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Greek Pasta Salad is full of tender al dente pasta, crunchy veggies, feta cheese, and a homemade dressing that is bursting with flavors of lemon, garlic, olive oil, and Greek herbs. This cold pasta salad is just the thing for lunch on a hot summer day or for taking to a potluck as a side dish!
We fell in love with classic Greek flavors years ago when we visited Greece just after graduating law school. Some of our other popular Greek-inspired recipes are Baked Greek Feta Meatballs, Greek Tzatziki Sauce, Greek Baklava, and Greek Feta Fries.
Cold pasta salad is the ultimate summer lunch!
An easy pasta salad sometimes sounds like just the thing for a light lunch or to take along to a gathering. This Greek pasta salad with feta cheese is one that you can throw together in just a few minutes!
It tastes light and refreshing, with the classic tastes of feta, olive, cucumber, and tomato that are the signatures of Greek cooking. You can always bulk it up by adding some grilled chicken or shrimp to make for a satisfying, cool dinner all on its own on hot nights.
Ingredients in Greek Pasta Salad
These ingredients, and their measurements, are pretty flexible.
- Bowtie pasta
- Tomatoes: Grape tomatoes sliced in half make an easy addition to this salad, but any chopped tomato will work. Garden-fresh ones are always best!
- Cucumbers: We like English or Persian cucumbers best because they don’t need to be peeled first. These add a nice crispy, fresh crunch to the salad!
- Green bell pepper
- Kalamata olives: Really any kind of olive would work, but the purple jarred Kalamata olives are our favorites.
- Red onion: If your red onions have a really strong flavor, soak them in ice water for 10 minutes first.
- Feta cheese: Go for crumbled feta cheese if you prefer the flavor of feta to be in every bite. Or do larger chunks for a slightly different taste and texture.
- Fresh parsley: Nothing lightens and brightens a salad like some freshly chopped herbs!
- Greek dressing
How to make Greek pasta salad
Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove. Cook the pasta until it is al dente perfection. You don’t want to overcook the pasta in this dish or it won’t hold up to the dressing and other ingredients.
While the pasta cooks, prep the rest of the salad ingredients by chopping the veggies. Adding all of the dressing ingredients to a jar and shaking well until combined.
When the pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process so it doesn’t just soak up all the dressing as soon as it is added.
Combine the drained pasta in a large bowl with the tomatoes, green bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and parsley.
Pour the dressing over everything and toss to coat well. If you are making this Greek pasta salad recipe in advance, I recommend adding only half of the dressing. Then wait to add the rest of the dressing until right before serving since the pasta will tend to soak up some of the dressing the longer it sits.
Homemade Greek vinaigrette
We especially love that this salad feels lighter than other pasta salads because it’s made with a homemade vinaigrette instead of mayo. Nothing against mayo, but it’s such a nice way to change things up to bring this type of salad to a cookout!
If you want to make things easy, you can always pick up a bottle of Greek dressing from the store. But when it’s so easy to make at home, I figure I might as well just make it myself.
Storage and variations
This Greek pasta salad will really keep in the fridge for 3-5 days. However, the pasta soaks up more of the dressing the longer it sits. It’s really best eaten the day it is made.
We enjoy bowtie pasta (also known as farfalle) for this salad because it’s size and shape.
It’s perfectly matched with the sliced cucumber, tomatoes and olives, but rotini or fusilli are also great choices. Even shells, macaroni noodles, or other similarly sized pasta will work.
More summer salad recipes
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Frog Eye Salad
- Best Chicken Salad Recipe
- Deviled Egg Potato Salad
- Cottage Cheese Jello Salad
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Peach Salad
- Creamy Grape Salad
- 8 ounces bowtie pasta
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes , sliced in half
- 1 English cucumber , sliced into half-circles
- 1 green bell pepper , diced
- 1/2 small red onion , diced
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives , drained
- 2/3 cup feta cheese , crumbed or cubed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente pasta. Drain well and rinse with cold water.
- While the pasta cooks, chop the vegetables and add them to a large bowl.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well.
- Add the rinsed and drained pasta to the bowl with the vegetables, olives, feta cheese, and parsley. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat everything evenly.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 322mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g
This post first appeared on Savory Experiments, where I am a contributor.