Not all pasta salads have to be mayo-drenched! This Mediterranean tortellini salad with red wine vinaigrette is full of fresh veggies and bright flavors…perfect after spending a day in the sun.
mediterranean tortellini salad with red wine vinaigrette

This is my attempt to try not being the girl who brings the food with weird ingredients to every family gathering.

A for effort?

IMG_9261

It was a struggle. I wanted to go to crazytown with all sorts of olives and sun-dried vegetables and funky cheeses that technically are of Mediterranean descent.

But exercising restraint at the Whole Foods cheese counter is “good for you”. Or so I’ve heard.

IMG_9280

Plus the.boy hates olives with the kind of fiery passion that is matched only by my disdain of celery, and it’s only fair that, since he respects my celery ban, I don’t insist on putting olives in every meal I make.

(Just every other meal. Because, compromise.)

IMG_9239

So instead of breaking out some ancient grains or scouring the local farmer’s markets for the most esoteric vegetable I could get my hands on, for a recent bbq at the.boy’s parents’ house I tried to stick to ingredients that pretty much everyone should be able to pronounce and a flavor profile that even the pickiest of Greek/Italian eaters would be familiar with.

IMG_9249

And then I measured my success in the very large empty bowl that came home with me and cried some crocodile tears over the fact that I would have no leftovers for the week ahead.

I guess you could say people liked it?

IMG_9271

I’m not really sure what there is not to like when you pair the fresh flavors of summer’s bounty in the form of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers with cheese tortellini and tie it all together with a tangy, but not overpowering vinaigrette and a sprinkling of feta cheese.

It’s perfect for any summer gathering that pairs the more adventurous eaters who gag at the thought of wasting their stomach space on a typical deli macaroni salad (aka moi) with more conservative palates who just want to eat what they know and know what they eat.

Might I suggest this holiday weekend as the perfect venue for trying it out?

And we’ll just save our secret stashes of hemp seeds and garlic scapes for next time. We do have a reputation to maintain, after all.

IMG_9251

Happy 4th of July!

Mediterranean Tortellini Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
 
Not all pasta salads have to be mayo-drenched! This Mediterranean tortellini salad with red wine vinaigrette is full of fresh veggies and bright flavors...perfect after spending a day in the sun.
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
For the pasta
  • 1 lb tortellini
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
For the dressing
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the tortellini according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, place the onions in a bowl of cold water to get rid of some of the bite. Drain after 5 minutes.
  3. When the tortellini is done cooking, toss together the onion slices, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, feta cheese, and tortellini.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Slowly pour in the olive oil and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the tortellini salad and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
Adapted from Just A Taste
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl

For more summer pasta salads, check out these:

roasted string bean, tomato, basil, and mozzarella ravioli salad

Roasted String Bean, Tomato and Basil Mozzarella Ravioli Salad

roasted asparagus and tomato pasta salad with goat cheese

Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese

zucchini, edamame and buffalo mozzarella pasta salad

Zucchini, Edamame and Buffalo Mozzarella Pasta Salad

From Around the Web:

Caprese Pasta Salad from Cookie + Kate

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad from A Cedar Spoon

Smoky Heirloom Tomato and Grilled Peach Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette from How Sweet Eats

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Fried Kale, Tomatoes, Olives, Feta and Pesto Vinaigrette from Kalyn’s Kitchen

IMG_9257

 

Mediterranean Tortellini Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
 
Not all pasta salads have to be mayo-drenched! This Mediterranean tortellini salad with red wine vinaigrette is full of fresh veggies and bright flavors...perfect after spending a day in the sun.
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
For the pasta
  • 1 lb tortellini
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
For the dressing
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the tortellini according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, place the onions in a bowl of cold water to get rid of some of the bite. Drain after 5 minutes.
  3. When the tortellini is done cooking, toss together the onion slices, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, feta cheese, and tortellini.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Slowly pour in the olive oil and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the tortellini salad and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
Adapted from Just A Taste
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl

blog_share_subscribe
Share →

84 Responses to Mediterranean Tortellini Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

  1. Kathryn says:

    Happy 4th of July! This looks like perfect party food – tasty and flavourful but hearty enough to power you through.

