I promise this Mediterranean pasta salad will be your go to side dish recipe this summer. It is loaded full of veggies, salty feta, and is lightly dressed in a simple homemade Greek dressing.
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Pasta salads are one of my favorite recipes to make in the summertime and this Mediterranean pasta salad is sure to be a hit with my family this year.
We all love the fresh vegetables in this pasta salad, including cherry tomatoes, spinach, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and pickled red onions. No one can resist the salty, crumbly feta cheese, either.
What’s different about this Mediterranean pasta salad is you won’t find any cucumbers here. I find them to be too crunchy to pair well with the other ingredients, I promise you won’t even miss them.
This Mediterranean pasta salad is tossed in an easy seven ingredient Greek salad dressing that is worth the little bit of extra effort. This dressing packs a zesty punch with the vinegar to olive oil ratio (the best way to do it, in my opinion) but the pasta salad is lightly dressed, so it doesn’t taste or feel oily.
This Mediterranean pasta salad is the perfect dish to bring to summer parties and BBQs. The best part is, it can be made ahead of time, and often times tastes better that way!
Pasta: go for a short grain pasta with lots of nooks and crannies to catch all that delicious dressing, such as rotini, fusilli or cavatappi.
Cherry tomatoes: I love the burst of juicy, fresh flavor tomatoes add to this pasta salad, We’ll cut them in half for easier eating.
Kalamata olives: I like to rinse the kalamata olives so they don’t add to much of a briny flavor to this dish. I also slice these in half for better distribution.
Artichoke hearts: I like to finely chop the artichoke hearts so you don’t get big chunks in some bites and no artichoke hearts in others.
Pickled onions: pickled onions are less harsh than raw onion, so they blend into this pasta salad better. See my pickled onions recipe here.
Feta cheese: I love the salty, tangy flavor feta adds to this pasta salad.
Spinach: I recommend baby spinach.
Homemade Greek dressing: good quality olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallot, honey, dijon mustard, oregano, salt and pepper.
Liquid measuring cup or small bowl and mini whisk
OR mason jar with lid
Cutting board and knife
Measuring cups and spoons
Large serving bowl(I also love these bowls that come with lids for easy transporting)
In a liquid measuring cup, small mixing bowl or mason jar with a lid, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced shallot, honey, dijon mustard, oregano, salt and pepper.
Use a whisk to mix the dressing or seal mason jar with lid and shake to combine ingredients.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Strain water and pour pasta into the serving bowl.
To the pasta, add cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, pickled onions, feta cheese, spinach and homemade dressing.
Tip: toss the pasta with dressing while the pasta is still warm. This allows the pasta soak up the dressing better.
Toss so everything is evenly coated in the dressing.
What to Serve with Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Can I make this Mediterranean pasta salad ahead of time?
Yes, in fact, it is usually better the next day after the flavors have time to meld. Just give everything a good toss to redistribute the dressing before serving.
How do I store Mediterranean pasta salad?
This past salad can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Substitutions and Variations
Pickled onions: if you don’t have pickled onions readily available, you can use thinly sliced raw onion. Just soak the sliced onion in water for 5 minutes before adding to the pasta salad to remove some of the harsh onion bite.
Kalamata olives: If you don’t like kalamata olives, you can use black or green olives.
Dressing: for a fast and easy alternative to the dressing portion of this recipe, use 1 cup of bottled Greek salad dressing.
Gluten free: use a gluten free pasta, such as Banza pasta or the gluten free pasta from Trader Joe’s.
Vegan: use vegan feta in place of the regular feta and maple syrup in place of the honey in the dressing.
Protein: add chicken, shrimp, tuna or chickpeas to add protein and make this pasta salad a full meal.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Summer Orzo Salad with Shrimp and Pesto
- Southwest Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant
If you make this Mediterranean Pasta Salad, be sure to leave a comment below and rate this recipe! If you snap a pic, be sure to tag me on Instagram @thechowdown! I love seeing your creations!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- 1 lb short grain pasta such as rotini, fusilli or cavatappi
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives halved
- 6.5 oz jar artichoke hearts finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pickled onions
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 4 oz feta cheese
Homemade Greek dressing
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp finely minced shallots
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a liquid measuring cup, small mixing bowl or mason jar with a lid, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced shallot, honey, dijon mustard, oregano, salt and pepper. Use a whisk to mix the dressing or seal mason jar with lid and shake to combine ingredients.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Strain water and pour the warm pasta into the serving bowl.
- To the pasta, add cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, pickled onions, feta cheese, spinach and homemade dressing. Toss so everything is evenly coated in the dressing.