Greek Pasta Salad is so easy to prepare and is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients, like feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, and olives.

This refreshing and flavorful salad comes together in just 20 minutes, making it perfect for last-minute gatherings, summer picnics, barbecues, potlucks, or as a quick lunch option throughout the week.

Close up hands holding a bowl of Greek pasta salad.

If you enjoy my Mediterranean pasta salad or summer pasta salad, you’ll love this Greek pasta salad recipe too! It’s light yet filling, with a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

The best part? Besides the pasta, there’s no need for any cooking, making it ideal for those days when you want to avoid heating up your kitchen.

Serve it as a side dish with pita bread for dipping, or add some breaded chicken breast or garlic shrimp to make it a complete meal. You can also prepare it entirely ahead of time for stress-free entertaining and prep.

Why you’ll love this pasta salad recipe

  • Quick and easy: With pantry staples and minimal prep, you’ll have a delicious Greek pasta salad ready in no time.
  • Versatile: customize the recipe to your taste by adding or removing ingredients for a unique version.
  • Great for meal prep: this vegetarian pasta salad keeps well in the fridge for a few days, making it a convenient choice for make-ahead lunches.
  • Perfect for any occasion: easily prepare this crowd-pleasing salad in large quantities for gatherings or picnics.

Ingredients & substitutions

Pasta salad ingredients on a marble table.

Here are some helpful notes about the key ingredients for this cold pasta dish:

  • Pasta: fusilli is my choice, but you can use penne, rotini, ziti, small shells, casarecce, orecchiette, elbow macaroni, penne rigate (ridged penne), or farfalle (bow tie).
  • Tomatoes: ripe cherry or grape tomatoes are perfect for their sweetness and juiciness.
  • Cucumber: opt for Persian cucumbers for their thin skin and minimal seeds.
  • Olives: pitted Kalamata olives add a fantastic Mediterranean touch. You can also use black olives.
  • Bell pepper: while green bell peppers are traditional, red, yellow, or orange work too.
  • Feta cheese: cut it into 1/2-inch cubes or crumble it. Crumbled goat cheese is a delightful alternative.
  • Red onion: to reduce sharpness, soak the thinly sliced red onion in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain.

See the recipe card below for a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions.

Greek salad dressing

Greek salad dressing ingredients on a marble table.

The dressing for this Greek pasta salad is a blend of:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Although store-bought Greek vinaigrette may seem tempting, this homemade dressing is truly worth the extra effort. Its bright and tangy flavor perfectly complements the fresh ingredients in the salad. You can prepare it in advance and store it in the fridge for up to a week in a covered glass jar.

How to make this easy Greek pasta salad

  • Boil the pasta: in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse under cold water, and toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Prepare the veggies: while the pasta is cooking, slice the red onion, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and green bell pepper. Crumble or cube the feta cheese.
  • Make the dressing: in a mason jar, shake together all the dressing ingredients and refrigerate until needed.
  • Combine everything: in a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta, sliced veggies, olives, and feta cheese. Drizzle with the dressing and toss. Finish with a sprinkle of oregano.
  • Chill and serve: for the best flavor, refrigerate this cold salad for 30 minutes before serving. It’s also delicious right away.

Recipe variations

Adjust the recipe to your taste. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Pasta: try using tortellini, orzo, quinoa, or couscous instead of pasta.
  • Veggies: add more veggies like artichoke hearts, spinach, corn, asparagus, zucchini, or avocado.
  • Add protein: make it a complete meal by adding rotisserie chicken, grilled shrimp, tuna, or even sliced steak. If you want to keep it vegetarian, try out cubed firm tofu, black beans, chickpeas, or kidney beans.
  • Aromatics: add a burst of flavor with chopped fresh herbs like basil, fresh oregano, thyme, or parsley.
  • Make it vegan: just omit the feta cheese without any substitutions.
  • Make it gluten-free: swap the whole wheat pasta for an alternative flour, like chickpea, lentil, quinoa, or brown rice pasta.

Tips for success

  1. Use high-quality ingredients to make the best-tasting salad possible.
  2. Choose the right pasta shape: short pasta shapes with plenty of nooks and crannies are perfect for pasta salad. Avoid using fresh pasta, which doesn’t hold up quite as well, and long-shaped pasta like linguine and spaghetti.
  3. Flavor the pasta by seasoning the water with salt. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 liter of water (4 cups) for every 100 grams (3.5 oz) of dry pasta and 10 grams (1 1/4 teaspoon) of salt for every 100 grams (1/2 cup) of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil, add the salt, wait for the water to come back to a boil, and then add the dry pasta.
  4. Cook the pasta until al dente; don’t overcook the noodles, or they will become mushy. Check the cooking time on the box.
  5. Allow the pasta to cool completely before adding the toppings. This will prevent the other ingredients from cooking or wilting.
  6. If time permits, chill the pasta for 30 minutes before serving. This will help the flavors meld together.

Storage and make-ahead

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep some extra dressing on the side to add when serving.

Make-ahead: prepare the pasta and vegetables a day ahead and store them separately in the fridge. You can also make the dressing up to a week in advance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you rinse pasta for pasta salad?

Yes, I recommend rinsing the pasta for two reasons: to stop the cooking process and to remove some of the starches so the pasta doesn’t stick together as it cools.

Is Greek pasta salad served warm or cold?

It’s a personal preference, but it’s typically served cold.

What do you serve with pasta salad?

Grilled meats, soups, sandwiches, wraps, or panini are great options.

Can you freeze pasta salad?

Freezing is not recommended as it may result in a mushy texture and flavor loss.

A bowl of Greek pasta salad.

Have you tried this easy pasta salad with feta yet? Share your feedback, variations, or any questions you have in the comments below. We’re here to help!

How To Make It: Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

(5 stars) 48 ratings
This easy Greek pasta salad is packed with Mediterranean flavors and healthy ingredients. Tossed in a homemade vinaigrette, it's perfect as a side dish for dinner, a make-ahead lunch, or a crowd-pleaser at summer picnics and BBQs.

Ingredients

For the pasta salad

  • ½ lb (230 g) dry pasta I used fusilli
  • a drizzle of olive oil to toss the pasta
  • 1 cup (150 g) grape or cherry tomatoes sliced into halves or quarters
  • 1 cup (120 g) sliced Persian cucumbers
  • 1 green bell pepper seeds and ribs removed, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced then rinsed to remove harsh bite 
  • ⅓ cup (65 g) pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 oz. (85 g) feta cheese crumbled or cut into ½-inch cubes

For the Greek vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup (55 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano more for sprinkling
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Cook the pasta

  • In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions.
    Drain the pasta and rinse it under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Then toss it with a little bit of olive oil. Set it aside and let it cool.

Prepare the dressing+veggies

  • While the pasta boils, slice the red onion, cucumber, and green bell pepper; halve the cherry tomatoes; and crumble or cube the feta.
    Shake all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine all the ingredients

  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to mix.
  • Finish with a sprinkle of oregano. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Notes

  • Nutrition: 1 portion is equivalent to 200 grams (1 cup).
  • Pasta: you can use any short-shaped pasta or try tortellini, orzo, quinoa, or couscous.
  • Red onion: soak in cold or ice water for 10 minutes to reduce the bite.
  • Make it vegan: omit the feta cheese to make this recipe vegan-friendly.
  • Make it gluten-free: swap the whole wheat pasta for an alternative flour, like chickpea, lentil, quinoa, or brown rice pasta.
  • Add protein: make it a complete meal by adding rotisserie chicken, grilled shrimp, tuna, sliced steak, cubed firm tofu, black beans, chickpeas, or kidney beans.
  • Leftovers: store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before serving, taste and season again if needed.
  • Make ahead: dressing can be made up to 1 week in advance. Prep pasta and veggies a day before and store them separately.
  • Scaling the recipe: simply adjust the number of servings in the recipe card to double or triple the recipe. The ingredient amounts will adjust accordingly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 portion, Calories: 307 kcal, Carbohydrates: 32.3 g, Protein: 8.4 g, Fat: 16.1 g, Saturated Fat: 1.3 g, Sodium: 289.2 mg, Fiber: 2.8 g, Sugar: 1.7 g
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