Easy Greek Pasta Salad

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A quick 15-minute Greek pasta salad packed with colorful and healthy ingredients for a tasty side dish. Loaded with fresh vegetables, feta cheese, and tossed with a lemon herb dressing.

Greek pasta salad in a white bowl

This easy Greek pasta salad is a Mediterranean delight! Each serving includes tender pasta, fresh vegetables, and creamy feta cheese. A lemon and herb dressing adds a light and tangy coating to each bite. The best part is that this recipe is ready to serve in 15 minutes!

Greek cuisine incorporates ripe, fresh ingredients, with cheese and aromatic herbs. It’s no wonder that the Mediterranean diet is so popular. Guilt-free eating sounds like a good idea to me. Even with limited time in the kitchen, a nutritious side dish can come together in a snap!

Greek pasta salad in a bowl before mixing the ingredients together

Greek pasta salad ingredients

Pasta – How do you choose the right dried pasta for the salad? I like to use shorter noodles that have grooves that can catch the dressing when tossed together. My top pick is Gemelli pasta, and they look like tiny unicorn horns. The twisted shape grabs on easily to the ingredients and has a nice chew. Rotini, penne, cavatappi or farfalle are other excellent pasta options.

Vegetables – Gosh, all of the colors from the fresh vegetables in this pasta salad are gorgeous, don’t you agree? Packed with ripe baby tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, bell peppers, pungent onions, and briny kalamata olives, yes!

Cheese – A generous chunk of ripened feta cheese adds creaminess to the pasta salad. Cutting the feta into small cubes then tossing with some olive oil and oregano adds an extra layer of flavor to the cheese.

Homemade lemon dressing being whisked in a bowl

How to make a homemade dressing

Dressings and vinaigrettes are an emulsion, a thickened sauce used with various types of salads. Any dressing can be made at home using a simple combination of oil, vinegar or acid like lemon juice, and an emulsifying agent like mustard. The sweeteners and herbs and spices add that extra punch of flavor. No need to buy store-bought dressing again!

Make sure to gradually add the oil to the vinegar/acid mixture while vigorously mixing. It takes some coordination. You want the oil droplets finely dispersed throughout the liquid so that the flavors evenly coat the Greek pasta salad. The force and mechanical shear by whisking or blending allow the oil to help create a thickened dressing.

Close up photo of a Greek pasta salad

For this recipe, a combination of classic Greek flavors like fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, honey, basil, red onion, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil mix together. Make sure to generously pour the dressing all over, so it absorbs the beautiful flavors.

This pasta salad is the perfect base for any other ingredients you want to incorporate. Marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, crispy baked chickpeas, or even some grilled chicken or salmon, it all works so nicely!

More side salad recipes

The only time when pasta should be rinsed with cold water

After the pasta cooks, it has a starchy film that causes the hot noodles to clump together. This helps the sauce to cling to the pasta. However, if you’re making a cold pasta salad, you can briefly rinse the noodles with cold water to remove the excess starch. This will quickly cool down the pasta after boiling, which halts the cooking process so the noodles don’t become mushy. It also prevents the noodles from sticking together.

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Easy Greek Pasta Salad

A quick 15-minute easy Greek pasta salad packed with colorful and healthy ingredients for a tasty side dish. Loaded with fresh vegetables, feta cheese, and tossed with a lemon herb dressing.
Pin Print Review
4.24 from 13 votes
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Side
Cuisine Greek

Ingredients

Greek Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound dried pasta, gemelli, rottini or penne
  • 1 cup english cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, ½-inch dice
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ cup red onion, ⅛-inch thick slices
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano, dried

Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon oregano, dried
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions 

Greek Pasta Salad

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to manufacturers directions, until al dente.
  • Drain pasta, rinse with cold water for 10 seconds, drain excess water thouroghly and then add to a large bowl.
  • Top pasta with cucumbers, red bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, and kalamata olives.
  • In a small bowl, gently combine the feta cheese, 1 ½ teaspoon olive oil, and ½ teaspoon dried oregano, add to the bowl of pasta.

Lemon Herb Dressing

  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, mustard, honey, minced red onion, minced garlic, chopped basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. 
  • Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, vigorously whisking until a thickened dressing is formed.
  • Taste dressing and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
  • Drizzle lemon herb dressing over the Greek pasta salad and gently toss until combined, serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Greek pasta salad can be prepared up to one day in advance, do not add dressing until ready to serve.

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Nutrition Facts
Easy Greek Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 359 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 12mg4%
Sodium 461mg19%
Potassium 216mg6%
Carbohydrates 51g17%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 690IU14%
Vitamin C 28.1mg34%
Calcium 96mg10%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

17 Comments Leave a comment or review

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Raquel! I miss my days in SLO! I could really go for some Bali’s yogurt and cowboy cookies right about now 🙂

  1. Kennedy Cole| KCole's Creative Corner says

    I love vinaigrettes, and this one looks like such a great combo of sweet, tangy, savory, herbaceous, and utterly delicious! You had me at pasta because I am a CARB enthusiast! I posted a pasta salad recipe a while back on my food blog, too. But I will definitely be trying this ASAP!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Kennedy- I LOVE southern food, I’ll definitely have to check out your blog often to get more inspiration! Thanks for checking out the recipe, carb enthusiasts unite!

  2. Katie says

    Jessica,
    This is a great salad! The vinegarette is perfect! I made a big batch of it for Jim before I took off on a vacation. He loved it!

  3. Debbie says

    Absolutely loved this salad. Dressing was great. I’m not a big fan of dijon but made the dressing per the recipe and it was yummy. My favourite part of this salad is the pickled onions.

  4. JJ says

    Wonderful salad! Fresh, ‘sunny’ because of the lemon, light with a punch of flavors. I’ll be making this a lot. I used a stick blender to emulsify, and allowed it to rest for about 30-40 minutes before tossing into the salad. Highly recommended!

  5. Chrissy J says

    OMG! So delish! I didn’t add the Dijon mustard but it was perfect! My younger kids even liked it! Bravo! And wonderful recipe!

  6. Benny says

    Flavor explosion in my mouth albeit light and refreshing salad 😀
    Enjoyed making it and eating it a lot
    Much support,
    – a student from NZ 😄

  7. Mireis says

    Looks delicious.
    Do you know what the portion size is for nutrition information shown? 1 cup, 2 cups?
    Thank you.

  8. Jenn says

    This is the yummiest Greek salad ever! I’m addicted to it (just made my second batch in two weeks) 🙂

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