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.)

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
  • 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/

3 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 […]

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