Greek Pasta Salad
This delicious Greek Pasta Salad is made with feta cheese, olives, vegetables and pasta, all tossed in a simple Greek dressing. It’s perfect for potlucks or as a side dish for your favorite meals.
Pasta salad is one of my all time favorite side dishes, and this Greek pasta salad is my go-to pasta salad recipe. It has so much flavor thanks to feta cheese, kalamata olives and a tangy Greek dressing. Other favorite pasta salad recipes include my Italian pasta salad, pesto pasta salad and macaroni salad, a summer barbecue classic!
Making this Greek pasta salad recipe is quick and easy. It’s a great make ahead side dish because the flavors are even better on the second day. You will also love my Greek Salad recipe.
Serve your pasta salad with turkey burgers, grilled chicken or baked chicken thighs. It’s a crowd-pleasing dish that will have everyone going back for seconds!
How to make Greek Pasta Salad
To make this easy pasta salad, you’ll first want to get a large pot of water boiling on the stove. Add a little salt to the water to flavor the pasta as it cooks.
While you wait for the water to boil, make the dressing. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them together.
Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions for al dente pasta. Be careful to not overcook the pasta because you want it to hold its shape in your salad.
Drain the cooked pasta and rinse it with cool water, then drain it well. Put the pasta in a large mixing bowl to cool.
While the pasta is cooling, chop and prepare the remaining ingredients. Then add everything to the bowl with the cooled pasta and pour on the dressing. Stir until everything is combined. Chill the pasta salad in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
Make Ahead Instructions
You can make this pasta salad ahead for a party or to serve for your lunch or dinner throughout the week. The pasta salad will last for up to four days in the refrigerator, if stored in an airtight container.
For a party, I recommend making it the day before or morning of. As the salad sits, the flavors will develop so that it tastes even better on the second day.
When you first take the pasta salad out of the refrigerator after chilling, it may seem a bit dry. Let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to allow the olive oil to melt again and then give it a stir. Taste the salad and add more seasoning as needed before serving.
Pasta Salad Ingredient Options
- Try adding chickpeas or chicken to this recipe to make it a meal.
- If you don’t have red wine vinegar, you could try using lemon juice instead.
- Sliced black olives can be substituted for the kalamata olives.
- You can use any short pasta shape in this recipe. I used farfalle pasta. Rotini or spiral pasta are other good options.
- Whole wheat pasta is a good way to add more fiber and nutrition to your pasta salad.
- Be careful to not overcook pasta for pasta salad. The pasta should still have a little bite to it, so it doesn’t fall apart in your pasta salad.
- Let the pasta cool before adding the vegetables, cheese and other ingredients.
- This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd. You can halve the recipe if you are cooking for fewer people.
- For more tang, substitute the dressing in this recipe for my greek dressing recipe which has dijon mustard.
Greek Pasta Salad
Pasta Salad Dressing
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound short pasta shapes, farfalle, rotini, etc.
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion, or sliced green onion
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¾ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, optional
Make the Dressing
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Make the Pasta Salad
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta into a colander. Rinse with cold water, and then drain well. Put the pasta in a large bowl.
- Set the pasta aside to cool while you chop the vegetables and prepare the remaining pasta salad ingredients. Stir the pasta occasionally to keep it from sticking together.
- Add the bell peppers, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta and parsley (if using) to the bowl with the pasta. Stir in the dressing until well combined.
- Chill the pasta salad in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Before serving, taste and season with extra salt and pepper as needed. Pasta salad tastes best if made one day ahead.
- Pasta salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If the pasta salad seems dry when you take it out of the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. This will allow the olive oil to melt again. Stir and enjoy.
- Black olives may be substituted for the kalamata olives.
- Try adding chickpeas or chicken to the salad for protein.
I think I will make this for Lisa’s party, though I think I will dress it up with some fresh basil. Do you think that would be good? Also, do you think chicken will work in it? You mentioned that you make it the night before — do you add the feta the night before also, or wait until the day you are serving it?
Yes, I think fresh basil would work well. I do think you could add chicken if you want some protein in the salad. I waited to add the feta right before serving.
Hi Kristine. I’m not a fan of cucumber. What would be a suitable substitute?
You can leave the cucumber out, or use more chopped bell pepper or chopped carrot in its place. Enjoy!
It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.