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.
Greek Pasta Salad
This Greek Pasta Salad is fresh, light, flavorful, and filled with veggies. It’s the perfect dish for when the weather is hot outside and you need something that won’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.
What’s in Greek salad dressing?
For this 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
- Dijon Mustard (Don’t use regular yellow mustard.)
- Minced garlic
- Oregano dried (not fresh)
- Salt and pepper
- Red wine vinegar
- Look for short pasta: Choose pasta that has plenty of nooks and crannies to hold that delicious Greek dressing. However, if you can’t find miniature farfelle, I recommend rotini or fusili.
- 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.
- Salt the pasta water: Since Greek Pasta Salad is eaten cold, the flavors tend to get muted. Make sure the pasta is well-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 has a tendency to 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).
- 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 into this salad.
- Make a Greek chicken pasta salad. Add in some diced grilled chicken (Greek-seasoned or use this delicious chicken marinade).
Other healthy dishes
- Greek Quinoa Salad
- One Pan Healthy Italian Sausage & Veggies
- Chicken Salad Wrap
- Italian Salad
- Tuna Salad Wraps
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.
- 12 ounces pasta (I use mini farfalle)
- 1/2 cup halved 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
- 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
PASTA: Bring water to a rolling boil and make sure to 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 (See Note 2), cut the cucumbers into half moons (See Note 3), halve the cherry tomatoes, and dice the green pepper. Mince the parsley and crumble or cut the feta into small cubes. Add the olives, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, green pepper, and parsley 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. Store dressing in the fridge 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 in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. At serving time, gently toss salad again and taste to adjust any seasonings as needed.
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.