  2. I have NEVER made tortellini salad. This needs to change!

  3. Tina says:

    Oh my, what’s not to like in this beautiful salad. Happy, but not surprised, it was a huge success. It IS hard to control oneself at Whole Foods, they have such a great cheese counter and the olive bar is to die for.

    Bet your Whole Foods is huge compared to the one we have in Tallahassee!

  4. Beth says:

    I’m with you o the mayo-drenched pasta salads. This is a wonderful alternative!

  5. I am super picky about pasta salads, but this I like!

  6. It looks and sounds like this experience of something “good for you” (restraint) paid off rather well. Except the no leftovers thing – but that gives you an excuse to move on to those exotic ingredients now 😉

  7. I am always game for new dressings cuz I am rubbish at them. Love this one!

  8. debbie says:

    Happy 4th of July Joanne….another great recipe. I love the dressing for this!

  9. Johanna GGG says:

    beautiful salad – my extended family would eat it – and they are a fussy lot when it comes to experimenting – and I would love it too so I agree it ticks all the boxes without using up expensive weird ingredients on those who just don’t appreciate creativity

  10. cheri says:

    Love this pasta salad and especially the dressing. I think it’s great that you are always trying something new, always something to look forward to.

  11. sandra says:

    I never put mayo on pasta salad – nor anything else for that matter. This is a nice combo – love the onions and specs of cheese.

  12. Kinsey says:

    I always have to try to bring universally appreciated foods to potlucks–if I don’t check up on myself, I would make a big kale salad with quinoa and tahini and it would scare everyone off just by the sheer concentration of greenery in one bowl. This looks like the perfect compromise!

  13. I have never made a tortellini salad, let alone had one…it looks fresh and delicious..definitely a must have on my dinner table.

  14. Megan says:

    I am not at all surprised you came home with an empty bowl. That looks wonderful! Happy 4th!

  15. Eileen says:

    Yay salad! This does sound like the perfect holiday weekend fare. At our house, I would be piling on the olives and leaving out feta! Or, let’s get real, putting a handful of feta on my own bowl, regardless of who else won’t eat it. 🙂

  16. A+ for effort! Love the thought of having this on a hot summer day like today–substantial but somehow light =)

  17. This sounds amazing. I agree not all salads have to be mayonnaise based. I love the dressing that you put on this salad.

  18. I could eat that entire bowl myself. My kind of flavors going on in here.

  19. Deena Kakaya says:

    Often tortellini salads look heavy and wet but look at your pics! They are perfectly light, summery and fresh x

  20. Anything Mediterranean or Greek and I’m there! looks heavenly!

  21. Hotly Spiced says:

    That does look lovely, Joanne, so I’m not surprised it was a big success. It’s always a shame though, not to have any leftovers. I love a pasta salad that’s not drenched in mayo! xx

  22. Tortellini in a pastas salad? That’s brilliant.

  23. Totally gorgeous salad, Joanne! I can’t get enough of Mediterranean-style food and love how you threw tortellini into the mix! Can’t wait to try this salad for one of our cook-outs!

  24. Mmm of course people liked it – this looks delicious!! I love pasta salad, and mediterranean flavors are my absolute favorite!! Gorgeous! Hope you are having a great holiday weekend!

  25. I am not a huge fan of mayo drenched pasta salads, I would much rather have a tasty vinaigrette like this one on mine! This looks amazing, LOVE all the Mediterranean flavors! Happy 4th of July 🙂

  26. I made a very similar greek pasta salad a couple of weeks ago to take to the beach for an impromptu picnic – I love that you used red pepper flakes in your dressing – why didn’t I think of that – I love that stuff!

  27. Von says:

    It’s hard to please everyone 😛 But I’d say you did a pretty good job of it with the salad- it looks amazing!! 🙂

  28. Oh wow – I absolutely need to make this for our next bbq! It looks like a brilliant salad, and so fresh too! I would love to add all of my local store olives stock BUT I’m the only one here who likes them sooooo

  29. Great looking salad! I’m a big fan of non-mayo based pasta salads.

  30. OMG this looks amazing I could face plant into this right about now! Another good one Joanne!

  31. Love these kind of pasta salads! So good, the Mediterranean flavours are some of my favourite!

  32. I think I am in love with this pasta salad. Literally – I softly gasped when I saw it. This is being made IMMEDIATELY!

