Greek Pasta Salad

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Greek Pasta Salad is loaded with tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, red onion, green pepper, and plenty of feta cheese. A delicious and bright Greek-inspired vinaigrette coats this salad.

Pair this delicious pasta salad with some marinated and grilled Greek chicken or Greek meatballs. And if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to pasta, be sure to try this Greek quinoa salad next.

Overhead image of Greek Pasta Salad, ready to be eaten.

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad is fresh, light, flavorful, and filled with veggies. Itโ€™s the perfect dish for when the weather is hot and you need something that wonโ€™t heat up the kitchen.

With the light vinaigrette and all the fresh garden veggies, this is a salad that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized. And while I’m all for those pasta salads that are loaded with mayo (hello, creamy Mexican street corn pasta salad!), it’s nice to have a pasta salad that doesn’t leave you feeling a little blah after eating it.

Process shot-- image of the Greek vinaigrette dressing being made in a mason jar.

What’s in Greek salad dressing?

To dress the Greek Pasta Salad, we combine the ingredients listed below in a mason jar and shake to combine — it’s easy and quick! In a pinch, you can use a bottled Greek vinaigrette from the store and add to taste over this salad.

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard (Don’t use regular yellow mustard.)
  • Minced garlic
  • Oregano dried (not fresh)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red wine vinegar

Process shots-- image of all the components of Greek Pasta Salad in a bowl.

Quick tips

  • Look for short pasta. Choose bite-sized pasta that has plenty of nooks and crannies to hold that delicious Greek dressing. However, if you can’t find miniature farfalle, I recommend rotini or fusilli.
  • Salt the pasta water. Since Greek Pasta Salad is eaten cold, the flavors tend to get muted. Make sure the pasta is generously salted as it cooks, since salting is the only chance you have to season the actual pasta. Don’t be afraid to add more salt to the finished salad if it needs it. Read about how to properly salt your pasta water here.
  • Cook the pasta to al dente. Since the pasta sits in dressing, it can get soggy if overcooked. Pasta also gets a little firmer when served cold, so don’t under cook it! I cook it right to the package directions of what al dente is (for miniature farfalle, that is 7 minutes).

Image of the dressing being poured over the Greek Pasta Salad.

Up-close image of the Greek Pasta Salad, showing all the components with dressing added.

Variations

  • Swap the pasta for tortellini like in this Greek tortellini pasta salad.
  • Add a creamy element, such as a ripe avocado. Since avocados don’t hold up well in the salad, if you add them, add to individual plates right before serving. 
  • Add fresh sweet corn, either grilled or raw. While perhaps unique for a Greek salad, fresh corn is delicious in this salad. When in season, I grill a few cobs (check out this Elote recipe for how to grill corn) and then slice it off the cob and into this salad.
  • Make a Greek chicken pasta salad. Add in some diced grilled chicken (Greek-seasoned or use this delicious chicken marinade).

QUICK TIP

Take away the bite of red onion: If you’re sensitive to the flavor of raw red onion, soak the diced onions in ice cold, salted water for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly before adding to the salad.

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Greek Pasta Salad

5 from 5 votes
Greek Pasta Salad is loaded with tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, red onion, green pepper, and plenty of feta cheese. A delicious and lush Greek-inspired vinaigrette coats this salad.
Print Recipe

Greek Pasta Salad

5 from 5 votes
Greek Pasta Salad is loaded with tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, red onion, green pepper, and plenty of feta cheese. A delicious and lush Greek-inspired vinaigrette coats this salad.
Course Dinner, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Cuisine Greek
Keyword Greek Pasta Salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 270kcal
Cost $5.86

Ingredients

Salad

  • 12 ounces pasta (I use mini farfalle)
  • 1/2 cup halved and pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced
  • 2 cups English or Persian cucumbers cut into half moons
  • 2 cups (1 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese cubed

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (90g) olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons EACH: lemon juice, honey, and Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Instructions

  • PASTA: Bring water to a rolling boil and generously salt the water (See Note 1) before adding in the pasta. One tablespoon fine sea salt to about 16 cups of water is a good guide. Once the salt has been added, wait for the water to come back to a boil, and then add in all the pasta. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions (if using Barilla Mini Farfalle, this is 7 minutes). Drain and rinse in cold water until cool.
  • VEGGIES: Meanwhile, prep the veggies. Halve (and pit if needed) the olives, dice the red onion and green pepper (See Note 2), cut the cucumbers into half moons (See Note 3) and halve the cherry tomatoes. Mince the parsley and crumble or cut the feta into small cubes. Add all of these ingredients to a large bowl and then stir in the completely cooled pasta.
  • DRESSING: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Shake thoroughly to combine, making sure no honey or Dijon is stuck on the bottom. Use a spoon to stir, and then shake again if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use. To serve, shake dressing again, right before adding to the salad and then drizzle over salad. Toss, add in feta, and toss again. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. At serving time, gently toss salad again and taste to adjust any seasonings as needed.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Even though the pasta will be tossed in the vinaigrette, if you haven't salted your pasta water, the salad will taste under-seasoned/bland. Seasoning the pasta water is how you flavor the pasta itself.
Note 2: If you're sensitive to the flavor of raw red onion, soak the diced onions in ice cold water (with a pinch of salt) for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly before adding to this salad.
Note 3: Make sure to cut off and discard about 1 inch from both ends of an English cucumber; this part of the cucumber is very bitter.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 8servings | Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.5g | Protein: 7.5g | Fat: 10.9g | Cholesterol: 8.3mg | Sodium: 155mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 5.8g

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19 Comments

  1. Yum! This looks delicious and refreshing – perfect for those hot summer days when you really don’t want to turn on the oven. I love that the dressing is dairy-free, as I’m a big fan of lighter, oil/vinegar-based (rather than milk/cheese based) dressings on Greek salads. Looking forward to giving this a try!

  2. 5 stars
    Yum! This looks so refreshing! We’re going to Pittsburgh in about 10 days! And I’m so sorry about your movie. I can so relate though!

  3. Looks yummy! I so get what your saying. We lived in Missouri for awhile. Their Italian restaurant chain was so good. Haven’t found anything like it. Especially their salad! Yours looks great. I will definitely be trying.
    Thanks for sharing. I linked a Time To Sparkly too. My post is my ‘winging it’ cupcakes!
    Thanks for sharing your salad.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday,
    Sherry

  4. This looks delicious! Can you use mozzarella instead of feta? Would that defeat the purpose of a greek salad? lol

  5. 5 stars
    This was fantastic I used wheat pasta for healthy reasons, but it was just awesome! The only thing I did differently was used : lemons, because I love lemons!!

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