Greek Pasta Salad
Channel warm, sunny vibes with this easy pasta salad recipe! Greek Pasta Salad is a fresh and flavorful dish that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. It’s loaded with colorful ingredients that have classic Greek flavors and it’s also fabulous to prep ahead because it’s even tastier the next day! So great for make-ahead lunches and cookouts!
Pasta salad is a must in the summer! We enjoy them for lunches around the pool, at potlucks, and picnics. And I often make some type of pasta salad when I’m entertaining family and friends. I made this Greek Pasta Salad for our Mother’s Day barbecue and it was a huge hit!
It’s definitely my new favorite – it’s packed with plenty of fresh veggies, hearty pasta, creamy feta cheese and a Greek-inspired vinaigrette for a flavor combination that can’t be beat.
The ingredients I choose for this salad are ones I often associate with Greek cuisine, like red onion, feta and parsley. With this type of salad recipe, just think of the ingredient list as a guide. Feel free to use as much or as little of the suggested ingredients, and if you don’t like one or more of them, you can leave it out or swap it for something else.
- Red onion. Red onions are great for salads because they have a beautiful color and a more mild, sweet flavor than other onion varieties. For this pasta salad, we soak the red onion in the vinaigrette to remove any sharp flavor.
- Pasta. For pasta salads like this one, I love using bowtie (sometimes called farfalle) pasta, but any short pasta will work. Other great options include fusilli, penne or rotini.
- Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. I love tomatoes and they’re especially delicious in the summertime! Depending on the size, cut these in half or quarter them.
- Cucumber. Diced cucumber makes an amazing addition to this pasta salad. Cucumber is light, refreshing and has that perfect crunch.
- Olives. I feel like some type of olive is necessary in a Greek salad. I personally prefer black olives, so that’s what I used, but feel free to use Kalamata olives if those are your preference.
- Artichokes. Artichokes are my latest obsession. For some reason I just can’t get enough. I’ve been adding them to my daily lunch salad for weeks!
- Bell peppers. Bell peppers add a sweet, colorful crunch to every bite. The recipe calls for roasted red peppers from a jar, but you can use fresh bell pepper if that’s what you have on hand.
- Parsley. Chopped parsley finishes this salad with that special something.
- Feta cheese. Another must in a Greek salad has got to be crumbled feta cheese. If you want to make this salad vegan, you can omit the feta.
The vinaigrette is a simple mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon and herbs, and can be tossed together in minutes. Use as much or as little of it as you would like to dress this salad recipe. If you have a bottle of store-bought bottled Greek salad dressing or Italian dressing that you like, you can use 1 to 2 cups of that instead.
How to make this recipe
Pasta salad is one of the easiest recipes to toss together. The most time consuming part about making this salad is cutting up all the vegetables. Here’s the simple method:
Full, printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
- Make the dressing. Start the recipe by combining all of the vinaigrette ingredients. You can whisk them in a small bowl or, if you have a mason jar, add the ingredients to the jar, seal the lid and shake it vigorously to fully mix the ingredients. Next, slice the red onion and add the slices to the jar or bowl. Soaking the red onion in the vinaigrette will add flavor to the dressing, and also take the sharp bite out of the onion.
- Cook the pasta. Now, boil the pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted water until al dente.
- Chop the veggies. While the pasta is cooking, I dice and chop up all of the veggies and other ingredients. This keeps things moving quick and decreases prep time. You’ll have this whole salad ready to go in under 20 minutes, which is pretty awesome considering it can last in the fridge for about 5 days!
- Toss all ingredients. Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and run it under cold water to quickly cool it off. Then, place the pasta salad ingredients and drained pasta in a large bowl. Toss the pasta salad with the vinaigrette and onions until all ingredients are well coated.
- Serve. Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 2 hours before serving. Taste and add more salt & pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh herbs and crumbled feta cheese.
How to serve this salad
- Right out of the bowl. The pasta and all of the vegetables make this salad plenty filling for a light meal. You could also add diced grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken for a little more oomph.
- With fresh greens. If you wanted to up the veggies even more, you could toss this Greek pasta salad with fresh greens, then add on a bit of extra vinaigrette to create a green salad.
- As a side dish. The way I usually serve this salad recipe is as a side dish to grilled meats, burgers or sandwiches.
- Chicken. This salad pairs wonderfully with this grilled chicken breast or this baked chicken.
- Fish. Serve this with grilled salmon, pan seared cod or parmesan baked cod for a healthy, light meal.
- Burgers. My healthy beef burger, turkey burger, salmon avocado burger or black bean veggie burger would all be tasty with this salad.
Make ahead & storing
- Make ahead. This salad is great to make a day in advance of serving it because it gets tastier over time. You can also mix the vinaigrette together up to 2 days in advance, and store it in the refrigerator.
- Storing leftovers. Store leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Before serving again, give it a good stir, taste and season again as needed.
Tips for recipe success
- Dressing. The homemade vinaigrette is super easy to mix up and adds the perfect tang, but feel free to swap it out with about 1 to 2 cups of your favorite bottled Greek vinaigrette or Italian dressing.
- Make ahead. Pasta salad tastes better over time! If you’re able to, make this dish a day or so before serving.
- Different ingredients. The ingredients in the recipe are my favorites, but feel free to swap them with what you like best.
- Add more ingredients. You can add other Greek-style ingredients to your salad such as sun-dried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, prosciutto or pepperoncini peppers.
- Dietary restrictions. This salad can easily be made dairy-free and vegan by omitting the feta cheese. It can also be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free pasta.
If you try this Greek pasta salad recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Greek Pasta Salad
For the vinaigrette:
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt , or to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
For the pasta salad:
- 1/2 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 16 ounces dried short pasta, such as rotini, penne, cavatappi or bowties
- 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 small to medium English cucumber, scrape seeds out with a spoon & dice
- 1/2 to 1 cup pitted sliced olives , black or Kalamata
- 1/2 to 1 cup canned chopped artichokes, packed in water
- 1/2 to 1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves , plus more to garnish
- 4 to 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese , plus more to garnish
- To make the vinaigrette, add all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or jar with a lid and whisk or shake jar to combine.
- Add the red onion into the vinaigrette to soften. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Cook the pasta. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (soft with just a bit of chew) about 8 minutes or according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking; dice, chop and prep all other ingredients.
- Drain the pasta in a colander and run under cold water to quickly cool off the pasta.
- Place the pasta salad ingredients and drained pasta in a large serving bowl. Toss the pasta salad with the vinaigrette and onions until all ingredients are well coated.
- Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 2 hours before serving. Taste and add more salt & pepper as needed. Garnish with more diced fresh parsley and crumbled feta cheese.