Here is a recipe for Greek Pasta Salad that is the perfect make-ahead pasta salad for summertime picnics, bbqs, potlucks and easy summer dinners. A hearty ratio of fresh vine ripe veggies and herbs combined with tender orzo pasta, and chickpeas tossed in the tastiest Greek Salad Dressing!
If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it. ~ Toni Morrison
Summer is picking up the pace as it does here in the San Juan Islands of the PNW. Sometimes I feel like the sunny season is almost over, when truly it really is just beginning. There is a frenzied palpable energy of not wanting to miss out on any of the summer goodness! The warm season is short here. And there is so much to do! I am reminding myself that whatever I get to experience will be enough. There is a perfect amount of time to soak up summer. It gives me a sense of ease to say that. I am choosing (hopefully I will remember to remind myself often) to just flow with it all and revel in the beauty of the simple things.
Which brings us to picnics, and bbq’s, and potlucks! Such a gift to share time and meals with our community again. I am always looking for good potluck dishes to share at gatherings. This Greek Pasta Salad is a great one to include in the potluck repertoire!
Greek Pasta Salad is filled with lots of fresh crunchy veggies and zesty herbs with just enough pasta to complement and soak up the delicious Greek Salad Dressing. I love how orzo pasta doesn’t take up a lot of space in the salad. It just adds to it without stealing the show. You can add feta or keep it vegan.
Many things to love about this Greek Pasta Salad!
- The ingredients are easily obtained and it is fairly quick to make!
- It can be made ahead of time.
- It is packed with summer seasonal veggies.
- It is so deliciously good and will satisfy most palates.
- It is perfect for sharing!
Greek Pasta Salad Ingredients:
- orzo pasta
- red onion
- red bell pepper (or 1/2 red, 1/2 green)
- fresh oregano
- kalamata olives
- cherry tomatoes
- fresh parsley (optional basil and mint)
- feta cheese (sheep’s feta is the best!), optional
How to make Greek Pasta Salad
Step 1: Get the pasta cooking
Orzo takes about 6 minutes in boiling water. Salting the cooking water will heighten the flavor immensely!
Step 2: Make the dressing
We make the Greek Salad Dressing right off the bat. Using dried oregano gives a more zesty punch to the dressing.
Greek Salad Dressing Ingredients:
This is a great dressing to double-up on. You’ll be happy to see it in your fridge. It is so very versatile! Not only great for pasta salads, but also perfect for green and vegetable salads and as a marinade for chicken. It keeps for at least 2 weeks refrigerated.
Step 3: Chop the veggies
We marinate the diced onions in the vinaigrette first to mellow them and follow with the veggies as we chop them. Bell peppers, chickpeas and olives all get a jump on soaking up flavor from the dressing before adding the pasta.
Step 4: Mix it all together
Add in cooked orzo pasta, more dressing and cubed feta cheese (if using). Mix to combine.
Step 5: Adjust flavor
Taste and adjust flavor adding more dressing, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon if needed.
Add fresh basil and mint just before serving.
Hope you enjoy this delicious Greek Pasta Salad!
Other summer salads you may enjoy!
- Classic Greek Salad
- Summer Pasta Salad with Cilantro Pesto
- Lemon Basil Orzo Salad
- Farmers Market Pasta Salad
- Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad (Balela Salad)
- Mediterranean Farro Salad w/ Marinated Zucchini and Chickpeas
- Lemony Chickpea Quinoa Salad
This healthy Greek Pasta Salad is the perfect make-ahead pasta salad for summertime picnics, BBQs, potlucks, and easy dinners. A hearty ratio of fresh veggies combined with tender orzo pasta, chickpeas tossed in the tastiest Greek salad dressing.
Greek Pasta Salad
- 1 1/2 cups, 9-10 oz, orzo pasta
- 1/4 red onion, about 1/3 cup, diced small
- 1 red bell pepper (or 1/2 red, 1/2 green), chopped small
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 15 oz can chickpeas, 1 1/2 cups, drained
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 2 cups thin skinned cucumber, chopped small
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup basil and/or mint for garnish if desired
- 6–8 oz feta cheese (sheep’s feta is the best!), optional
Greek Salad Dressing:
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions in salted water. Drain and rinse with cool water and set aside.
- Make the dressing by whisking together red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking all the while to emulsify.
- Add diced red onions and a 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette to a large bowl. Allowing them to marinate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Add bell peppers next along with oregano, chickpeas, and kalamata olives.
- Add cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley. Toss altogether. Add in cooked orzo pasta, 1/4 cup more of dressing and cubed feta cheese (if using). Gently mix.
- Taste and adjust flavor adding more dressing, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon if needed.
Toss with basil and mint just before serving.
Add red pepper flakes if desired.
Salad will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
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