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 Marinade, Greek Tzatziki Sauce, Greek Baklava, and Greek Feta Fries.

A wooden spoon lifting a scoop of Greek pasta salad.

Pasta salad is one of our favorite light lunch options and is perfect for bringing to a potluck or backyard bbq. This Greek pasta salad with feta cheese can be thrown together with minimal effort in less than 15 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.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • Amazing, classic Greek flavors with tender bites of pasta thanks to the veggie choices and a homemade Greek vinaigrette.
  • Great to prep ahead and take to potlucks or enjoy for an easy, light lunch.
  • Makes an excellent side with grilled chicken, burgers, or other savory proteins.

Ingredient Notes

  • Pasta: Any kind of pasta shape will work, but bowtie is one of our favorite choices for pasta salad. Penne, rotini, shells, and fusilli are also good choices.
  • 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!
  • Fresh parsley: Nothing lightens and brightens a salad like some freshly chopped herbs!
Bowls holding the ingredients for making Greek pasta salad.

How to Make This Recipe

This kind of pasta salad recipe is easy to make, but it does require a little bit of chopping. I like to do all the prep up front so when it's time to assemble the salad it's mostly a matter of just throwing it all together in a bowl. Slice the cucumbers and tomatoes, then chop the green bell peppers and red onion.

Make the Greek dressing by combining all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl or jar and whisking or shaking them together. Set aside.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water on the stove just until it is al dente. Drain well and rinse the cooked pasta with cold water to shock it and stop the cooking process. This not only helps with texture, but adding dressing to warm pasta means the noodles will soak up the dressing. By cooling the pasta down first, the dressing doesn't absorb as much or as quickly.

In a large bowl, combine all of the chopped veggies, along with the cooked, drained pasta.

Toss everything together with the feta cheese and freshly chopped parsley, then pour the Greek dressing over the top and toss everything again to coat.

If you are making this Greek pasta salad recipe in advance, only half of the dressing at first and hold the rest in reserve to add just before serving so it doesn't get soaked up by the pasta. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Mixing Greek dressing into pasta salad with two wooden spoons.

Recipe FAQ's

How I prevent the pasta from absorbing all of the dressing?

If this is a recurring problem for you with pasta salads, here are a couple of quick tips. First, rinse the pasta with cold water after draining. Warm pasta soaks up dressings way more than cold pasta. Sometimes that's intentional, like in my Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, but not in this case. Second, only dress the salad with half of the dressing and save the rest to add just before serving.

Is Greek pasta salad healthy?

I definitely feel like Greek pasta salad is a good-for-you, wholesome food that can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. It's got lots of veggies, heart healthy fats, and a good balance of carbs. I'm not a registered dietician, but this type of pasta salad is satisfying while also meeting my health goals.

Recipe Tips

  • Storage: This pasta salad keeps well for 3-5 days in the fridge, although you might want to reserve some of the dressing to add later since the pasta absorbs quite a bit of the dressing over time.
  • Al dente pasta: Be sure not to overcook the pasta. Not only will it turn mushy, but it will also absorb more of the dressing if it is overdone. Just follow the package directions for al dente pasta, then drain immediately once it's done.
  • Add a protein: Make more of a meal out of this by adding some chopped, grilled chicken and grilled shrimp to it.

More Picnic Salad Recipes

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Greek Pasta Salad

4.50 from 6 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Greek
Servings 8 servings
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 a hot summer day or for taking to a potluck!

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 8 ounces bowtie pasta
  • 1 ½ cups grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 English cucumber sliced into half-circles
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • ½ small red onion diced
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives drained
  • cup feta cheese crumbed or cubed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ 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
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • 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!

Notes

  • Storage: This pasta salad keeps well for 3-5 days in the fridge, although you might want to reserve some of the dressing to add later since the pasta absorbs quite a bit of the dressing over time.
  • Al dente pasta: Be sure not to overcook the pasta. Not only will it turn mushy, but it will also absorb more of the dressing if it is overdone. Just follow the package directions for al dente pasta, then drain immediately once it's done.
  • Add a protein: Make more of a meal out of this by adding some chopped, grilled chicken and grilled shrimp to it.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 431mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 584IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

This post first appeared on Savory Experiments, where I am a contributor.

This post was originally published in July, 2020. The photos and content were updated in January, 2022.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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