Home Recipes Easy, Healthy Greek Pasta Salad (Best Recipe)

Easy, Healthy Greek Pasta Salad (Best Recipe)

This Greek pasta salad is light yet hearty, bright, and colorful! It’s a nourishing meal with protein, veggies, carbs, and fat. 

This recipe combines the freshness of a classic Greek salad with the heartiness of pasta. And I can’t get enough!

Close Up of Greek Pasta Salad in a Bowl with Fresh Cucumbers Slices, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Feta, and Rotini Pasta with Lemon Juice and Seasonings
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This bowl of pasta, vegetables, olives, feta, and vinaigrette brings sunshine to any table. 

Perfect as a vegetarian side dish or a light lunch, this versatile salad is a delight.

Are you craving for a Mediterranean meal? Or perhaps you want something light for a summer dinner? 

This Greek pasta salad has you covered.

Greek Pasta Salad

Want a refreshing but filling summer salad? This salad fits the bill! 

The medley of vegetables creates a crunchy, vibrant bowl. The pasta is tender and chewy – perfectly contrasting with the fresh vegetables.

Feta crumbles add a wonderful salty flavor that is irresistible.

And unlike heavy, cream-laden salads, this one uses a sweet-tangy lemon vinaigrette for its dressing.

It is easy to make and comes together in no time. Don’t forget to chill it for 3 hours before serving. This allows the flavors to marry. 

Enjoy!

Top View of Bowl of Greek Pasta Salad with Olives, Red Onions, Cucumber Slices, Tomatoes, Feta, and Herbs with a Spoon

Ingredients

  • Pasta: Any small, bite-sized pasta will work here. I use rotini, but you can also use farfalle, rigatoni, or tortellini. Do not use fresh pasta, which won’t hold up well when tossed.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: If you can find red cherry tomatoes on the vine, that is perfect. They are fresher and more flavorful.
  • Bell Peppers: Use a mix of bell peppers for more color- any color works. For reference, green peppers are grassy, while red and yellow are sweeter.
  • Red Onion: For that wonderfully sharp flavor.
  • Cucumber: Regular cucumbers are fine, but English cucumbers are better. They have thinner skin and seeds, and they are sweeter.
    • English cucumbers are also not as watery.
  • Black Olives: Use Kalamata olives for an authentic Greek salad.
  • Feta Cheese: Salty and creamy, it adds a rich contrast to the fresh vegetables.
  • Salad Dressing: The vinaigrette features extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar for the base. Add garlic, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper for the taste.

How to Make Greek Pasta Salad

1. Cook the pasta.

Follow the instructions on the back of the box. Be sure to salt the water generously to season the pasta. Otherwise, the pasta will be bland.

Rinse the pasta with cold water to cool it. Drain and set aside.

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2. Chop the vegetables.

Chop your tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cucumber. Lay them on paper towels to remove excess moisture.

3. Make the vinaigrette.

Whisk olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper until combined.

4. Combine the ingredients. 

Add the pasta to a large salad bowl. Then, add the tomatoes, peppers, onion, cucumber, olives, and feta. Toss to combine. 

Pour the vinaigrette and toss again to coat. 

5. Chill the salad.

Cover the bowl and chill for at least 3 hours. 

6. Serve and enjoy!

Super Close up of Greek Pasta Salad with Black Olives, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red Onion, Feta, and Rotini Pasta with Herbs and Seasonings

Tips for the Best Greek Pasta Salad

  • Cook the pasta in salted water. This is such a simple step, but it adds so much flavor! 
  • Do not overcook the pasta. You want it tender but still with a nice chew. 
  • Let the pasta cool. Rinse it with cold water after cooking. This helps the feta keep its texture.
  • HOWEVER, I recommend adding about 1/4 of the vinaigrette to the pasta while it is warm. This allows the pasta to absorb the dressing better. And the pasta will be more flavorful!
  • Soak the red onion in ice water. This will dial down its strong bite. 10 minutes will do.Drain well before adding to the salad. 
  • Let the vegetables dry. After chopping, lay them on paper towels to lose excess moisture. This will keep your salad from turning watery.

Recipe Variations

Pasta salads are versatile, and this Greek-inspired recipe is no exception! 

Here are some additions and switch-ups to make this salad your own:

  • Pasta: Any small pasta, like tortellini, rigatoni, or farfalle, will work. You can also try grains like orzo, quinoa, or couscous.
  • Herbs: The more herbs, the more flavorful the dressing. Try adding marjoram, dill, or mint.
  • Meats: Add protein like grilled chicken, lamb, or shrimp. Deli meats like ham and salami are tasty, too! Use chickpeas, kidney beans, or lentils for meatless protein.
  • Vegetables: Sweet corn, roasted red pepper, artichoke hearts, spinach, asparagus- the list goes on.
  • Creamy element: Mozzarella balls and avocado slices.
Greek Pasta Salad with Rotini, Black Olives, Red Onion, Cucumber, Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese on a Plate with a Fork

Can You Make This Salad Ahead Of Time?

Absolutely. You can prepare the pasta salad 8-12 hours in advance. 

However, the pasta will absorb more of the dressing, so you need extra. I suggest you double the recipe for the vinaigrette. Or at least increase it by half.

You can also prepare the pasta, dressing, and vegetables a day before. Store them in separate containers and refrigerate.

Toss them together in a bowl 3 hours before serving.

How to Store Leftovers

Store the leftover salad in an airtight container. Refrigerate for 3-4 days.

The pasta will absorb the dressing over time. So, expect your salad to dry out a little. 

That said, make more of the dressing! 

This way, you have more to coat the ingredients with. Store extra vinaigrette in a mason jar. It will be easy to shake if it separates.

Don’t have enough ingredients for more dressing? No worries. Use a mix of olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Do not freeze Greek pasta salad. The ingredients will turn soggy once frozen and thawed.

Easy, Healthy Greek Pasta Salad (Best Recipe)

Servings

8

servings
Prep time

2

minutes
Cooking time

3

hours 

30

minutes
Calories

307

kcal

This Greek pasta salad is so delicious! From the rotini pasta to the fresh veggies to the dressing, every bite is satisfying. It’s ideal for any get-together.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rotini pasta

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 small red onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced

  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  • Cook the rotini pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking and drain.
  • For the vinaigrette, whisk olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  • Combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, green & red peppers, onion, cucumber, olives, and feta in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette and toss well to coat.
  • Cover the bowl and chill for at least 3 hours. Serve and enjoy!

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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