This Greek pasta salad starts with a homemade red wine vinaigrette and adds classic Greek ingredients for a perfect potluck side dish.
Back when I was working full time, I used to leave work at 4:30 and have NO IDEA what I was serving for dinner. I also had no food in the house. So I would go to the grocery store deli counter, thinking I was being thrifty doing that instead of getting take out.
I would then proceed to spend an absurd amount of money on a Greek pasta salad just like this one.
After I started trying to make things from scratch as much as possible, a copycat recipe of that yummy side dish was in order. The hardest thing to get right was the dressing, which took a few tries. But this homemade pasta salad dressing is amazing! It is loaded with Mediterranean seasoning, (including home dried basil), and has plenty of red vinegar and salt and pepper for lots of flavor.
This also makes an easy side dish for a home dinner, but it makes a lot. I would recommend cutting the recipe in half unless it’s for a party.
Step by step Greek pasta salad:
Start by cooking the pasta so you can rinse it in cold water and let it cool. I like to use small penne, which is often labeled “mini penne” or “mezze penne” at the grocery store, but any smallish shape will work.
Pasta for pasta salad should be cooked either al dente or 1 minute longer. Undercooked will not be good.
Then we will make the dressing. Combine all the seasoning and the oil in a small bowl and whisk them. Then add the red wine vinegar while whisking quickly. (By the way, the dressing is good on a regular salad as well!)
The rest of the recipe is just mixing up the remaining ingredients, and covering and chilling the pasta salad. If you are missing one of the fresh vegetables, it’s not a big deal, just use what you have!
Here’s the recipe!
Greek Pasta Salad
For the dressing:
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 ½ t. garlic powder
- 2 ½ t. dried oregano
- 2 ½ t. dried basil
- 2 t. salt
- 2. t. black pepper
- 2 t. onion powder
- 2 t. dijon mustard
- ¾ cup red wine vinegar
To assemble the pasta salad:
- 1 box of mini penne pasta may be labeled “mezze penne”
- 1 can of black olives
- 1 green pepper finely sliced
- 1 small red onion finely sliced
- 6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup diced cucumber
- ½ cup diced tomato
- Cook the pasta to al dente in boiling, lightly salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing EXCEPT the red wine vinegar. In a small bowl whisk until combined. Add the vinegar last, while whisking until emsulfied.
- In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta and dressing together, then add the green pepper, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
- Cover and chill at least four hours. Serve cold. Best served the day it is made, but keeps well for 3 days in the refrigerator.
Looking for more summer party recipes?
- You can’t go wrong with a cool and creamy Key Lime pie with meringue topping.
- Burgers on the grill are extra special with homemade brioche burger buns.
- For another easy summer side dish, try a simple coleslaw dressing you can make ahead of time.