Quick, easy, and tastefully Mediterranean, this Greek Pasta Salad Recipe will leave you craving more. Pasta, Feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers combine with a zesty homemade Greek dressing to make a delightful side. Bring this simple dish to picnics and potlucks all summer long!

Pasta salad is shown in a white bowl for a gluten-free side.

Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

It’s taken me a while to finally get around to making this recipe.

While Italian Pasta Salad, BLT Pasta Salad, and even Pesto Pasta Salad have been regulars at our BBQs and picnics for years now…

There was a little hesitation when it came to making a Greek pasta salad.

The reason? Olives.

But thanks to a recent trip to Turkey, my love of olives blossomed and this summer it was time to create this cold pasta salad recipe.

With it’s crisp tomatoes and cucumbers, tangy and salty blocks of Feta cheese, and the dressing?!

You must… I repeat MUST whip up the Greek Salad Dressing from scratch. It literally MAKES the pasta salad so super-duper delicious!

Pasta, roma tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, bell peppers, cucumbers, and red onions are the ingredients in this recipe.
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Ingredients

To make this pasta salad recipe you need:

  • Pasta. Penne or rotini are best. They have the most surface area to soak up all the delicious sauce. You can use gluten-free if needed, just look for a quinoa or brown rice based. Do NOT use a corn variety as they tend to fall apart.
  • Feta Cheese. Get a block and cut it into smaller bite-sized pieces or use crumbled.
  • Tomatoes. Grape or cherry are the perfect combination of sweet and flavorful while being firm enough to handle a pasta salad. Be sure to cut them in half.
  • Cucumber. Opt for a seedless one, then dice. Take time to remove the seeds if it has some, or your salad will end up watery.
  • Bell Pepper. Red is preferred for both flavor and appearance, but you can use yellow or green, as well.
  • Olives. Go for Kalamata for the best taste. They need to be sliced, pitted, and drained.
  • Onion. Red is the first choice. But yellow or sweet can be subbed. Make sure to thinly slice it so you don’t get too much pungency.
  • Greek Salad Dressing. Typically a combination of olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and Dijon mustard. It is super simple to make your own! Or you can buy a bottle at the store.

How to Make Greek Pasta Salad

These are the steps to follow to make this Greek Pasta Salad recipe:

Cook Pasta

Cook pasta in a large pot with salted water according to package directions. You want an al dente finish.

Drain the noodles in a colander. Be sure to rinse under cold water. This removes the starchy outer coating from the pasta and will keep it from clumping together.

After you let the pasta cool to at least room temperature place it in a large bowl.

Pasta is cooked, drained, and set in a bowl.

Homemade Greek Dressing

This homemade dressing is so simple to whip up yourself, you may wonder why you haven’t always made your own vinaigrette before!

In the cup of a high-speed blender, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, herbs, and honey.

Pulse for 10-20 seconds, or until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can also use ¾ cup of a store-bought Greek Salad Dressing instead.

Pour the Greek dressing over the noodles. Toss IMMEDIATELY until evenly coated. You want the dressing in all the nooks and crannies for the most flavor.

The longer the pasta sits without any sauce, the more likely it is to stick together.

And don’t use all of the dressing. As you let the pasta chill, it will soak up much of the sauce so save a little bit to add at the end.

Toss Together

Once the noodles are cool and coated with dressing, add the Feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, olives, onion, and salt.

Toss until everything is just combined. Over handling this salad can break down the noodles or veggies.

For the most flavor, let it rest in the fridge for a few hours.

Otherwise, serve immediately!

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: You can make this salad up to 12 hours ahead of time. Too much longer and the noodles will get hard. It is best served after chilling in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
  • To Store: Place leftovers in airtight containers and place in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze this pasta salad as the noodles will become soggy when thawed.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already vegetarian as written.  Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Gluten-Free: Opt for a gluten-free pasta, such as a quinoa or rice-based type. Avoid corn-based as these tend to fall apart more easily.
  • Dairy-Free: Leave out the Feta cheese.
  • Vegan: Do not use Feta in your salad.
Greek pasta salad is served with a wooden spoon from a bowl.

FAQs

Why do they call it a Greek salad?

A Greek salad generally refers to a mix with olives, Feta cheese, cucumbers, and tomatoes with a Greek dressing. This combination is light and refreshing. A Greek Pasta Salad takes these ingredients and combines them with pasta!

What is creamy Greek dressing made of?

Usually, Greek dressing is a vinaigrette with olive oil and red wine vinegar, combined with oregano and Dijon mustard.

Can I make this Greek Pasta Salad the night before?

It is not recommended to make this pasta more than 12 hours before serving. For the best flavor, prepare 2 to 3 hours ahead of time.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Rinse it well. Running the pasta under cold water after boiling stops cooking and removes the starchy coating which prevents it from getting mushy.
  • DIY dressing. Homemade Greek dressing is super easy to make, healthy, and adds so much flavor.
  • Bite-sized pieces. Be sure to chop all the veggies into small pieces so you get consistent tastes in every bite!
  • Chill out! Letting this pasta salad rest for 2 to 3 hours in the fridge results in the most flavorful dish.
  • Take it up a notch. Additions like asparagus, zucchini, squash, or grilled chicken make this a complete meal!
Greek pasta salad is enjoyed from a white bowl with a metal spoon.

Make it a Meal

Combine this delicious side dish with any of these summer favorites:

More Pasta Salad Recipes

If this recipe has you craving more pasta salad, try one of these versions next:

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

Quick, easy, and tastefully Mediterranean, this Greek Pasta Salad Recipe will leave you craving more. Pasta, feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers combine with a zesty Greek dressing to make a delightful side.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Total 30 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 8-10 oz. penne or rotini pasta*
  • 8 oz. block feta cheese cut into cubes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup cucumber seedless, diced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper diced
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives sliced and drained
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • ¾ tsp. salt

Greek Salad Dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey optional
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. each of oregano parsley, and basil, dried
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • tsp. black pepper
  • (Can also use ¾ cup of a store-bought Greek Salad Dressing instead.)

Instructions 

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse under cool running water, drain well, and then add to a large bowl.
  • Combine all dressing ingredients in the cup of a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend for 10-20 seconds, or until emulsified.
  • Pour salad dressing over the pasta and toss until pasta is well coated.
  • Add the cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, olives, onion, and salt. Toss until everything is just combined.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours to serve chilled.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Video

Notes

*Can use gluten-free if needed.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: You can make this salad up to 12 hours ahead of time. Too much longer and the noodles will get hard. It is best served after chilling in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
  • To Store: Place leftovers in airtight containers and place in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze this pasta salad as the noodles will become soggy when thawed.

Nutrition

Calories: 451kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 943mg, Potassium: 404mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1656IU, Vitamin C: 44mg, Calcium: 218mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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