Greek Pasta Salad
2013 – Gluten Free Living
This Greek Pasta Salad is one of my favorites. I’ve made it so many times for potlucks or when bringing meals to others. I have to admit Greek or Mediterranean salads are a few of our favorites. We love the combination of olive oil dressings and all the veggies we adore from the Mediterranean-style diet. Black olives, diced bell peppers in assorted colors, diced red onion, lots of tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, feta cheese, pepperoni and pasta–oh my, what’s not to like in this fantastic combination?
Last summer I saw a picture of this fantastic looking Greek Pasta Salad from Christina at Sweet Peas Kitchen. It’s taken me awhile to get around to making it but I am so glad I did. This salad went way beyond my expectations. It was outstanding.
In fact, I liked it so much I’m going to put this on my regular menu. I salivated over every bite and that’s saying something. Granted, I eat a LOT of salads but the flavors of this dressing were extraordinary. I added a few things to the recipe and especially the addition of chopped avocado was wonderful. Pepperocinis, capers, artichoke hearts, canned mushrooms, corn cobettes, or hearts of palm are also great additions that would enhance an already fantastic salad.
Her source for this Greek Pasta Salad was My Baking Addiction. Both blogs are excellent and worthy of checking out sometime. I am truly grateful for each of them sharing this awesome recipe.
I used gluten free pasta noodles in this recipe so for those of you with gluten intolerance here’s a recipe you can enjoy without repercussions from eating a wheat-based pasta. I would recommend, however, that you stay away from corn-based pastas and instead look for pastas made with a blend of different grains. Ronzoni has a fabulous GF pasta these days.
If you’re looking for a deliciously tasty way to get your kids to eat their vegetables or you’re trying to use up some of your garden produce, consider trying this amazing Greek Pasta Salad recipe. This spectacular salad is great for your company menu, too. Take this along to holiday potlucks and you will be lucky if you escape with any leftovers.
The flavors in this salad permeate and infuse the veggies if you allow it to refrigerate for a few hours before serving it. But even if you serve it right away it still tastes amazing!
I originally published this post in March of 2013. I’ve made this recipe several times since then. This is one I make frequently for people who are moving. Everybody just seems to enjoy it so much. I’ve used both gluten free noodles and regular wheat pasta.
I’ve used regular pepperoni and turkey pepperoni for those who’ve been allergic to pork. I decided to go ahead and refresh the pictures (May 2014) when I made a batch of this last week because my first ones were a little blurry. These pictures use turkey pepperoni and regular wheat pasta, but certainly this recipe works well with gluten free pasta as long as you don’t use any made strictly from corn.
This recipe continues to increase in popularity with our family every time I make it! I hope you’ll give it a try soon.
I recently remade this recipe (July 2017) again for our church’s Friday night care group in our home. It is such a terrific recipe. This recipe makes a lot! So unless you plan to take it to a potluck or for company, you may have to cut down the ingredients somewhat. It will last a day or two in the refrigerator although you will probably have to freshen the avocados.
Greek Pasta Salad is a colorful and festive salad and one of the few “to die for” recipes in my opinion.
This salad has so many health benefits from all the delicious veggies that go into it. Nowadays you can use gluten free pasta and pepperoni that doesn’t have nitrates or other preservatives to keep it a little cleaner.
Greek Pasta Salad also has a wonderful homemade dressing that transforms this salad from great into spectacular!
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients for the salad. I’ve used regular and gluten free pastas and regular or turkey pepperoni. Both turn out exceptionally well.
I used gluten free noodles. It is imperative for this recipe that you don’t over cook the noodles. Only cook until al dente. (Ronzoni makes a terrific gluten free pasta these days).
Cook pasta according to package directions (al dente). I ran cold water over the pasta after I cooked it to st0p the enzyme process and so the noodles would not continue cooking. Place drained noodles in bowl.
Dice yellow, orange and red bell pepper. Cut cucumber in fourths, then slice down. Slice sunburst cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and zeema sweet orange grape tomatoes. Dice red onion. Add sliced kalamata olives and miniature or regular pepperoni. Add to bowl with cooked pasta.
Stir ingredients lightly to combine.
I used these ingredients for the salad dressing.
Whisk ingredients to combine.
Add part of the salad dressing and part of the Feta cheese.
Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Before serving the salad, chop avocado and swish the pieces in lemon juice to help prevent discoloration. Add remaining feta cheese and remaining salad dressing on top of the salad.
Greek Pasta Salad turned out to be one of my favorite all-time salads. I could eat a bowl of this every week! It was spectacular!
Greek Pasta Salad is one of the BEST pasta salad recipes you’ll ever eat! The flavors of the salad dressing permeated all the ingredients quite powerfully. Truly, this ranks as one of the best tasting salads I’ve had….and I really like salad!
Here’s the recipe.
GREEK PASTA SALAD
- 16-oz. whole grain rotini pasta or gluten free pasta cooked according to package directions
- ½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ pint yellow sunburst cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ pint zeema sweet tomatoes (orange), cut in half
- 1 large cucumber, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 2 avocados, cubed
- 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, cut in half
- 2 cups crumbled feta cheese, divided
- 1 (6-ounce) package of sliced pepperoni, cut in half (or turkey pepperoni)
- lemon juice
- In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, olives, diced red onions, 1½ cups of feta cheese and pepperoni.
- Reserve ½ cup of dressing and place in the refrigerator.
- Toss the pasta salad with the rest of the dressing until evenly coated.
- Cover, and chill overnight.
- Right before serving, chop avocado and swish in a shallow bowl of lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
- Add avocado to salad with the reserved dressing and remaining ½ cup of feta cheese, tossing to coat.
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons basil dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- In a two-cup measuring cup, add olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and sugar.
- Whisk well to combine.
- Set aside 1/2 cup.
- Pour remaining dressing over salad and refrigerate.
- Add remaining 1/2 cup salad dressing, feta cheese, and avocados to salad before serving salad.
Greek Pasta Salad is a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies!
Don’t forget to add the reserved salad dressing and 1/2 cup of Feta cheese before serving. Stir to combine. This is the perfect salad to serve company at potlucks, family reunions, backyard barbecues or any summer holiday function.
To make a healthier version of this recipe use gluten free noodles and turkey pepperoni. Greek Pasta Salad is beautiful in appearance too. Certainly elegant enough for company dinners.