Greek Pasta Salad – A Couple Cooks


This Greek pasta salad recipe is fresh and crowd pleasing! It’s easy to whip up and great for picnics, cookouts, lunches, and more.

Greek Pasta Salad

Here’s our go-to when it comes to pasta salad: this Greek Pasta Salad! This one pairs Mediterranean-style flavors with chewy bowtie pasta for a zingy, fresh combination that can’t be beat. Juicy cherry tomatoes contrast cool cucumber, salty olives, and savory feta cheese, with generous handfuls of parsley, dill, and a Greek-style vinaigrette dressing. It’s ultra satisfying and works for just about any occasion: picnics, cookouts, pitch-ins, barbecues, or even for healthy lunches throughout the week. Come experience the magic!

Ingredients in Greek pasta salad

While pasta itself is Italian, the concept of pasta salad is an American invention. One of the first mentions in print is a macaroni salad recipe published in 1914, though the concept came to full popularity in the 1980’s. The most common style of American pasta salad is Italian: the kind with olives, mozzarella and an Italian-style dressing. Greek pasta salad is again thoroughly American, but features Greek-style flavors like tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta cheese and dill. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for a Greek pasta salad recipe:

  • Bowties (farfalle) or other short-cut pasta (see below)
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red bell pepper
  • Shallot
  • Fresh parsley and fresh dill
  • Kalamata olives (optional, especially for kids with sensitive palates)
  • Feta cheese
  • Greek-style dressing (see below)
Greek Pasta Salad

For the dressing

The dressing for this Greek salad is quick and simple to mix up, using lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dried herbs and olive oil. It’s a smaller quantity than for many pasta salads, but the flavor really pops! You can use a store-bought dressing if you’re running low on time, but we suggest the homemade version if possible.

  • Use both dried oregano and dried dill. You might be tempted to omit dried dill since there is also fresh in the salad, but it’s essential to the flavor here!
  • Substitute ½ cup purchased Greek vinaigrette dressing if you’re in a rush. Look for the best quality dressing you can find: the flavor varies greatly based on brand. Paying a few extra dollars is worth it for flavor.
Greek Pasta Salad

Use any type of short cut pasta

This Greek pasta salad is ideal with bowtie pasta or farfalle, but you can use other pasta shapes too! We like how farfalle combines with the ingredients and the way this shape soaks up the dressing. Keep in mind: the surface area of each pasta shape is different. In our testing, we found that 1 pound of bowties feels like less quantity of pasta than 1 pound of spirals. That said: here are a few pasta shapes that work well in a Greek pasta salad recipe:

  • Bowties (farfalle): our favorite!
  • Spirals (fusilli)
  • Penne
  • Shells (conchiglie)
  • Orecchiette
  • Gemelli
  • Gigli

Make ahead and storage for Greek pasta salad

This Greek pasta salad is ideal for making ahead for a cookout or barbecue. In fact, we’ve made it up to 2 days in advance of a party and refrigerated until serving. Here’s what to know about this salad:

  • Greek pasta salad lasts for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. It’s ideal for making ahead or healthy lunches throughout the week.
  • After refrigeration, make sure to refresh the flavors. Bring the salad to room temperature. Then stir in a drizzle of olive oil and a bit more crumbled feta cheese. You may or may not need an extra pinch of salt.
Greek Pasta Salad

Keep in mind the serving size

This Greek pasta salad makes a big batch: 10 to 12 side dish servings or about 8 lunch-sized servings. It lasts for 5 days refrigerated. If you don’t think you’ll eat it all in 5 days, you may want to consider making a half batch. It’s easy to make half!

Serving Greek pasta salad

This recipe goes with just about anything: especially in the summer! Here are a few ways to serve it:

More summer salad recipes

Salads are king in the summer! Here are a few more great summer salads to enjoy:

This Greek pasta salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, omit the feta and add more salt to taste.


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This Greek pasta salad recipe is fresh and crowd pleasing! It’s easy to whip up and great for picnics, cookouts, lunches, and more.

  • 1 pound bowtie pasta (farfalle)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced into half moons (2 cups)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano and dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half (optional)
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and run cool water over it until it’s room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the cucumber and tomatoes, dice the bell pepper and thinly slice the shallot. Chop the fresh herbs.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, dill, and kosher salt. Then whisk in the olive oil.
  4. Once the pasta is done, add it to the large bowl of dressing and toss with the chopped vegetables. Add the olives, feta cheese and fresh ground black pepper and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt to taste if necessary. Serve immediately. Stores up to 5 days refrigerated (leftovers taste great; allow to come to room temperature and add a swirl more olive oil or a bit more cheese or salt as necessary).

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Greek pasta salad, Greek pasta salad recipe


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