Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
325 Calories
11g Fat
47g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 325
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 206mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 9mg 43%
Calcium 87mg 7%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 297mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pasta salad is a summer staple at barbecues and cookouts. Part starchy side dish, part vegetable salad, it goes with just about any grilled meat. What makes this one particularly well-suited for serving at outdoor gatherings, though, is that it tastes best at room temperature and usually uses an oil and vinegar or lemon juice based dressing. In contrast, mayonnaise-based dressings don't hold up in the heat. Of course, pasta salads can be served year-round as a lunch entree or dinner side dish, and the ingredients customized to suit your mood.

The ingredients you choose depend on your personal taste, what is in-season and, to some extent, the region where you live. The one notable mayonnaise-based version of pasta salad is macaroni salad which is made predominately with elbow shaped pasta and just a few additions such as small diced onions or celery. But the more elaborate, vinaigrette-based pasta salads tend to use bigger shapes of pasta and include a larger quantity of assorted vegetables and cheeses. Some options for additives can be fresh herbs, nuts, cured meats, and beans.

This recipe is bursting with the flavors of Mediterranean cuisine with the inclusion of tomatoes, fresh basil, olives, and tangy feta cheese. The lemony vinaigrette dressing also includes good extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and oregano for a distinctly savory Mediterranean flavor.

Ingredients

For the Pasta Salad:

  • 1 pound dry pasta, shape of your choice

  • 2 cups baby arugula

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced

  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives

  • 1 seedless English cucumber, sliced or diced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the Creamy Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mediterranean Pasta Salad ingredients

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

    pasta cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  3. While pasta is cooking, make vinaigrette by whisking together minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.

    whisking together minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, dried oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  4. When pasta is ready, drain and toss with half of the vinaigrette.

    pasta in a bowl, vinaigrette in a bowl

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  5. While pasta is still warm, stir in arugula, tomatoes, and red onions. They will soften and cook a bit as the pasta cools.

    Mediterranean Pasta Salad ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  6. Once cool, stir in cucumbers, olives and crumbled feta cheese. Pour on remaining dressing and serve at room temperature.

    Mediterranean Pasta Salad in a bowl

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg