Greek Pasta Salad

by Jamie on July 1, 2011

Post image for Greek Pasta Salad

If you follow my nonsense on Facebook, you may have caught my post this morning asking which recipe you’d like to see tonight. The choices were this Greek Pasta Salad or a Ricotta Cheesecake.

I sat back and started to write the post for the Ricotta Cheesecake because I figured that would be the hands-down winner. By the time I got back from lunch, the verdict was in and for the first time in my life – I was wrong. Okay, I’m exaggerating…it’s more like the fifth time.

Clearly, you guys are looking for a simple and delicious recipe for the 4th of July weekend. If that’s the case, never fear…I’ve got you covered with this flavorful Greek Pasta Salad recipe.

The ingredient list may seem a little bit long, but the beauty about pasta salad recipes is that you can totally adapt them to meet your taste or the ingredients that you have on hand. And if you have a garden, you’re golden because it’s full of fresh vegetables.

The true star of this pasta salad is the incredible homemade Greek salad dressing that pulls all of the flavors together to create what is in my opinion, the best pasta salad you’ll ever eat. Definitely make it the night before you are going to serve it because it just gets better when the flavors have time to develop!

I hope this Greek Pasta Salad recipe is a last minute addition to your 4th of July barbeque. If you’re a cheesecake lover, I’ll be posting the Ricotta Cheesecake recipe tomorrow afternoon.

Come join The Salad Social at TidyMom sponsored by The International Olive Council’s Add Some Life

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Greek Pasta Salad

July 1st, 2011

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

For the Dressing

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 Za'atar*
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

For the Salad

1 pound rotini pasta cooked according to package directions
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half (you can also sub in grape tomatoes)
1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Kalamata olives
1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 7-ounce pepperoni stick, sliced

Directions:

1. In a a large Mason jar or other sealable container, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, Za'atar black pepper, and sugar. Shake well to combine.

2. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, green onions, olives, feta cheese and pepperoni.

3. Separate and reserve ½ cup of dressing in the refrigerator.

4. Toss the pasta salad with the rest of the dressing until evenly coated. Cover, and chill overnight.

5. Right before serving, freshen the salad with the reserved dressing, tossing to coat.

Notes:

- Pasta salad is best made the night before it is served. Reserve about ½ cup of dressing in the refrigerator and freshen the salad before serving.
- This Greek Pasta Salad recipe is totally customizable. If you aren’t a fan of something on the ingredient list, substitute it with another vegetable. I have added mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and banana peppers to this recipe with great results.
- I highly recommend finding Za'atar. It’s such a great spice (a blend of sumac, sesame seeds and herbs) to have on hand. I love the brand Urban Accents because it’s flavorful and readily available at my local market.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Blog is the New Black July 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Looks beautiful! I am making something similar soon, I may change my recipe a bit to use some inspiration from yours. Looks delish!

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avatar Shawn July 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I was so happy to see this won that I think I squealed! I love the idea of ricotta cheesecake but not in this heat..so THANK YOU!
PS
Being wrong builds character, I should know..I have lots of it!

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avatar Jamie July 1, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Shawn–
Ha! I am wrong more times than I care to admit! So I’m thinking, I have a lot of character as well! :)
–Jamie

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avatar Hannah at FleurDeLicious July 1, 2011 at 9:46 pm

YUM. I love Za’atar. I like to brush pita or flatbread with olive oil, sprinkle on some za’atar, and grill it up….such a great blend of flavors. This sounds like such a fantastic, easy, flavorful recipe! I’ll have to include it in my 4th of July menu!

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avatar Katie | GoodLife Eats July 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm

This looks so refreshing for summer!

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avatar Rachel July 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm

So excited to try this recipe!

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avatar Mellie July 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm

This looks awesome! I’ve never tried Za’atar

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avatar Ann July 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Nicely done – it looks delicious! I wouldn’t think of you as wrong so much as….flexible!

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avatar Tabitha July 2, 2011 at 12:31 am

This looks so delightful! Sadly, I’m deathly allergic to sesame. So, what would you recommend I use in place of the Za’atar?

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avatar Glory/ Glorious Treats July 2, 2011 at 12:32 am

Yum, this looks like a perfect lunch to me!! Just perfect for summer!

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avatar Sarah @ pão e queijo July 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

I’m glad the greek pasta salad won- this looks amazing! I’m drooling over the photo right now!

