This greek pasta salad is a light and fresh combination of colorful veggies, olives, and feta cheese. It’s the perfect side dish for any summer gathering!
When you take Greek salad ingredients and add pasta to the mix, you end up with a hearty dish that’s packed with flavor and a total crowd pleaser.
I’m always looking for new ideas for summer salads. We eat a ton of salads in the summer because all of the produce is in season and salads are quick to toss together. This Greek pasta salad might be my very favorite – it’s got plenty of fresh veggies, hearty pasta and creamy feta cheese for a flavor combination that can’t be beat.
How do you make Greek pasta salad?
To make Greek pasta salad, you’ll need to chop your veggies first. I use a combination of cucumber, green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, red onion and olives. The vegetables are combined with pasta and tossed in a Greek style dressing. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of feta cheese and some fresh parsley. While I typically use parsley because I always have it on hand, you can always substitute other herbs like fresh dill, chives, oregano or green onions.
The most time consuming part about making this salad is cutting up all the vegetables. I dice my veggies and make the dressing while the pasta is cooking, which helps keep prep time to a minimum. I chose vegetables that are commonly found in classic Greek salad, but you can always customize to your tastes. If you like, you can swap out a sweeter red bell pepper for the green pepper, or use sliced scallions instead of red onions.
I like to use English cucumbers in my cooking because they have thin skins and very few seeds. If you use a standard waxed cucumber, I’d recommend peeling it first and scooping out the seeds before proceeding with the recipe.
The dressing is a simple mixture of olive oil, herbs and spices, and can be tossed together in about two minutes. You can’t beat that for convenience!
This Greek pasta salad can be served right away, or stored in the fridge for up to 4 hours before you plan to serve it. If I’m planning to make this salad ahead of time, I typically leave out the tomatoes and stir them in right before serving, as fresh tomatoes can become mealy when stored in the fridge.
I prefer to use a block of feta cheese packed in brine rather than the pre-crumbled feta cheese. Often times, pre crumbled feta cheese is coated with cornstarch or other ingredients to keep it from sticking together, and it just doesn’t taste as fresh.
I’ve brought this salad to numerous potlucks this summer and it’s always one of the first dishes to disappear! It’s light and refreshing, yet hearty enough to keep you satisfied.
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Greek Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces dry pasta such as cavatappi, penne or rotini
- 1 1/2 cups cucumber diced
- 1 1/2 cup s cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup red onion minced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley plus more for garnish
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions. Cool the pasta by running cold water over it in a colander.
- Place the cucumbers, tomatoes, pepper, red onion, olives, parsley and feta cheese in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta to the bowl with the vegetables.
- Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat thoroughly. Serve, sprinkled with more parsley and feta cheese if desired.
This post was originally published on August 31, 2017 and was updated on July 11, 2018 with new photos and content. This post was originally sponsored by Barilla.