Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta salad is an easy, fast side dish that’s perfect for summer potlucks and barbecues! Salty Kalamata olives and feta cheese balance fresh, sweet tomatoes, while cucumbers add a crunchy texture. Skip the deli counter pasta salads, which are usually loaded with mayonnaise and lacking in flavor. This greek pasta salad recipe will soon become a staple in your kitchen arsenal!

A close up shot of Greek pasta salad in a bowl, next to a wood spoon.

Pasta salad isn’t usually something I gravitate toward, mainly because I associate it with the stuff sold at grocery store deli counters. In my opinion, those are often under-seasoned and swimming in mayo. Not the best.

Preparing homemade pasta salad gives you control over each ingredient, ensuring that the pasta is al dente and the ingredients are fresh. You want be able to detect individual flavors and textures, which will muddle after salads sit in their dressing for a few days.

Summer pasta salad in a bowl on a pale backdrop next to a wood spoon.

This greek pasta salad has such a great balance of flavors and textures.

Tomatoes add just the right amount of sweetness. Kalamata olives and feta cheese add saltiness (the feta also adds creaminess). Cucumbers add crunch and just a hint of bitterness. The red onions and garlic add a spicy astringency, and lemon juice adds lightness and acidity.

Greek pasta salad ingredients, including cooked pasta, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, red onions, garlic, and feta cheese.

Pasta salad dressing doesn’t have to be heavy; I prefer it without any mayo at all. This version is more like the vinaigrette you’ll find on a typical greens salad.

Easy pasta salad recipe ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Recipe Notes

  • If you want a lighter side dish, this recipe would also work with salad greens such as baby spinach or arugula instead of pasta.
  • I don’t find the red onion and garlic to be overpowering, but you can cut back on them if you prefer. I always flash back to the judge on Chopped who lost his mind when any of the contestants used raw red onions.
  • While I prefer using fresh herbs (especially in the summer when my garden is up and running), you can substitute dried herbs. Always remember this ratio: 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dried herbs.

Stirring together greek pasta salad ingredients with a green spatula.

How Long Does Pasta Salad Last?

Homemade pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

However, because of the fresh vegetables, this pasta salad will taste best within the first 3 days. After that, the cucumbers will begin losing their crunch and the tomatoes will turn soft. In general, the flavors will become a bit more muddled. If you’re making this in advance for a party, I wouldn’t prepare it more than 1-2 days ahead of time.

What To Serve with Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are associated with summer picnics and backyard BBQs for a reason. They pair wonderfully with grilled meats and vegetables. This greek pasta salad goes especially well with grilled chicken!

If you’re looking for other Mediterranean-inspired recipes to serve alongside this pasta salad, my hummus is an easy dip that comes together in no time. My Mediterranean Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette is also a nice option.  Or how about one of my favorite desserts, baklava? This baklava from Simply Recipes looks amazing.

Greek pasta salad in a bowl.

Looking For More Easy Side Dishes?

Check out my Guacamole, Twice-Baked Potatoes, and Summer Ale Beer Bread!

Greek Pasta Salad
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Greek Pasta Salad

5 from 6 votes
Greek Pasta salad is a fast and easy side dish that’s perfect for summer barbecues and potlucks! Salty feta cheese and Kalamata olives balance sweet tomatoes, while cucumbers add a crunchy texture.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword greek pasta salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 306

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rotini or fusilli pasta
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (approximately 1 - 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2/3 cup red onion, finely diced (approximately 1/2 small red onion)
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 cup good quality Feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Remove from heat, drain and rinse. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, olives, feta, and dressing, gently tossing to combine. Taste; add more salt and pepper if desired. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes

If possible, I recommend buy a block of feta cheese packed in brine and then crumbling it by hand. I think the flavor is so much better! However, the recipe will still work with pre-crumbled cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 415mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5.3% | Vitamin C: 6.2% | Calcium: 8.1% | Iron: 4.5%

Recipe Troubleshooting

For help troubleshooting a recipe, please email recipehelp@savorysimple.net. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! This email address is only for recipe troubleshooting; Solicitations will be ignored.

Greek Pasta salad is a fast and easy side dish that’s perfect for summer barbecues and potlucks! Salty feta cheese and Kalamata olives balance sweet tomatoes, while cucumbers add a crunchy texture. This greek pasta salad recipe will soon become a staple recipe in your kitchen arsenal

About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate links. I am a participant in the rewardStyle and Amazon affiliate programs, which help support Savory Simple by providing me with a small commission fee when you shop through my links, at no additional cost to you.

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