This easy Greek Pasta Salad is brimming with flavors of the Mediterranean using rotini noodles, juicy tomatoes, feta cheese, and black olives coated in a zesty homemade Greek dressing!
Fast, simple, and delicious salads are one of my favorite menu items to turn to when warmer weather arrives. Panzanella Salad, Southwest Quinoa Salad, and Southern Potato Salad are 3 other family favorites that fit the bill of easy, quick, and tasty!
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Mediterranean Pasta Salad
One of the best things about this cold Greek pasta salad is how quickly it comes together and how light, yet hearty, it is. It’s a great healthy dinner idea on hot days when you just don’t feel like turning on the oven, and for added protein, you can toss in some leftover grilled chicken strips, or chickpeas to keep it vegetarian.
Leftovers are sometimes even better as the flavors will have married even more by the next day, in which case you can have a quick and easy lunch! It’s light, fresh, and colorful and makes the perfect summer side dish for potlucks and Barbecues. If you like Greek salad or are a fan of any and all things pasta, this Greek pasta salad recipe will become your new favorite!
What is Greek Pasta Salad?
This easy pasta salad is essentially a bowl of Mediterranean-inspired taste, where the Greek flavors of a homemade tangy dressing get into the crevices of the pasta noodles and coat the juicy tomatoes, feta cheese, and sliced black olives. It’s a medley of beautiful ingredients that are perfect as is but can definitely be customized to your own tastes. Add more fresh vegetables, go lighter on the dressing, throw in a bit more feta, you name it.
Sometimes a creamy pasta salad is great, but there’s something special about a light and refreshing about a pasta salad tossed in a homemade vinaigrette that keeps you coming back for more!
Why We Love this Pasta Salad Recipe
- Quick and easy and is a matter of combining, tossing, and enjoying!
- Light and refreshing and is perfect as lunch or light dinner.
- Beautiful colors make it pleasing to the eye.
- Makes a great side dish for potlucks and BBQs.
- Healthy and homemade which means it can be catered to any specific diet with a few simple swaps.
- Flavorful and tangy with a whole lot of texture.
- Simple homemade dressing means you can make more than enough to keep for later.
- Make ahead and meal prep with ease.
- Similar to my Italian pasta salad, another recipe we love.
For the Greek Salad Dressing
- Balsamic vinegar – Adds tang but also a sweet hint. A very common ingredient in Mediterranean dressings.
- Dijon mustard – A spicier and tangier version of regular yellow mustard. Made with black mustard seeds and gives a nice kick.
- Dried Italian Seasoning – A combination of a few delicious herbs.
- Lemon juice – Stick to fresh lemon, not the bottled stuff!
For the pasta salad
- Pasta – I used rotini, but bowtie or fusilli will also work. See below for other ideas.
- Cherry tomatoes – Washed and halved.
- Feta – Drained of the brine.
- Olives – Sliced. Black olives from the jar work in a pinch, but you could also chop up kalamata olives if you prefer.
- Salt & pepper – To taste.
How to Make This Easy Pasta Salad
This recipe will come together in as many minutes as it takes you to cook your pasta. Just combine, toss and serve!
Step 1: Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and set it aside.
Step 2: Cook the pasta as per package directions. Drain and place into a large bowl.
Step 3: Pour the dressing over the pasta.
Step 4: Add remaining ingredients and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can enjoy immediately, or set in the fridge for a bit to chill before serving.
1: Substitute red wine vinegar for balsamic vinegar.
2: Add cooked or grilled chicken for a hearty, protein packed complete meal.
3. Add a can of chickpeas for more protein but keep it vegetarian.
4. Substitute any of your favorite pasta – fusilli, penne, or even orzo pastas would all be great!
- Cook the pasta al dente (slightly undercooked) so it’s not mushy.
- Add sliced fresh cucumbers to give it extra crunch. I love English cucumber best for pasta salads.
- Sliced red onion are great for crispy crunch and flavor.
- Add fresh baby spinach or green bell pepper if you’d like other fresh crunchy veggies.
- Top with a fresh herbs like dill or parsley if you’d like.
- Use gluten-free pasta if needed.
- For a low-carb version, skip the pasta altogether and revert back to a classic Greek salad.
- Salt the pasta water as you cook it. You might find you need less salt added in the end.
Keep Greek pasta salad in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Enjoy leftovers and lunches for days!
The pasta in this dish works as a vessel to hold all of that delicious Greek dressing, so you’ll want something with grooves if possible, but there are definitely lots of options, depending on your style. Rotini, fusilli, orecchiette, bowtie, orzo, to name a few.
Absolutely. It keeps in the fridge for a few days all the while having the flavors continuing to meld. You can assemble it completely ahead of time and serve the next day, or prepare individual ingredients (cook the pasta, slice the olives, mix the dressing) and toss together just before serving.
Easy Greek Pasta Salad Recipe
For the Greek Dressing
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- Juice of one lemon
For the Pasta Salad
- 1 lb rotini pasta
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 8 ounce package feta cheese crumbled
- 5 ounce jar sliced olives drained
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Dressing
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
For the Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta per the package directions and drain in a colander.
- Place the cooked pasta in a large serving bowl.
- Pour the Greek dressing over top of the pasta and toss to coat well.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and drained olives and gently toss to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- Garnish with fresh parsley, optional