May has been a very busy month and we’re only half way through! We’ve had end-of-the-year parties, Mother’s Day, my son’s kindergarten graduation (how is this happening already?), baby showers, bridal showers, and a host of birthday parties. At some of these events I have needed to contribute a potluck type dish and wanted to make something healthy, tasty, and pretty. This Greek pasta salad with feta cheese was just the ticket because it was flavorful, easy to prepare ahead of time, and full of bright colors. Let me show you how I made it:
The most important part of this amazing Greek pasta salad is the homemade vinaigrette! Of course you can use a cup of your favorite bottled dressing, but I prefer to make my own because it is fresher! It also doesn’t have preservatives or hidden ingredients. All you have to do is mix up the following ingredients:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
You can mix them all in a bowl with a small whisk or pour all the ingredients into a salad dressing bottle and shake it up. When I want to have a lot of this dressing on hand for salads throughout the week, I make a triple batch in the dressing bottle and keep the remainder in the refrigerator.
The other main thing I love about this Greek pasta salad is all of the vibrant color! We are moving into the summer months when the fruits and vegetables are bursting with color and flavor! I mean really, can a salad get prettier than this? Just dice up the following vegetables and toss them all into a large bowl:
1 regular cucumber (I leave some of the skin on)
12 oz cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 orange bell pepper
1/2 cup red onion finely diced
Olives are another great addition to this Greek pasta salad. I left them out, however, because my family doesn’t care for them. If you want to add some, I would put in 1/2 cup of your favorite pitted olives.
Now, prepare a 16 oz box of garden rotini according to package instructions. You can also use bow tie pasta or penne, but I like the extra color and texture from the rotini. The kids really like it and call it “twirly” pasta.
Add the drained pasta to the vegetables and add 6 oz of crumbled feta cheese on top.
Mix it all together and then drizzle on the dressing you made beforehand. One cup of dressing will be plenty. Toss it all again so that every nook and cranny is covered in that tangy vinaigrette! Refrigerate the Greek pasta salad for 2 hours and toss it one more time before serving.
The flavors, crunch, and colors in this Greek pasta salad are enough for it to stand alone for a meal. Initially I served this beauty with Crockpot Baby-Back Ribs, but there were plenty of leftovers so I ate it for lunch in the following days. Another time I grilled up a bunch of 3 Ingredient Tangy Marinated Chicken and added strips of the chicken to the salad for a more robust meal. That was also a really great prepped meal for my husband’s lunches.
This is also a great recipe to bring to a potluck or backyard BBQ. I adapted the recipe from Spend With Pennies. Holly has great money-saving ideas, tips, and recipes. For more menu ideas, check out my Recipe Index or numerous Pinterest boards! Happy Cooking y’all!
Greek Pasta Salad with Feta Cheese
- For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup light olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- For the Salad:
- 16 oz garden rotini prepared according to package instructions
- 1 cucumber diced
- 12 oz cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 orange bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup red onion diced
- 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
- Optional: 1/2 cup pitted olives
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Whisk or shake together all the dressing ingredients.
- Combine the prepared pasta and diced vegetables into a large bowl. Add cheese.
- Add the dressing and toss.
- Let the pasta salad refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
- Toss once more and serve!