Summer has officially flown by! And I hope you a fabulous one filled with lots of grilled chicken, yummy popsicles and fresh pasta salad. Oh, and other non-food summer’ish stuff too lol. My mind is just on the food part of summer! We make a pasta dish a couple times a month but in the summer, and summer’s not over yet until I publish a pasta salad! I like to cool it (pun intended ;)) with the hot pasta and serve it in a cold salad. This summer’s pasta crush goes to this Mediterranean Pasta Salad.
What Ingredients Work Best?
It’s all about color and freshness! Think of the Mediterranean cuisine and all the great ingredients you’d typically find in those recipes. Here’s what I like to include, and you can include more or less, depending on your taste.
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Pasta! Yes, we’ll need some of that. I like to use short and textured pasta like penne, ditalini, farfalle or fusilli. It’s easier to eat and their shapes absorb the salad dressings really well.
Tomatoes – soooo Mediterranean! You can use fresh tomatoes or sun-dried.
Cucumbers – it adds a nice crunch and greenery to the salad.
Something brined and salty – olives definitely work here, as do roasted red peppers, artichokes and hearts of palm.
Greens – I like using arugula, spinach or baby Kale. Don’t want big leafy greens? Try just parsley or basil or mint…hello freshness!
Feta cheese (alllll the feta cheese) or none if you want to keep this vegan. That’s cool too.
Now for the vinaigrette, I keep it simple with red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and mint. Instead of olive oil, I use the reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and it gives it a great color.
Tips for this Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Sometimes we cook pasta for cold recipes the way we do for warm dishes. Don’t do that! There are some unique tips when cooking pasta to serve cold versus hot!
Don’t skimp out on the salt. How much salt? I usually eye ball this, but the rule is usually 1-2 tablespoons for every gallon of water. Go with 2 tablespoons when it’s cold pasta to make sure there’s still lots of flavor there.
Don’t cook until the pasta is soft. No one likes soggy pasta in a pasta salad. You want to make sure it’s moist but not too soft. Follow the al dente cooking instructions on the pasta box.
Don’t rinse the pasta with cold water after cooking. Instead, toss it immediately with the dressing to allow it to absorb all the flavor immediately.
This recipe is super versatile to what you have on hand, and always such a crowd pleaser. It’s fresh, fast and so fabulous!
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Mediterranean 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!
I'm Yumna. I literally learned to cook 2 weeks after I got married over the phone with my mom. When I was brave enough to fly solo, I started treading on trendy foodie territory and built an Instagram page with over 2 MILLION followers. Now I have hundreds of real good food recipes that will make you and your family feel oh-so good!