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Greek Pasta Salad

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Greek Pasta Salad is a light, fresh and easy summer salad full of sweet tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, olives and feta cheese all tossed in a homemade dressing!


What makes a salad a salad? There are really just two rules: 1) it contains raw vegetables and 2) it’s tossed in a dressing. So by that definition, we really don’t need lettuce or any greens to make a salad. And that’s why I love tossing fresh vegetables with pasta and dressing to make all kinds of pasta salads, including this favorite Greek pasta salad!

Fork and spoon grabbing a serving of the pasta salad

The salad is made with the usual ingredients you would find in a greek salad and dressed with a homemade vinaigrette that’s reminiscent of your favorite greek dressing. It’s light, flavorful and the perfect summer salad to take with you to picnics, potlucks, barbecues and everything in between!

What does a greek salad contain

  • Pasta: Use short cut pasta, because it’s easier to get a forkful of the pasta with the vegetables this way. This includes rotini (like I use), farfalle, elbow or penne. When cooking the pasta, make sure to cook it al dente for any salads.
  • Tomatoes: Use cherry tomatoes, campari tomatoes, roma tomatoes or good old vine-ripened tomatoes, as long as they’re sweet. I prefer the cherry or grape tomatoes because they’re bite sized and don’t release too much liquid that could impact the Greek salad dressing.
  • Red onions: These are customary in greek salads, so you should definitely include them. However, if you want to reduce that oniony taste, I recommend soaking them in the vinaigrette before tossing them in. You can also soak them in an ice bath for a few minutes before adding to the salad.
  • Olives: Go with kalamata olives for the classic tried and true ingredient. But really, any olives will work.
  • Cucumbers: They have a cool fresh blandness to them, but they’re quintessential in a Greek salad recipe and great when the weather is warm.
  • Feta cheese: Is it even Greek without the feta? There are lots of varieties of feta, so use the one you like.
  • Optional Ingredients: You can also add pepperoncini, bell peppers or beets.
Ingredients to make the recipe: pasta, tomatoes, onions, olives, cucumbers and feta cheese

How do you make Greek pasta salad

Now that you’ve washed and prepared all the ingredients for the salad, you’ll just need to make the dressing. You can whisk together the ingredients or use a small food processor to make sure everything is well blended and homogenous. I prefer to toss it with the warm cooked pasta immediately when the pasta is done cooking.

Next, just add the vegetables and feta cheese on top and give everything a good toss.

Before and after mixing the pasta with the vegetables and dressing

Tips for making pasta salad

  1. Cook the pasta al dente. For any past salad recipes, I always recommend cooking the pasta al dente. That’s because the texture is really important to the overall appeal of the dish. Cooking the pasta al dente keeps it from becoming mushy when you toss it with the dressing.
  2. Salt the pasta water. There’s a myth that salting the pasta as it boils is supposed to help it cook faster. But that’s not the reason to salt the water. It’s purely for flavoring the pasta. That’s because salt penetrates the pasta while boiling, allowing it to get properly flavored. It’s much harder to flavor pasta after it’s been cooked, and you will most likely end up using way more salt than needed.
  3. Don’t rinse the pasta after cooking. Dress the pasta salad hot so it sucks the dressing and clings to it better without any vinaigrette leftover at the bottom of the dish. Allow the dressing, and not the cold water, to cool down the pasta.
  4. Chop the ingredients into bite sized pieces. Keeping all the ingredients small helps you get a forkful of everything in one bite, and that’s the best way to enjoy the myriad of flavors and textures in this Greek pasta salad.
Final Greek Pasta Salad recipe in a large bowl with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, olives and feta cheese

This Greek pasta salad recipe is perfect for the summer.The combination of the juicy sweet tomatoes, fresh cool cucumbers, salty olives and feta all tossed in the Greek style homemade dressing makes for a light and flavorful salad. You can adapt the salad by adding more of the vegetables you love or throwing in some greens. It’s a crowd pleaser summer salad that is so easy to throw together!

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Greek Pasta Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

For more pasta salads:

5 from 3 votes
Final Greek Pasta Salad recipe in a large bowl with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, olives and feta cheese
Greek Pasta Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
23 mins
 

Greek Pasta Salad is a light, fresh and easy summer salad full of sweet tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, olives and feta cheese all tossed in a homemade dressing!

Course: Salads
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: family style, Greek, picnic, potluck, vegeterian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 446 kcal
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces rotini pasta
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 cups cucumbers sliced
  • 1 cup red onions sliced
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives pitted, sliced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • Dressing
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1.4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions but reduce cooking time by 2 minutes so pasta is al dente; drain well.

  2. To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, oregano and salt and whisk until blended. You can also blend in a small food processor to get a smoother dressing.

  3. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the dressing. Then add the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives and feta cheese and toss. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 4-5 days in the fridge.

Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. Since it's a salad though, the ingredients and measurements are just guidelines though, so feel free to adjust. To make this gluten-free, use any type of gluten-free pasta you'd like and cook it al dente.

Equipment: I love using my Cuisinart Smart Stick hand blender for making dressings. It's quick and easy and gets me the perfect consistency, without any chunks of garlic leftover.

Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for one serving which is about 2 ounces of pasta

Nutrition Facts
Greek Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 446 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 34%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 1474mg 61%
Potassium 452mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 53g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 7g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 11.7%
Vitamin C 30.3%
Calcium 10.2%
Iron 10.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Amy
    May 27, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Light, fresh and easy summer salad.

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