Greek Pasta Salad

VideoSide DishGreekPasta Salad

All the flavors of classic Greek salad in a picnic-ready pasta salad! We've got kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese, all tossed with pasta and a lemony dressing. This salad is easy to make ahead and pack up for your next backyard party.

Photography Credit: Sabrina Modelle

Packed with fresh tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers—not to mention Kalamata olives and feta cheese—this pasta salad has all the flavor of your favorite Greek salad! The lemony garlicky dressing is also flavorful enough to stand up to olives and feta, but it doesn’t overpower the more delicately flavored ingredients such as cucumber and tomato.

Another bonus? Instead of dealing with salad greens, which get soggy the longer they sit, this version holds up way better on a picnic table.

VIDEO! How to Make Greek Pasta Salad

CHOOSE ANY PASTA YOU LIKE! EVEN GLUTEN-FREE!

Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape here. I liked rotini pasta the best, but penne or farfalle could also be excellent.

I follow a gluten-free diet, so when testing this recipe, I tried it with a lentil-based pasta, regular gluten-free pasta, and a chickpea pasta. We loved the way the lentil-based pasta held together even after a few hours in the fridge, and added a hearty flavor to the salad. This one was our favorite.

Greek Pasta Salad with Feta combine the salad ingredients Gluten-Free Greek Pasta Salad make the dressing

MAKE-AHEAD GREEK PASTA SALAD

You can prep all of the ingredients for this Greek pasta salad the night before and store them in separate containers or bowls, including the salad dressing. Aside from the pasta, nothing else requires cooking—which is really nice on hot summer days.

If you prepare the pasta ahead of time, rinse the pasta to cool it off and remove some of the starch. Then, toss with a tiny bit of olive oil, transfer to a container with lid and cover it tightly. You can prepare this the day before and keep it refrigerated until you assemble the salad.

You may have some dressing left over, but it will keep well in a covered glass jar in the fridge. I’ve used this versatile dressing on salads, on fish, and to enhance the flavors of grilled veggies.

SOAKING THE ONIONS

I love the flavor of red onion, but sometimes their punchy bite can overpower a dish. A chef friend taught me a simple technique for taming raw onion. A ten-minute soak in cold, lightly salted water keeps the onions crisp and brightly flavored, yet mellows them out enough to play harmoniously with other ingredients.

OTHER PASTA SALADS TO TRY!

Greek Pasta Salad recipe serve the salad

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Updated August 16, 2020 : We spiffed up this post with a brand new video! Enjoy!

Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

For the lemon olive oil dressing:

  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the pasta salad:

  • 1 pound rotini pasta, or other pasta shape of your choice
  • 1/2 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1 Cook the pasta and drain: Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook pasta until al dente. Immediately rinse in cold water until the pasta is cool to the touch.

2 Soak the onions: Soak the slices of onion in cold water with a pinch of salt. After 10 minutes, drain the water from the onions.

Sliced red onions soaking in vinegar in a prep bowl to make a vegetarian pasta salad.

3 Make the dressing: In a small lidded jar, shake all the dressing ingredients together. Taste and add more seasonings to taste.

Vegetarian Greek Pasta Salad combine the dressing ingredientsA mason jar with dressing for a healthy pasta salad.

4 Assemble the salad ingredients: In a large bowl, mix together the cooled pasta, drained red onion, peppers, tomatoes, olives, feta, cucumber, and parsley. Toss gently with 1/4 cup of the lemon olive oil dressing and mix. Add more dressing, in small increments, as needed.

You may not use all of the dressing, but it stores well in the fridge for about a week. Season with salt, pepper to taste.

Best pasta salad with chopped vegetables, feta cheese and olives in a bowl.Greek Pasta Salad recipe serve the salad

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Sabrina Modelle

Sabrina Modelle started The Tomato Tart in 2010. Since then, recipes and photographs have been featured in media outlets, worldwide. The site features handmade, homemade, food that happens to be gluten free. When she’s not working, Sabrina can be found with her nose in a cookbook and a dog in her lap.

More from Sabrina

14 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Colette

    So so so delicious!! Took a while to chop all the veggies, but I wanted to thank you profusely for the soaking onion tip: it made all the difference. Beautifully balanced perfection *chef’s kiss*

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Margaret

    Made it today. Lovely and fresh all in one dish. Great to have on its own or with a bbq.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Mireya

    Made it last night and it was a hit, even my 8 year old loved it. Great way to use ingredients straight from my garden. Came together nicely and full of flavour. Will definitely make again.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Brenda

    Awesome, so easy to make, quick and very filling!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Ann Marie

    I just made a half batch of this to have on hand for a side to sandwiches. I can’t wait to make it again and not use cilantro by accident! I’m sure it’s fantastic with parsley. As it is it was amazing that I had everything on hand during the pandemic lockdown, but I grabbed the wrong herb out of the fridge. It’s still good with the cilantro, but I don’t recommend it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Gluten Free Greek Pasta SaladGreek Pasta Salad