Tortellini Olive Salad

When I was first married I loved the Pillsbury magazine cookbooks at the check out stand. This was long before the internet… and long, long before food bloggers took over the world of cooking…ya know…back in the dinosaur period! lol

I’d patiently wait for each new addition. Who needed the tempting candy bars with a little cookbook sitting right there, full of delectable recipes from home cooks from all over the country!

I love cookbooks filled with recipes from women who cook for their families. Great everyday family foods! Those are the recipes that last. Seriously…think about it…biscuits. Chicken fried steaks. Fried Chicken. Stew. Apple Pie. Chicken and Dumplings. All great recipes that have been around for ages because Grandma’s Granny made them in her kitchen. The Best!

When we purchased our first home, we had a small “house warming” party. I wanted a fun new appetizer. In my newest Pillsbury cookbook was a recipe for Tortellini Kabobs. They were AMAZING! That was over 25 years ago and they are still one of the most requested dish at this Nest.

Well fast forward 25+ years.  I decided last summer it was time to “update” this recipe. Translation: I didn’t want to sit and shove everything on bamboo skewers any more that were going in the trash! (Seriously friends…my birdies can PACK these babies down in no time flat! Great for a party! Family meal time…not so much so!) 

So the family favorite got a make-over! All the same ingredients minus the bamboo skewer. The salami is cut into smaller bite size pieces too. If it is possible…the newer version is loved even more!

This amazing salad has just FIVE ingredients, plus garnish, and it’s going to knock your socks off!

Precook your frozen tortellini per the package directions. Be sure NOT to over cook them. Follow the instructions on the package and they’ll turn out perfect for this salad. You want them al dente! They are going to soak up the dressing so you really do want them al dente.

Drain the tortellini, after cooking, and both types of olives. (I drain everything together. May as well keep it simple.) We love delicious simple food here at Norine’s Nest.

Place the tortellini and olives in a large bowl. Add the diced salami and about 3/4 of the *Cheese Fantastico bottle of dressing. (Be sure to shake the dressing well before adding it to the salad.)  

*Before you start to panic because your store doesn’t carry Bernstein’s Cheese Fantastico dressing…it’s OKAY! Just substitute a really good Italian dressing and 1/4 a cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese. Voila! You are good to go.

Let me pause, and let’s talk hard salami for a second…

The original recipe for the Kabobs called for thinly sliced hard salami, this was so you could fold it in half and then into a quarter, for the skewer. I cut the thin salami into bite size pieces to make it is easier to serve in “salad” form.

Recently I have been asking the deli server to cut me 3-4 slices about 1/4 inch thick and I cube it. My hubs said he liked the “cubes” even better. I leave it to you to decide which your family would prefer.

Stir everything together and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Stir again before serving to mix in any salad dressing that may have settled. If it is a little dry, add more dressing in, and garnish with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Ta-Da! There you have it. Simple right? It’s not a salad that requires a ton of ingredients. It doesn’t need them. The blend of flavors from the olives and the dressing is pure perfection. Sometimes simple really is better.

The perfect forkful contains at least one olive, one tortellini, and a few slices of salami! (As you can see I’ve done extensive research on this topic!)

I have a confession. I am NOT a green olive fan. Not at all! BUT…I LOVE them in this salad! I love them so much… I seek them out so that my fork has one of them on there before I take bite! My point…if you’re not a green olive lover…give it a chance before you turn up your nose. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

WARNING: This salad is addictive!!! Isn’t it pretty. It draws you into it cheesy clutches and you can’t let go!

The only way this salad made it on to this dish was because I had to take photos of it for this post. Other wise, Mars and I stand with forks in hand and “snitch” forkfuls while hovering over the bowl. (We are sad, pathetic human beings!) We seriously could, and have, made a meal out of this salad. It’s so YUMMY!

Enjoy Friends! Thanks for stopping by my Nest today. Remember to sign up for my Newsletter! You’ll find out every Monday what’s coming that week at Norine’s Nest. Every week is a party filled with lots of tasty recipes, fun crafts, and funny stories.

