recipe

Greek Pasta Salad: a light, delicious dish to serve all summer long

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist
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If you love the bright, tangy, fresh flavors found across Mediterranean cuisine, you'll absolutely adore this sensational Greek pasta salad. It's made with perfectly cooked al dente pasta, cucumbers, red peppers, tangy olives, feta cheese, crunchy cucumbers, and juicy tomatoes tossed in a beautiful lemon-garlic dressing. Greek pasta salad is wonderfully fresh and delicious – perfect for serving your summertime parties.

Greek pasta salad is a cinch to make and can be served warm, cold, or even at room temperature. You can make your Greek pasta salad a day or two in advance to really let the flavors meld together. It's sure to be a hit!

Greek Pasta Salad Ingredients

Greek pasta salad dressing is a tangy, garlicky dressing made with lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, fresh herbs like parsley and oregano, olive oil, plus salt and pepper. Make sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice and high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the dressing – you'll taste the difference.

For the pasta salad itself, you'll need to choose a type of pasta. Penne, rotini, fusilli, and bow-tie pasta are all popular options. Orzo is fantastic as well.

Great-tasting pasta salad also has plenty of flavorful, juicy ingredients. This Greek pasta salad calls for red peppers, red onion (you can also use shallot), Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, plus feta cheese.

Tips for the Best Greek Pasta Salad

You can make gluten-free Greek pasta salad using your favorite gluten-free pasta instead of regular pasta.

Don't forget to rinse the pasta under cold water after you've cooked it. This is key for stopping the cooking process and making sure you don't wind up with soggy pasta.

Cook the pasta in water seasoned with salt. This won't make the pasta salty. It will enhance the flavor.

Use fresh or dried oregano.

Greek pasta salad can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Can You Make Greek Pasta Salad Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! Greek pasta salad can be made a day or two in advance. Just store it in the fridge until you're ready to serve it. The dressing can be made up to a week ahead of time.

Greek Pasta Salad Variations

Instead of lemon juice, you can use red wine or balsamic vinegar in the dressing.

Add spinach or kale for a bit more green in your pasta salad.

Try using roasted red peppers for an extra smokey flavor.

Chickpeas will make your Greek pasta salad even heartier.

Orzo is a tasty pasta choice instead of the classic fusilli, bow tie, or penne pasta.

For a creamy Greek pasta salad, use Greek yogurt to make the dressing.

Add pine nuts for a bit of crunch.

You can add meat like salami, chopped sausage, or mini lamb meatballs for a mouthwatering salad you can enjoy as a main meal.

How to Store Greek Pasta Salad

Transfer the pasta to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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Ingredients
for the dressing
fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup
Lemon zest
1 tbsp
garlic, finely chopped
2 cloves
parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup
Fresh oregano
1/2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste
for the salad
Pasta
1 pound
small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2
red pepper, finely diced
1
cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pint
kalamata olives, pits removed
1/2 cup
crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup
cucumber, quartered and sliced
1
parsley, chopped
1/4 cup
salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Greek Pasta Salad

Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet for al dente. Drain, then rinse in cold water.

Put the onions in a bowl of cold water with salt. Leave for 10 minutes, then drain.

Pour the lemon juice and zest, garlic, parsley olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper into a jar or small bowl. Whisk to combine.

Put the pasta, red onion, peppers, olives, feta cheese, and cucumber in a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes.

Add the red onions.

Add the parsley.

Pour ¼ cup of the dressing over the salad.

Toss to combine. Add more dressing a tablespoon at a time as needed.

Season with salt and pepper, then serve.

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