This Greek pasta salad with feta is a perfect side dish for picnics and barbecues and makes a great tasting lunch, too!
I’m going salad crazy lately. I eat a salad almost every day for lunch and I love to mix it up. I’m not too picky about what I call a “salad” either. If it has veggies in it, hey, I say it’s a salad.
I made this salad for a BBQ we attended Memorial Day weekend. It was at Ben’s good friend’s house – he recently got married and is expecting a baby. Lots to celebrate! His wife’s name is Rachel so clearly he chose well.
Of course, I couldn’t show up empty handed. Well, I’m a mom, so I’m never really empty handed, but you know what I mean. I asked what I could bring and I was secretly hoping he would say a salad so I could create this pasta salad that I’ve been dreaming up in my mind. And sure enough, he said a salad sounded perfect – hooray!
About This Pasta Salad
This Greek pasta salad with feta is a spin off from my Greek chopped salad, another favorite of mine. (Both of these salads would benefit from kalamata olives – I’m just personally not a fan.)
The dressing is a simple vinaigrette that is good on almost any type of salad. It’s really easy – red wine vinegar, olive oil (use good stuff!) and lots of oregano. Of course, add salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind that feta adds saltiness as well.
Canned garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) contribute protein and a chewy textural element.
Another great thing about this Greek pasta salad with feta is that it isn’t mayo-based. You don’t have to worry quite as much about it spoiling if it sets out at room temperature. And that’s always a plus at picnics.
According to Wikipedia, a traditional Greek salad (horiatiki) consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, a slice of feta cheese, and kalamata olives, with a simple dressing of olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Red wine vinegar is commonly used in Greek cuisine as well.
It all depends on how the salad is prepared. The pasta in this recipe adds carbs but other than that, it’s a healthy salad with only 308 calories per serving. For a lower carb salad, try my Greek chopped salad. It’s pretty much the same salad, without pasta.
more pasta salads
Craving pasta salads? I’ve got you covered! Here’s a few for you to try:
- Caprese Pasta Salad — with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil
- Grilled Ratatouille Pasta Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Orzo Salad Recipe with Yogurt Dill Dressing
- Creamy Southwestern Orzo Salad (always a hit at potlucks)
- Bruschetta Orzo Pasta Salad (with video!)
- Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Herbed Israeli Couscous Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
- Summer Pasta Salad
- Asparagus and Arugula Pasta Salad from Gimme Some Oven
- 1 box (16 oz.) rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 1/2 large red onion, diced (see note)
- 1 English cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 10 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1 (16-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, combine cooled pasta, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and beans.
- To a small jar or bowl, add vinegar, olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper. Cover and shake until combined, or whisk if in a bowl.
- Pour dressing over salad and stir until everything is well combined. Keep in fridge until ready to serve, up to a day. Stir again just prior to serving.
- If desired, soak chopped onion in ice water for at least 10 minutes. This takes away the bite and makes it much more mild.
- Optional: Add kalamata olives to salad.
- If using fresh oregano, increase amount to 3 tablespoons.
- Other types of pasta may be substituted, including whole wheat and gluten-free.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.