Mediterranean Pasta Salad with juicy tomatoes and cucumbers, along with salty olives, red onion, tender pasta, and spinach, are tossed together with creamy feta cheese in a homemade dressing for a crave-able salad that’s so easy to make! It’s a perfect side dish to serve any time of the year and makes a terrific main dish meal.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad is a fan favorite around here with tons of 5-star reviews, and for good reason! It pairs fresh veggies with a flavor-packed Greek salad dressing and perfectly cooked pasta.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Mediterranean Pasta Salad?
- It’s packed with big flavor from salty olives, creamy feta, and juicy vegetables with the perfect mix of tangy fresh flavors.
- It can be served paired with protein, or you can make a large batch to enjoy for lunch all week.
- It’s tossed in homemade Greek salad dressing which takes this salad to the next level.
- This is the best pasta salad, and it doesn’t begin to compare to the ones from Costco or Sam’s Club, especially when you learn how easy it is to make!
Mediterranean Salad Ingredients
- Cooked Pasta: I like to use short-cut pasta like rotini, farfalle, or penne. You can use gluten-free pasta as well.
- Tomatoes: Use cherry tomatoes for this salad for optimum sweetness.
- Cucumbers: Any style of cucumber will work – English, standard, or mini.
- Olives: I like to use a combination of black and green pitted olives because they each have different flavor profiles. Kalamata olives are milder, while green olives are tangier.
- Red Onion: Red onion adds a sweet bite and crunch to the salad.
- Baby Spinach: Baby spinach keeps it bite-sized without adding any more work. If you use full-size spinach, be sure to chop it smaller.
- Feta Cheese: Crumbled feta adds a salty and creamy element. Feel free to use a block of feta that you crumble or pre-crumbled feta. Goat cheese would also be good in this salad, but it’s not as salty, so you will need to adjust the seasoning.
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad Dressing: I use my Greek Salad Dressing recipe, which is good as a vinaigrette and as a marinade.
How To Tone Down Red Onions
To tone down the intensity of red onion, slice it and soak it in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry before using.
How To Make The Best Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe
- Add the pasta to a large pot of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, spinach, and olives to a large bowl. Drizzle on about ½ cup of Greek Salad Dressing and toss all ingredients. Add feta cheese and more dressing, plus salt and pepper if desired, and toss until just combined. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Greek Salad Dressing Ingredients and Instructions
- Add extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar (fresh lemon juice can be used,) minced garlic cloves, Dijon mustard, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, and fresh cracked pepper to a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Shake to combine, then drizzle over the cold pasta salad.
Success Tips For The Best Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta until al dente. You don’t want soggy, overcooked pasta in your salad.
- Be sure to run the pasta under cold water to stop it from cooking and cool it down fast.
- I like to cut the veggies into bite-size pieces. I do the same with the olives, but you could leave them whole if you are in a hurry.
- Feel free to substitute some of your favorite ingredients. If you are not a fan of something, leave it out. You could change out the spinach for arugula or romaine lettuce. Toss in some salami or pepperoni for an added Mediterranean vibe. Add in red bell pepper or chopped zucchini for crunch.
Commonly Asked Questions
Yes, this is an excellent recipe to make ahead of time. The flavors seem to get better the more it marinades in the dressing! Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days before serving. Let it come to room temperature before serving.
Yes, any pasta can be used, but I recommend a short pasta because it’s easier to eat with everything else. Some examples are macaroni or orzo.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Toss before serving since some of the dressing may have settled on the bottom of the container.
What To Serve With Cold Mediterranean Pasta Salad
As far as side salads go, this pasta salad is perfect to serve with Oven Fried Chicken, Roasted Pork Tenderloin or Crock Pot Beef Roast. This salad makes a great soup and salad combo with Roasted Cabbage Soup and Parmesan Cheese Straws. And for lunch, I don’t think it gets any better than pasta salad with feta and a slice of Sausage Cheese Bread.
More Pasta Salad Recipes You’ll Love
If you tried this Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe or any other recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. Thanks!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces pasta
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1 cup sliced and quartered cucumbers
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ½ cup sliced pitted green olives
- ½ cup sliced pitted black olives
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ to ¾ cup Homemade Greek Salad Dressing
Greek Salad Dressing
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 large clove minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- To a pot of salted boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, spinach, and olives to a large bowl. Drizzle on about ½ cup of Greek Salad Dressing and toss all ingredients. Add feta cheese and more dressing plus salt and pepper if desired and toss until just combined. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Greek Salad Dressing
- Add all ingredients to a bowl or a jar with a lid and whisk/shake until blended.
- This is an excellent recipe to make ahead of time. The flavors seem to get better the more it marinades in the dressing! Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days before serving. Let it come to room temperature before serving.
- Store any pasta salad in an airtight in the fridge for up to three days. For the best flavor, let the salad come to room temperature and toss before serving.