This refreshingly easy and tasty cold pasta salad is full of Mediterranean-inspired flavors. It makes a wonderful lunch or dinner side dish and is always a real crowd-pleaser at gatherings.
This well-balanced recipe is perfect for when you need a quick and easy dish that is flavorful and hearty, and never boring. It’s packed with firm penne pasta, crisp greens, Feta cheese, and tangy Kalamata olives with a homemade lemon-mustard vinaigrette dressing.
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Pasta salad is very popular in the warmer, summer months. It often has a light vinaigrette dressing, rather than a thick Miracle Whip-mayo-type dressing, which makes it a great accompaniment for your backyard get-togethers.
If you are a fan of summer pasta salads, check out my Tuna Macaroni Salad, and Antipasto Pasta Salad. You won’t want to miss this Caprese Pasta Salad, which is similar to this salad but with an Italian twist.
Looking for a fun appetizer? Try these awesome Greek Salad Sticks!
Greek Penne Pasta Salad
This is a great, versatile recipe. I like making this pasta salad using whatever I am in the mood for (and according to what I have on hand), but my favorite part is that it can be made ahead of time.
Just grab it out of the fridge and you’re ready to go. Can’t beat that!
salt & pepper
Pasta – Use whichever medium-sized pasta you prefer. Besides penne, bowtie pasta is another popular choice.
Veggies – If you like a bit of a crunch to your salad, add in some cucumbers and red onions. They will keep the Mediterranean-inspired flavor.
Protein – Easily turn this Greek pasta salad into a main dish by adding some grilled chicken or shrimp.
The vinaigrette is so simple to make. In a small glass bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, and there you have it! So easy and so delicious. You can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you are ready to use it if you want.
Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the penne, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
In a large salad bowl, combine your cherry or grape tomatoes, arugula, basil, and Kalamata olives. Stir in the cold pasta, Parmesan, and Feta cheeses. Drizzle with 3-4 tablespoons of your homemade vinaigrette, season with salt & pepper, and toss to combine everything.
Don’t forget this robust Greek pasta salad can be served as a hearty side dish or as a satisfying main course with the addition of grilled chicken or sautéed fish.
Want to try a fresh new side dish? Give my Green Apple Couscous Salad a try, it is delicious!
Greek Pasta Salad
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp garlic finely minced
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- salt & pepper
- 16 oz penne pasta uncooked
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup basil leaves thinly sliced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- ⅓ cup Kalamata olives chopped
- 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
- 3 oz Feta cheese chopped
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- As pasta is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously until emulsified. Set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, combine tomatoes, arugula, basil, and Kalamata olives. Stir in the cold pasta, Parmesan, and Feta cheeses.
- Drizzle with 3-4 tablespoons of vinaigrette, season with salt & pepper, and toss to combine.
- Serve garnished with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.