Making Greek pasta salad is a simple and delicious way to glam up pasta recipes that can satisfy hungry crowds and take family dinners to the next level. Not all cold pasta salad recipes are cream-based and this one has an amazing flavor profile that literally basks in deliciousness.
This Greek pasta salad recipe incorporates a homemade oil and vinegar dressing that is like traditional Horiatiki (traditional Greek salad recipe). It is so yummy that your mouth automatically slows down to savor the scrumptious burst of flavor in every bite!
C’mon, let me show you!
This Greek pasta salad embodies a virtual party in your mouth with all the different textures and flavors married gently together to present a prodigy of yummy deliciousness. Fans of Greek fare and pasta salad enthusiasts alike seem to find this recipe irresistible. Here are some other reasons why I absolutely love this salad:
- Incredible flavor
- Super easy to make
- No special gadgets required
- Totally nutritious
Serving Greek pasta salad is a fabulous way to feed crowds at summer potlucks, outings and backyard get-togethers with friends and family. It is a simple, flavorful refined dish that comes together in three easy steps.
Making the homemade vinaigrette for this Greek pasta salad is a simple step that really kicks up the flavor profile. Using a mason jar is the simplest way to mix up the ingredients but a bowl and a whisk will work, too.
Adding that little bit of sugar to the dressing tames the lemon and vinegar with an inviting flavor, so don’t skip this step.
Using Dijon mustard is the perfect emulsifier to bring the dressing together. It encourages the polar and non-polar molecules of the vinegar and oil to hold hands essentially offering a singular complex flavor that is out of this world!
Cooking the pasta al dente should take about 6-8 minutes. Tossing it directly into the prepared dressing allows the pasta to soak up the flavor of the dressing for a more cohesive dish.
You’ll want to let it come slowly to room temperature before adding the rest of the ingredients. The lower temperature allows the flavors to mingle instead of cooking which can negatively impact the vegetable texture.
Storing your Greek pasta salad is as easy as keeping it in an airtight container in the fridge. Heat and light are the biggest enemies so a color container with a secure lid is ideal for longer storage.
Can You Freeze This?
The assembled Greek pasta salad does not freeze well because the veggies contain water and turn to mush when thawed. Luckily you can freeze some components if you are preparing well ahead of time.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that this salad should be assembled 4-12 hours before serving for best results*
The cooked, pre-portioned pasta and the dressing can be frozen well ahead of preparation. (Just be sure to leave ample time to slow thaw the dressing before assembling) The dressing freezes well in ice trays covered with saran wrap or in a vacuum sealed baggie.
As for the veggies, they can be chopped ahead of time and stored in a mason jar in the fridge.
Meal Prepping Tips
This salad can be made 2 days ahead of serving. In fact, I think it might be even better! More of the dressing absorbs into the pasta and really marries all the amazing flavors. Toss before serving and check the seasoning. If too much of the dressing has been absorbed add a little olive oil to wake it up.
Tweaking this recipe is a matter of personal taste but remember that it will also change the taste of your Greek pasta salad. For best results, keep changes subtle. For instance, some people prefer to use canned black olives rather than kalamata olives. Others choose to add bacon bits or cubed ham for an extra savory component.
Can I Make Greek Pasta Salad With Chicken?
Of course, you can! This is your pasta salad and you know your taste buds. Rather than changing this Greek pasta salad recipe, consider making my chicken pasta salad. It is an absolute protein-packed game changer!
What Other Mediterranean Salad I Can Try?
I love all the rich savory flavors of Mediterranean food and it’s just so darn healthy for you! Plus, it’s packed with all the healthy fats and essential nutrients your body craves.
My Italian Pasta Salad recipe is hearty enough to be a main course with sliced Genoa salami and rich, cheesy goodness. It is requested often at my house.
Of course, Mediterranean Pasta Salad is a super simple precursor for any meal, and it tastes amazing! It goes particularly well with chicken or other meals where poultry is the main course.
Can I Make This As A Creamy Greek Pasta Salad?
You can but that is an entirely different dish. If you are looking for something more similar to Tzatziki, it involves reducing the olive oil and substituting Greek yogurt for the vinegar. You’ll also need to switch out the oregano for dill. By the time you are done, you’ve made something entirely different than my Greek Pasta salad!
Can I Make Greek Pasta Salad Orzo Instead Of Pasta?
Sure, you can, if that’s what you prefer! Actually, this is a nice variation of my Greek pasta salad. Making orzo isn’t difficult and using it in this salad adds a bit of a nutty flavor with tons of fiber.
Can I Use Tortellini In This Recipe?
Contrary to popular belief, the size and shape of pasta does matter! There are over 200 different types of pasta and they each have different characteristics. They cook differently, hold sauce differently and even offer different tasting sensations while being eaten.
If you are a fan of tortellini, no problem. Try making my tortellini pasta salad and you’ll fall in love at first bite! It’s a hearty, refreshing tortellini salad that eats like a meal.
Greek Pasta Salad
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- zest from 4 lemons
- 2 teaspoons dijon
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 (16-ounce) cellentani or mini penne
- 1 English cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 (11-ounce container) grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup red onion, minced
- 1 cup green onions white and geen parts, sliced
- 1 cup kalamata olives
- 1 cup dill, chopped
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 12 ounces feta, cubed or crumble into chunky pieces
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small jar with a tight lid. Shake vigorously to combine. Alternatively, you can whisk all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl. Continue whisking and add the olive oil in a stream.
- Cook pasta, just to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain well. When pasta has no more water on it but is still warm, toss in a large salad bowl with dressing until pasta is evenly coated. Set aside to come to room temperature.
- Add the rest of the salad ingredients, except the feta, and toss to combine well. Gently fold in the feta. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours.
- Toss before serving. Adjust seasoning as needed, and add olive oil if too much of the dressing has been absorbed. Enjoy!
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Pasta Salad Recipes are the epitome of warm weather gatherings! With so many flavors and textures, it can be difficult to choose a favorite. Luckily, it isn’t hard to find the perfect pasta salad recipe for any occasion. Here are some of my favorites.
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- Pasta Salad With Italian Dressing
- Antipasto Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
This Greek pasta salad recipe is one of my all-time favorites. It’s wholesome, refreshing and super simple to make! I love that it incorporates so many beautiful textures into a deep, complex flavor profile that tap dances on your tongue. Greek pasta salad is a non-cream based cold pasta salad that can host a gathering or polish up any meal. You don’t want to miss this one!