Greek Pasta Salad with kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and a zesty homemade dressing is an easy summer side dish perfect for potlucks and picnics. This colorful, flavorful salad is easy to make ahead and serve with chicken or your favorite protein for a quick dinner the whole family will love!
I made this colorful Greek Pasta Salad the other night as a change from our usual Italian Pasta Salad. It was a huge hit with the family, especially my daughter who adores anything with feta cheese! Both salads are very similar to each other, although the flavors are slightly different.
When I make the Italian version, I like to add chopped salami, pepperoni or ham. But the Greek version is usually meatless, which makes it a wonderfully easy side dish that goes with just about anything.
What's in the Salad
The ingredients for Greek pasta salad are super simple. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge!
- Rotini pasta -- We like tri color pasta because it adds more color
- Grape tomatoes
- Kalamata olives -- Make sure to get pitted
- Feta cheese -- a must for Greek salad
- Pepperoncini peppers -- either chopped or whole
- Red onion
How to Make Greek Pasta Salad
First, cook your pasta. I cook pasta in the Instant Pot, but you can use the stove if you prefer. While the pasta is cooking, you can start chopping up the veggies.
When it's done, drain in a colander, and rinse the pasta under cold water. This stops the pasta from cooking and prevents it from sticking. It also cools the cooked pasta down faster. Just add it to a large mixing bowl while you make the dressing.
I made homemade Greek dressing for the salad this time, although I have used bottled Italian dressing before. Either is fine, and you can use bottled Greek salad dressing if you can find it. All you need for the dressing is vinegar ( I used red wine vinegar), olive oil, Dijon mustard and a few herbs and spices.
To make the dressing, mix the mustard, vinegar and spices. Then, whisk in the olive oil until it's emulsified. This makes about 1 cup of dressing. It might look like a lot, but it's really not!
I like to add about half of the dressing right away. If I'm making the salad ahead of time, I'll add the remaining dressing right before serving. You can add it all at once if you prefer.
To make the salad, just add the chopped veggies to the pasta. Then, pour in the dressing, and mix everything together until it's well combined. For extra freshness and even more color, I like to add some chopped parsley.
Fresh basil goes well with the salad, too. I just love how bright and colorful this salad is! Vibrant, fresh and perfect for summer!
What to Serve with It
Greek Pasta Salad lasts about 4 to 5 days when kept covered in the refrigerator -- if it lasts that long! You may need to add a little more dressing the longer it sits.
Greek Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces cooked rotini pasta tri colored
- 1 English cucumber sliced half moons, or seed a regular cucumber
- 1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half
- ¼ cup red onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup pepperoncini peppers sliced
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives cut in half
- chopped parsley optional
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup olive oil
- Cook pasta according to directions on box or cook in Instant Pot. Drain in colander, and rinse under cold water
- Add pasta and remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl
- Pour in dressing, mix well, and top with chopped parsley, if desired
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Add more dressing before serving if needed
- Mix the mustard, vinegar, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until dressing is emulsified
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