You can find this recipe on Meal Plan Monday by clicking right HERE!

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Tortellini Olive Salad
Tortellini Olive Salad
Norine Rogers

Cheese filled Tortellini are combined with green and black olives, hard salami and Cheese Fantastico dressing for one scrumptious cold pasta salad!


  • 1 9oz. package frozen cheese tortellini, cooked and drained
  • 1 6oz. can of medium size black olives, drained
  • 1 7oz jar of manzanilla, green, olives, drained
  • 1 14oz. bottle of Bernsteins Cheese Fantastico dressing OR any really good Italian Dressing and 1/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan Cheese. Either will work.
  • 1/2 pound hard salami, thinly sliced and cut into bite size pieces OR about 4 slices cut into 1/4 inch thick slices and cubed.
  • Chopped parsley and grated Parmesan for garnish

  1. Follow directions on package of tortellini for cooking pasta al dente. Be sure NOT to over cook the pasta.
  2. Cook Pasta and drain.
  3. Drain both types of olives.
  4. Place the tortellini and olives in a large bowl. Add the diced hard salami.
  5. Add 3/4 the bottle, of well shaken, Cheese Fantastico dressing.
  6. Stir until all ingredients are well combined. All to chill for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  7. Stir just before serving. If needed, add more dressing. Garnish with Parmesan Cheese and chopped Parsley.
  8. Serve.
  9. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Prep Time: 10 minutes - Cook Time: 20 minutes ; Yield: 8-10 servings
http://www.norinesnest.com/tortellini-olive-salad/

25 COMMENTS

  1. Marie Lawton | 12th Apr 17

    I received your wonderful emailed recipe for the tortellini olive salad which I plan to make for Easter. Unfortunately the Bernstein cheese fantastico dressing is no longer available in stores on the internet. Can you advise of a good replacement? What is a close second choice? Thank you and keep sending your fabulous recipes. HAPPY EASTER to you and your loved ones.

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 12th Apr 17

      Hi Marie! Thank you for your sweet comments. There is an alternative you can use instead of the Bernstein’s Cheese Fantastico. I often use Kraft Sun Dried Tomato and add about a 1/4 a cup of either Parmesan or Romano grated cheese. It will work beautifully! If you can’t find that just use a really good Italian Dressing…I’m betting even the Olive Garden that they sell now in stores would work wonderfully! Enjoy! Thanks so much for stopping by my Nest!

  2. California Club Turkey Wrap | Norine's Nest | 26th Apr 17

    […] It’s the also the perfect dinner for busy Mom’s after a long day. You could add my Tortellini Olive Salad and you have a complete […]

  3. YOU CAN MAKE THIS FANTASTIC PIZZA PASTA SALAD QUICK | 7th May 17

    […] Tortellini Olive Salad […]

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 7th May 17

      Thank you so much for sharing my salad on your website. I really appreciate it. Great post with lots of wonderful easy pasta salads! 🙂

  4. Lis | 20th May 17

    I have never seen the Bernstein’s dressing where I live. I’m thinking Trader Joe’s “Tuscan Italian” (essentially a perfect blend of Italian dressing and creamy balsamic) would work?! I hope! I’m going to try this recipe with it today! Thank you!!!!

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 21st May 17

      Hi Lis!
      I think you are right! I think that the Trader Joe’s “Tuscan Italian” would work beautifully! The truth is I think any really good Italian Dressing would work and if it doesn’t contain Parmesan Cheese I’d just add some. Hope you loved this recipe as much as we do. Thanks for your comments and stopping by my Nest! Have a Fantastic Day!
      ~Norine

  5. 21 Salads to Complement your Barbecue this Summer | 23rd May 17

    […] Tortellini Olive Salad at Norine’s Nest […]

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 23rd May 17

      Thank you SO much for sharing this family favorite! I really appreciate it. ~ Norine

  6. CToth | 24th May 17

    Wow, we sure did love this. Excellent! Thank you

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 24th May 17

      Hi Celeste!
      I’m so glad you loved this salad! It’s addictive isn’t it? We never tire of it here at this Nest. I think I’ve made it 3 times in the last month and half…it disappears every time. I think it’s really a meal all by itself and I’m perfectly happy to have a little bowl of it for lunch…when I can find any leftovers. 😉 lol. Thank you for sharing. Thanks for visiting my Nest! I hope you’ll come back soon.
      ~Norine

  7. 200 Best Picnic Recipes - Prudent Penny Pincher | 25th May 17

    […] Tortellini Olive Salad from Norine’s Nest […]

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 30th May 17

      Thank you so much for sharing! I really appreciate it. Hope your readers love it as much as we do at this Nest!

