Greek Pasta Salad is a tri-color pasta salad with olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and a zesty homemade dressing. An easy side dish perfect for summer 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 cold pasta salad recipe 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 tasty pasta salads are similar to each other, although the flavors are slightly different.
If you love pasta salad recipes, you might also like Chicken Bacon Ranch pasta salad.
When I make the Italian pasta salad recipe, I like to add chopped salami, pepperoni or ham. But the Greek salad is usually meatless, which makes it a wonderfully easy side dish that goes with just about anything.
The ingredients for this tri color pasta salad recipe are super simple. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge! If not, you can find them in your grocery store.
- Tri color rotini pasta -- We like tri-color rotini because it adds more color
- Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- Pitted olives -- black olives or kalamata olives are best
- Feta cheese -- a must for Greek salad
- Pepperoncini peppers -- either chopped or whole
- Red onion
The best thing about a cool pasta salad is that there really aren't many rules--so feel free to add your favorite things to this simple recipe!
How to Make Greek Pasta Salad with Tri Color Pasta
First, cook your pasta according to package directions. 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. You can also use your own Italian dressing.
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. You can also add more to suit your tastes.
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 or all year long!
What to Serve with Pasta Salad
This classic pasta salad is a perfect side dish or vegetarian main dish.
Grilled chicken would be perfect, as well.
A good pasta salad is what you make it--feel free to add your favorite flavors to this easy recipe!
Peppers make a great addition to this colorful pasta salad. Instead of--or in addition to-- the pepperoncini, throw in some red peppers, bell peppers, or banana peppers.
Some other fresh veggies to add to this easy pasta salad are: green onions, green olives, yellow squash, and artichoke hearts.
Spice your salad up a little bit with red pepper flakes, garlic pepper, or shredded pepper jack cheese.
How to Store
Store your tri colored pasta salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It'll last 2 to 3 days after you make it. Any longer, and it'll start to get soggy.
When you're ready to eat your leftover pasta salad, just whip them out of the fridge, give the pasta a good stir, and enjoy!
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
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Recipe published in 2021 and updated in 2022.
This delicious tri-color cold pasta is a forever favorite recipe of mine! It's a great choice for a hot summer day, or just for whenever you want some fresh flavors.
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