This zesty antipasto salad is filled with all of the best Italian flavors. Cooked cheese tortellini is mixed with roasted red peppers, pepperoncini peppers, black olives, mozzarella cheese, and chunks of both salami and pepperoni. All of these delicious ingredients are topped off with a homemade Italian dressing for a tasty side dish that everyone will love! For a quick overview of this recipe, check out my web story for this Italian antipasto salad!
Antipasto is a traditional Italian first course that typically consists of cured meats, olives, peppers and other vegetables that are sometimes marinated in olive oil and vinegar. This zesty antipasto is all of the best parts of antipasto but in salad form. This salad is perfect along side grilled steaks or chicken at your next get together or Summer BBQ!
🌶 Ingredient notes
- Tortellini - You can use dried, frozen, or fresh tortellini for this recipe. Whichever you use, the tortellini needs to be cooked, drained of water, and completely cooled. If you don't cool your tortellini completely before adding it to the other ingredients it will soak up too much of the dressing and become mushy.
- Peppers - I just used jarred already sliced roasted red and pepperoncini peppers. If you can only find them whole, you can slice them on your own. Just be sure to drain the liquid from the peppers first before using them in the salad.
- Olives - I used plain black pitted olives, but kalamata olives or castelvetrano olives would be good and add an additional briny kick to this salad.
- Cheese - Small pearl sized mozzarella balls are great for this recipe because they are a perfect size and ready to use. You can also cut a larger mozzarella ball into smaller pieces or cubed small pieces of provolone cheese as well!
- Meats - I like using whole salami and pepperoni that I cut into small cubes. I find that sliced salami or pepperoni doesn't mix in as well, but it will still work! Mortadella or cappicola would also be good alternatives.
🔪 Step by step instructions
First, combine the tortellini, peppers, olives, cheese and meats into a large serving bowl and toss to combine.
Next, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt in a small bowl or mason jar and stir or shake to combine. I like using a mason jar so I can just put the top on and shake it to combine things really well!
Lastly, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours or overnight for best results.
⭐ Top tip
After cooking and draining your tortellini, toss it with a little bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking while it's cooling.
- 2 pounds cooked cheese tortellini approximately 12 ounces dried
- ½ cup sliced roasted red peppers drained
- ⅓ cup sliced pepperoncini peppers drained
- 1 can large black pitted olives drained
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese balls
- 8 ounces salami diced into small cubes
- 8 ounces pepperoni diced into small cubes
- 3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ounce red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a large bowl, combine tortellini, both peppers, olives, cheese, salami, and pepperoni. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl or mason jar, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt. Stir or shake until ingredients are mixed together.
- Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for best results.
- Vegetarian - Omit the salami and pepperoni for a vegetarian version of this dish
- More veggies - Add marinated mushrooms, artichokes, or even giardiniera to this dish for some extra veggies and zip!
🥗 More Italian side dishes
If you loved this recipe for my antipasto salad, check out these other side dishes that I know you will love!
Don't forget! If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and give it a rating. I love to hear from each and every one of you! Tag me on Facebook and Instagram as well! It makes my day to see all of your photos of the food you have made.