    Hope you guys had a nice Fourth!!

  33. danielle says:

    I love a non mayo drenched salad and the flavors are fabulous. Have a great weekend!

  34. Abby says:

    This is the perfect summer pasta salad! Can we please have a crazy-town version too?

  35. I have just started using tortellini for pasta salads and I love it! Plus, all these flavors sound so good together. No mayo needed! P.S. I’m always the girl bringing something weird to family gatherings too. They’ve gotten used to it at this point. And sometimes they even like it. 🙂

  36. Daniela says:

    Your salad looks so much better than the usual mayo drenched pasta salads.
    Everybody in my family would like this version: the fitness conscious because it’s light and healthy and everybody else as well because it looks delicious!

  37. Anne says:

    Your salads are always beautifully crafted and amazing!!! Lovely colors and everything nice!!

  38. Christine says:

    Hope you had a fun Fourth! Love the looks of this salad though I may sub roasted zucchini cubes for cucumbers (those rank right about where celery and olives rank with you two) 🙂

  39. Yum! As a mayo hater (AND an olive hater!) this salad is totally up my alley. Take that, summer picnics, I’m ready for you!

  40. Kate says:

    I only do mayo-less pasta salads!

  41. I have not had tortellini in for ever and this salad version looks incredible. Loving all the veggies in it 🙂

  42. Yum yum! I totally agree with the non-mayo-ness (new word?) of this pasta, because I prefer lighter pastas. Can I just drink that dressing??

  43. I prefer my pasta salads with a vinaigrette over a mayo! Love your restraint!

  44. ZazaCook says:

    J’adore! Your salad is beautiful and looks absolutely delicious!

  45. Mary says:

    What a super salad – great flavors and textures – perfect summer food!
    Mary

  46. This is a great idea for a family gathering! Pasta salad is always a hit and I’ve never even thought to use tortellini in a pasta salad, I’m sure it makes it ten times better!

  47. This looks amazing! I bet that if you brought this over to my house you would get a completely empty bowl as well 🙂

  48. Paul doesn’t like olives, either. Or artichokes. They’re pretty much the only two foods that he sort of puts his foot down to. And honestly, he’d still eat them if I asked him nicely. So I can’t complain too much. But I do. Because…olives. I love them. And artichokes. I mean, come on! Love.

  49. What a great idea for a salad, Joanne. Like a Greek salad but just a bit different. I can imagine this would go reeeaaallly fast at a pot-luck BBQ.

  50. Meg says:

    This looks fantastic! Though I’m a fan of mayo, you’re right: not everything needs to be slathered in it, especially in summer. (Mayo sitting outside too long = yuck.) I just found out I’m hosting a get-together this weekend, and this might find its way onto the menu . . .

  51. So many textures and flavours, delicious salad 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  52. I haven’t a clue why lately I’m craving onions.
    I heard it was a mineral deficiency? Not sure about that.
    BUT I love how many red onions you added in here.

  53. umm I think I need to make this, except I WILL go crazytown on ingredient additions, even if I’m the only one that eats it!

  54. grace says:

    easy peasy but packed with flavor! mediterranean flavors never fail to disappoint. 🙂

  55. Joann, this is our kind of salad. We grew up with salads like this one. Never-ever did our mom ever use mayo in a salad. She was old school Italian!

  56. Danguole says:

    I’m always doing the “what can I bring to family gatherings and what do I have to eat myself” game regarding blog food leftovers. The family is not particularly adventurous–HOW DARE THEY.

    I’ll have to keep this salad in mind, though–and be sure to set aside a bowl for myself before letting everyone else have at it. 😉

  57. Reeni says:

    I think I’d never leave it’s side if you brought this to a potluck I was at! Love everything about it! I can see why it was easily devoured.

  58. Lynn says:

    Love non-mayonnisey salads like this. I’ll definitely try it!