  8. Michelle | 2nd Jun 17

    I loved those little cookbooks too! Thanks for that memory!

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 4th Jun 17

      Hi Michelle!
      You are so welcome. They were always so jam packed with great recipes! It truly was my guilty pleasure when I was a young mother and money was extra tight. I always found the best recipes in them. Thanks for visiting! Have a Great Day!~Norine

  9. Ruth Shaffer | 5th Jun 17

    Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to make this. I have been looking for recipes that I can make for a lunch and this looked yummy.

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 6th Jun 17

      Hi Ruth!
      You are so welcome! This is one of my favorite “lunch” salads. It’s super filling and satisfying. Thank you for your comments and for stopping by my Nest! Love making new friends. 🙂
      ~Norine

  10. KimberLee | 6th Jun 17

    I make a similar version of this for my family. The only difference is I add marinated artichoke hearts, pepperoni and cucumbers and I use Wishbone zesty Italian dressing and I sprinkle it wish shredded parmesan. I have to double the recipe because my family loves it THAT much! 🙂

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 7th Jun 17

      Hi Kimber!
      I hope I have your name right? I sometimes have to guess from my end. 😉 I LOVE your version and adding artichoke hearts. My husband absolutely LOVES artichoke hearts so I’m going to try that next time. Your version sounds super yummy too! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing and stopping by my Nest!!! Have a Fantastic Week!
      ~Norine

  11. 200 Cheap and Easy Salad Recipes | Prudent Penny Pincher | 13th Jun 17

    […] Tortellini Olive Salad from Norine’s Nest […]

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 13th Jun 17

      Thank you for sharing! I really appreciate it! Look at all those amazing and yummy salads! Wow!

  12. Mary | 18th Jun 17

    Made this today, and it should have been so delicious, but I couldn’t find the Bernsteins and used a different Italian dressing that was a little pricey thinking it would be good. ICK! Had to throw it out. Gonna try it again, this time with the old standard Good Seasonings.

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 19th Jun 17

      Hi Mary!
      Shoot! I feel awful that this didn’t turn out right for you. It’s not the world’s most inexpensive salad either. I’m so happy you’re going to give it another try. I promise it really is our family favorite. I know that Bernsteins is hard to find in the stores. I find it at Wal-mart and when I do, I stock up! When I can’t find it I use Kraft Sun Dried Tomato dressing and add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan Cheese. (In the shaker jar). It’s a good 2nd to the Bernsteins dressing. Hope that helps and I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out for you. Thanks for sharing. Please let me know how it works with the Good Seasonings…just be sure to add some Parmesan to it. It’s the Cheese in the Cheese Fantastico that adds the extra “pop” to the Italian dressing.
      ~Norine

  13. Roberta C Caudill | 25th Jun 17

    I saw your salad & decided to check it ou. It looks a lot like the paste salad I make, so wanted to compare. Pretty much the same, minus the green olives, which I love! I add a few more ingredients to mine but basically the same.
    Also, want to share a note. I had a “nest” also. Bertdy’s Nest, was the name of my sandwich shop.

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 26th Jun 17

      Hi Roberta!
      Aren’t those pasta salads the BEST! I love the idea of adding more. I’m not usually a huge green olive fan, but I absolutely LOVE them in this salad! Love the name of your sandwich shop…anything with “Nest” is awesome! I have no doubt you had fantastic eats! Thanks so much for sharing with me. I LOVE hearing from my readers! It makes my day! Have an AWESOME week!
      ~ Norine

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