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avatar Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen July 2, 2011 at 3:30 am

Love that vinaigrette! The addition of Za’atar is one I have yet to try.

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avatar Karinvd July 2, 2011 at 4:09 am

Great looking salad and I love those forks! I never saw forks like that. Are they antique?

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avatar Maris(In Good Taste) July 2, 2011 at 4:25 am

I think the right guy won for this holiday weekend! Beautiful healthy salad! I will look forward to the ricotta cheesecake soon. By the way, love the fork!

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avatar Lillebi July 2, 2011 at 6:34 am

Oh yes, I know what you mean. Sometimes I blog a very simple recipe don’t expect anyone to comment and suddenly get the greatest response.

Anyway, this greek pasta salad looks amazing! I also made a colourful pasta salad a few days ago and I think you can never have enough recipes. :-)

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avatar Vimitha July 2, 2011 at 9:41 am

Gorgeous and colorful salad… Loved the dressing…

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avatar Margaret July 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm

There is nothing better than a cooled pasta salad for any day in the summer. This ones looks delicious.

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avatar Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking July 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

What a wonderful dinner on a hot summer’s day! Love anything Greek!

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avatar Savorique July 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

This is a very nice, simple, refreshing salad recipe, so suitable for the season, but we also look forward to the ricotta cheesecake recipe soon! Cheese cakes made of ricotta are amazing, less creamy, thicker and with no “dairy” aftertaste. Can’t wait for both the recipe and the beautiful pics.

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avatar Marya July 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

THANKS for thinking of us CHEESECAKE LOVERS and posting that recipe tomorrow!

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avatar sweetsugarbelle July 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

On my list along with the mini bundts. Beautiful. Stumbled!

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Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies July 3, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Mmmmmmm. That is all.

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avatar Maureen July 4, 2011 at 3:33 am

Now this is my kind of salad. I could eat this non-stop and your photos are fantastic! They make me hungry right this minute.

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avatar Tracy July 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

What a lovely variation on traditional pasta salad!

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avatar Lenore July 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I love pasta salad of any kind, and this looks so yummy. It looks like it’d be great for a picnic.

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avatar Megan July 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm

You have inspired me to make pasta salad this week! Love the look of this!

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avatar Julie August 15, 2011 at 11:44 am

Please give us a substitute for the Za’tar seasoning !! I forgot to post this before now……and am making the Greek Pasta Salad right now !!!!
I want to order some Za’tar, just haven’t done it.
Thanks !!

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avatar Jamie August 15, 2011 at 11:55 am

Julie-
Za’atar is generally prepared using ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, or some combination thereof, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, and salt. You can use Oregano, Basil and a little Thyme or Italian Seasoning. Just gradually add it to taste.
-Jamie

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avatar Charlotte Ferreux October 13, 2011 at 12:00 am

I love this recipe and blog…I posted it on my community foodie blog. Hope you can come check it out http://www.facebook.com/thefrenchiefoodie

Also, feel free to post you’re recipes or you’re favourite foodie tips on it whenever you like!

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avatar Jill October 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I am so excited for this recipe! I have been trying to search for this recipe for so long. I made it for a home ec. project in high school and loved it but didn’t keep the recipe so I am so excited!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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avatar Tumtum October 22, 2011 at 1:09 am

This looks and sounds so delicious. I just had a very delicious bowl of pasta salad yesterday at bonni ruths and wanted to try making one my own. I cannot wait to try your recipe. Thank you!

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avatar Rickie May 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I cannot tolerate feta. What might you suggest as a substitute?

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avatar Jenn May 26, 2012 at 11:39 am

Looking forward to trying this, he homemade greek dressing got me! Don’t have Za’atar, but will substitute as you stated above with a little added lemon zest too.

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avatar Lynn J May 27, 2012 at 1:19 am

This looks so good! I would still love the cheesecake recipe too. I will be trying the salad this weekend. Thanks!

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avatar ERC June 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Great Recipe.
One of my favorites.
Another item that I add in mine that adds a unique texture and flavor and I think marries well is some chopped walnuts. It sounds like an odd pairing, but trust me it works.

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avatar Kristie June 9, 2012 at 10:58 am

What cheese can you use to replace the feta cheese? Not a big feta or blue cheese fan.

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avatar Jamie June 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

Kristie-
I think you could add in little cubes of cheddar, mozzarella or pepperjack! Any of those would be just delicious. Thanks for stopping by.
-Jamie

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