  59. this looks fantastic! I’ve never eaten a salad with tortellini, so I’m eager to try this one, plus I’m glad the recipe is mayo-free, since tortellini often go with mayo in various dishes 🙂

  60. SO making this! And YES to NO olives 🙂 Sorry sweetums, gotta agree with The.Boy on that one!

  61. Heather Elissa says:

    I love this idea, it would be a nice change To not have to explain everything in what I make and still be able to serve it and not feel like I’m sacrificing flavor, plus my 18 month old loves anything with feta! Do you think a spinach chiffonade would be good in it?

    • joanne says:

      Yes, that was totally the idea. I wanted the ingredients to be all things people could recognize! I think a spinach chiffonade would be great!! Definitely let me know if you try it. 🙂

  62. Trinity says:

    WONDERFUL! Made this last night for myself with the intention to have it for lunch as well. Just as good the next day. I did add some sliced olives and an extra tsp (or 2) of sugar to the dressing since I like it sweeter. I saw another recipe similar to this and there was NO sugar and it was awful…unless you prefer the non sweet taste, I just couldn’t do it. But over all a great salad for summer!

  63. Emily S. says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made it this evening and it is super delicious. I didn’t have red wine vinegar so I used red wine mixed with a little balsamic and it turned out great.

  64. I love that this is mayo-free AND looks like a ton of awesome textures and flavors all in one bowl. Although my dad would see the onions and run for the hills… more for me! 🙂

  65. […] Mediterranean Tortellini Salad (from Eats Well With […]

  66. […] made the Mediterranean Tortellini Salad except I didn’t follow the recipe at all and just made a pasta salad with random stuff we had […]

  67. […] Mediterranean Tortellini Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette […]

  68. This just came across my Pinterest radar. Oh. My. Yumness! Is it bad that I want to add quartered slices of good Italian salami before I’ve even tried this recipe? Maybe I’ll do half with and half without. Maybe I’ll throw in the olives. 😉 It sounds amazing just as it is.

    • joanne says:

      Haha, I have to admit, I haven’t eaten salami in years, but I do think it would be great in this salad! I love olives, but my husband hates them, which is why I didn’t put them in this salad…though I definitely encourage that you do!

  69. Kimberly says:

    This was delicious!!!!!! We didn’t have left overs either. This just taught me to make a double recipe next time!

  70. Cass says:

    While I love the thought of homemade dressing, is there a store bought dressing you’d recommend ? I’m making a half portion this weekend along with five other dishes and convenience has to outweigh this delicious recipe

    • joanne says:

      I haven’t bought dressing in years, so unfortunately I can’t really recommend a brand, but if you have a favorite storebought Italian vinaigrette, then I’m guessing it will go pretty well in here! You could also make the dressing ahead of time (like tonight or tomorrow) and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it! It really comes together in only two or three minutes, but it’s up to you!

  71. Emma says:

    I jumped the gun a bit with the summer veg, BUT I made this for a potluck at the Bebes daycare today and it was a win! Thanks for a great recipe 🙂

  72. We had this last night for dinner. The three of us wiped out the whole bowl and they were wanting more! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!!

  73. […] found this recipe on Joanne Eats Well With Others (via Pinterest) which was adapted from Just a Taste. This is a really straightforward, good […]

  74. Crystal says:

    Finally! Someone who shares my disdain for celery! I can’t even stand the smell of the stuff. I was searching for a tortellini salad and your’s looks perfect!

  75. Mamabear says:

    I absolutely love this tortellini salad. I’m not a big pasta salad eater because I don’t like mayo that much. I made this special for a birthday party we are having tomorrow so people who don’t eat meat can eat something tasty. This was so good, I actually ate the pasta salad!

  76. Sandy says:

    Made this last nite. WONDERFUL!!!!! Everyone liked it cold tho. Will definately make again. Thanks for the recipe!

  77. Erica says:

    Made this yesterday for a BBQ. Everyone loved it. I love acid so added a bit more red wine vinegar … it was awesome!

  78. Jo says:

    Looks yummy! Going to make this for dinner Can this be eaten cold too? Or is it better warm/room temp?

  79. Allison says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was AWESOME!!! Fresh and light but still filling enough to stand on its own as a meal. I like a little kick so I added a tad more red pepper flakes. I just love this recipe and have subscribed to the mailing list for more great recipes. So glad I tried this!

Leave a Reply

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