pepper, orange is shredded carrots, yellow is yellow bell pepper, green is celery, and purple is red onion.
  • Tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, chopped broccoli florets, etc could be substituted for the coordinating color.
  • The trick to getting the dressing consistency just right is to toss the hot, drained pasta with apple cider vinegar and let it cool for 10-20 minutes.  This allows the finished dish to have a beautiful tang, with no risk of curdling the dressing with the vinegar.
  • As you’re mixing the pasta with the dressing, it may seem like there’s way too much dressing… but as it chills in the refrigerator, it will thicken up beautifully.
  • Speaking of chilling, it’s essential here.  All the flavors will really marry together and the dressing thickens!
  • For little pops of extra color, reserve a teaspoon or two of all the vegetables and sprinkle them over the top of the salad before serving.

What you will need to make Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad:

  • Mixing bowls –  I love these bowls, and they even have lids so you don’t need to cover them with anything while the salad is chilling!
  • Knife – The pasta is the only thing that has to be cooked for this recipe after that it’s all chopping. A good knife makes getting perfectly diced vegetables that much easier. 
  • Colanderthis kitchen essential makes life so much easier!  You can use it to drain pasta or wash veggies and fruit.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

Get Free Recipes Sent to Your Email

Do you ❤️ TSRI? Don’t miss another recipe!

Subscribe to The Slow Roasted Italian by email to receive new recipes in your inbox!!

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on Facebook Twitter Pinterest | Instagram ❤ ❤ ❤  

bowl of creamy tortellini pasta salad -wide

Check out more of our favorite tortellini pasta salads:

Hawaiian Tortellini Pasta Salad 

Muffaletta Tortellini Pasta Salad

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad

Antipasto Tortellini Pasta Salad

Tuscan Tortellini Pasta Salad

Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad In Bowl

Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad

Donna Elick
Creamy Tortellini Pasta Salad is perfect for summer bbq’s and picnics, this creamy pasta salad recipe is made with tortellini instead of traditional dried pasta. Rainbow colored vegetables are tossed with the pasta and a deliciously sweet and tangy dressing!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Method Mixed, Stovetop
Servings 8


  • 19 ounce package fresh cheese filled tortellini pasta
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar may be substituted
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 – 1 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 – 1 cup diced red onion


  • Boil tortellini according to package directions and drain well in a colander.  Transfer pasta to a large mixing bowl and toss with apple cider vinegar.  Let cool 10-20 minutes.
  • While pasta is cooling, in another mixing bowl, add mayo, milk, sugar, salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine.
  • Pour dressing over tortellini pasta and toss gently to combine.  Stir in all but 1 tsp EACH of all the vegetables (red pepper, carrots, yellow pepper, celery and red onion).
  • Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours.
  • Before serving, stir salad and sprinkle with remaining vegetables.

Donna’s Notes

Can be made a day in advance and kept refrigerated.  After chilling for long periods of time, if pasta seems dry, stir in a splash or two of milk and/or a tablespoon of mayo.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 735cal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 1445mg | Sugar: 11g | Fiber: 6g | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
creamy tortellini pasta salad -pin
the slow roasted italian affiliate linked cookbook banner

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating