Mediterranean Pasta Salad

A simple Mediterranean Pasta Salad that’s perfect for lunches, summer picnics, BBQ’s,  backyard get-togethers, and easy dinners.

Mediterranean pasta salad in a bowl

I love making pasta salads during the summer months. They’re packed with mouthwatering flavors, tantalizing textures, and they are really easy to put together.

This Mediterranean pasta salad is loaded with fresh arugula, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and fresh chopped parsley.

The homemade Italian dressing is a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, minced garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil. Super simple, fresh, flavorful,  and it takes a couple of minutes to put together!  Layer all of the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Give it a shake and you’ll have the perfectly blended dressing!

How do you make a cold pasta salad?

The recipe is pretty straightforward. You start off by cooking the pasta, and while that is cooking, chop up the vegetables and prepare the dressing.

Then, combine the cooked and cooled pasta with the other ingredients, add the dressing, toss, and serve.

hands holding a bowl of Mediterranean pasta salad

Tips to make a perfect pasta salad:

Pasta → Use whatever short pasta you like best (such as penne, shells, farfalle, rotini, or wagon wheels). You can also use two different shapes as long as they have the same cooking time,  gluten-free pasta, whole wheat or orzo.

I prefer pasta with lots of ridges and texture as it allows for the dressing to coat it better and get into all the nooks and crannies.

Don’t overcook it! → It is important to not overcook the pasta or the salad will be mushy. Cook it 1 minute less than the package instructions.

Rinse it → Cook the pasta, drain it, and rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Toss it → Toss the pasta with about one-third of the dressing while it’s still warm, and add the remainder before serving. This keeps the pasta from sticking together.

Add your favorites → This Mediterranean pasta salad is easily customizable. I’ve used arugula because I love the spicy, peppery flavor but any greens will work.

Mozzarella balls or shaved parmesan would also be delicious instead of feta cheese. You may also choose to leave the cheese out entirely to keep this recipe dairy-free and vegan.

Add some grilled chicken to make it even more hearty and filling!  Other fun add-ins could include cucumbers, capers, chickpeas, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes…whatever sounds good. The options are endless here!

Pasta salad in a wooden bowl

Can I make this Mediterranean Pasta Salad ahead of time?

This pasta salad is great served at room temperature or cold. It can be made in advance and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Just make sure you add the feta cheese, arugula, and the remaining dressing right before serving for a fresh and delicious salad.

If you are looking for an easy pasta salad recipe, I think you are going to love this! It’s flavorful, simple, quick, satisfying, perfect for warmer weather and a real crowd pleaser!

a bowl of Mediterranean pasta salad

If you make this salad and love it, please leave a comment and rating! I love hearing from you.

For more pasta salads, check out my Summer Pesto Pasta Salad, and Easy Greek Pasta Salad

Mediterranean pasta salad in a bowl
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5 from 1 vote
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Prep Time:
15 mins
 
Author: Elena
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Servings:4

A simple Mediterranean Pasta Salad that’s perfect for lunches, summer picnics, BBQ’s, backyard get-togethers, and easy dinners.

Ingredients
For the pasta salad:
  • 1/2 lb. (225 grams) dry pasta any small shape will do, I used fusilli
  • 2 cups (40 grams) fresh arugula
  • 1/2 cup (95 grams) jarred marinated artichoke hearts drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (55 grams) sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (65grams) kalamata olives roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) crumbled feta cheese I used reduced fat
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) roasted red bell peppers drained and sliced
  • 1/4 cup (5 grams) chopped fresh parsley
For the Italian dressing:
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
Instructions
Pasta salad:
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. (I cook it one minute less). Drain and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking process. 

    Toss it with 1/3 of the Italian dressing and set aside to cool. 

Italian dressing:
  1. In a mason jar, combine the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, water, garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, salt.  Place the lid on the mason jar and shake to combine.


Assembly:
  1. In a large serving bowl combine the prepared pasta, arugula, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, red bell peppers, and parsley. Pour the remaining dressing and toss gently until all of the ingredients are evenly coated.


    Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. 

  2. You can serve the Mediterranean pasta salad at room temperature or chilled.

Notes

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side.

Nutrition Information
Amount per serving (1portion) — Calories: 440, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 1031mg, Carbohydrates: 49g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 10g

Did you make this recipe?

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A simple Mediterranean Pasta Salad loaded with fresh arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, chopped parsley, and tossed in a homemade Italian dressing! Perfect for lunches, summer picnics, BBQ’s,  backyard get-togethers, and easy dinners. #pastasalad #summer #mediterranean #lunch #dinner #easyrecipe #potluck #simplerecipe #recipe #pasta #salad

4 comments on “Mediterranean Pasta Salad”

  1. Salad looks refreshing. Must try it! Perfect for summer gatherings.

  2. Yum! I think this will be my dinner tonight, looks delicious.

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