Summer Fresh Greek Pasta Salad
This Summer Fresh Greek Pasta Salad is made with pasta al dente, crisp cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, salty kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese. It’s the perfect chilled pasta salad to take to parties, potlucks and barbecues!
Want to round out your Greek dinner with some additional options? Try my Greek Chicken Gyros, Greek Quesadillas, Lamb Gyros (or Chickpea Gyros if you are looking for another vegetarian option), and serve with my homemade Tzatziki Recipe!
Why This Recipe Works
- Versatile pasta salad recipe. One thing I love about this recipe is its versatility! It’s an easy recipe you can prep in advance, take to a barbecue or gathering, make last minute, etc. You can also add to or take away any of the toppings that you or your family don’t like.
- Fresh ingredients. This summer fresh Greek pasta salad is just that! Fresh! It is made with fresh vegetables that are packed with flavor and juicy texture. It’s a flavor burst in your mouth!
- Easy dinner recipe. This is an easy dinner recipe because you only have to chopped the vegetables and cook the pasta. No waiting for sauces to simmer or meat to cook. Just prepare and toss!
- Honey: The honey adds a bit of sweetness to the greek salad dressing. If you prefer a different sweetener, you can use agave. I wouldn’t recommend maple syrup as it would add a maple flavor to the dressing which doesn’t pair well.
- Oregano: The oregano adds a nice flavor to the dressing and pairs well with the dill. I use dried oregano for convenience.
- Dill Weed: Feel free to use fresh or dried dill.
- Olive Oil: The olive oil forms the base of the salad dressing. Paired with the red wine vinegar, you get the smooth texture and flavor of the olive oil paired with the sharpness of the vinegar.
- Pasta: You can make this vegetarian Greek pasta salad recipe with penne, ziti or pasta of your choice. Cook until al dente. Do not over cook or the pasta will be mushy when you mix the salad.
- Toppings: Feel free to use all or some of these toppings as well as adding in any additional vegetables of your choice. I used diced red bell pepper, chopped cucumber, sliced kalamata olives, sliced red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, and crumbled feta cheese. You can also add some sautéed or raw mushrooms or avocado if you’d like.
- Make the Greek salad dressing. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta and cut the veggies. Cook the pasta until al dente and prepare the vegetables.
- Combine ingredients. Add the cooked pasta, red pepper, cucumber, kalamata olives, onion, and tomatoes. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to coat.
- Chill. Let chill and then sprinkle feta cheese over the salad before serving.
Once the pasta is cooked and the water has been drained, drizzle a bit of olive oil on the pasta and stir to coat so the pasta doesn’t stick to each other as it cools down.
This pasta salad can be served immediately or you can place it in the fridge and serve it cold.
Additions: Feel free to add chopped avocado or mushrooms to the pasta salad as well.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
Prepare the vegetables/toppings ahead of time to make things even quicker when putting things together later.
Store any leftover Greek pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Eat cold. Do not reheat as the cucumbers, onions, olives, peppers, and tomatoes will get soft.
Do not freeze. Freezing and thawing pasta causes it to go mushy.
If you have extra Greek salad dressing or you want to make more and store it, store the salad dressing in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for 2-3 months.
Yes you can. The veggies aren’t cooked, so I feel the summer fresh greek pasta salad is more enjoyable cold/chilled, but you can eat it when the noodles are warm. The feta cheese may melt or get soft, so keep that in mind.
I think there is a pretty good leeway when it comes to picking what type of pasta to use in pasta salad. I would use a pasta that is smaller than long pasta (such as spaghetti, linguini, angel hair) since long pastas are typically better in warm dishes. Pasta like bowtie, macaroni, penne, ziti, rotini, etc. are best for chilled pasta dishes.
I wouldn’t recommend it. Freezing and thawing pasta can cause it to go mushy.
Easy Pasta Recipes
Greek Pasta Salad
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 lb pasta - cooked to al dente
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper - about 1/2 a bell pepper
- 3/4 cup cucumber - chopped
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives - sliced
- 1/3 cup purple onion - thinly sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes - sliced in half and/or quarters
- 1/2-1 cup feta cheese - for topping
- In a medium size bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside. *
- In a large bowl combine the cooked pasta, red pepper, cucumber, Kalamata olives, purple onion, and tomatoes. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle feta cheese over the salad before serving.