Fill your fork with an incredibly tasty salad that combines pasta with fresh, crisp vegetables and a light vinaigrette straight from the Mediterranean! This zesty salad will be a perfect addition to a summer BBQ, your work potluck or at dinner on the table.
We're on a roll with pasta salads. 'Tis the season! Pasta salads are the perfect dishes to bring to summer (or any-season) gatherings because they are ridiculously easy to prepare and everyone loves them. I love adding unique spins to pasta salads because the standard mayo-laden version gets a little old, am I right?
This particular version involves a Mediterranean flare. It is fresh, crunchy, zesty and totally delicious. Make this recipe for your next party and you'll be the star of the show!
WATCH THIS QUICK VIDEO TO SEE HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN SALAD!
HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD
This perfect pasta salad is great for summer and a light healthy option for dinner!
Cook the pasta (preferred: 16-oz. package of Farfalle) in boiling water until al dente (according to package instructions). drain and rinse with cold water. Add to a large mixing bowl along with cucumber, tomatoes, olives, cheese and onion.
In a small bowl combine the vinegar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Pour over the contents in the bowl and toss to combine. Mix well, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.
RECIPE TIPS: MAKE THIS THE BEST PASTA SALAD AT THE PARTY!
Throwing some leftover rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken into the salad really makes it a one-pot meal but still simple and quick without turning on your oven. Chopped salami would add amazing flavor, as well!
If you love switching up the pasta shapes for a fresh spin, try making your next salad with penne, cavatappi or even shells.
Other complementary optional add-ins to this salad would be: sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, avocado pieces or chopped green olives would be a great addition, too.
A note about the dressing ingredients: The balsamic vinegar is tasty mixed with the red wine vinegar but if you prefer to lighten the tint of the dressing, you can sub in white vinegar.
Use an English cucumber or a regular cucumber but I prefer using English cucumbers in salads because they contain fewer seeds, tend to be more firm and crunchy and keep their shape better. They also tend to be less bitter than their counterpart. Whatever you have on hand will work, especially if you enjoy growing your own cukes in the garden.
Consider adding red pepper flakes for an extra bit of spice!
Serve this salad at room temperature or chilled, just out of the fridge. Both options are delicious!
THE SCOOP ABOUT KALAMATA OLIVES
You may or not be a fan of green olives (I love them!) but kalamata olives are those big purple, meaty olives that hail from a town called Kalamata in Greece! They have a great texture and are delicious in salads and many other foods but you can just pop them in your mouth to enjoy them! They are often packed into olive oil or a wine vinegar which help them travel to us here in the US.
Kalamata olives boast some health benefits, too, which is great for finding another reason to keep them on hand. The olives offer a good fat for your body, because the mono saturated fat helps reduce your cholesterol and reduce your chance of a heart attack.
OTHER GREAT PASTA SALAD RECIPES
Pasta salads are the best kinds of recipes to bring to any type of gathering because they get DEVOURED. Here are a handful of other pasta salad faves!
Best Ever Pasta Salad -This is my favorite pasta salad recipe of ALL TIME. It is packed full of delicious bites (think olives, salami, chunks of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes!) and it is the perfect food to bring to potlucks. There’s a zesty Italian dressing that brings it all together for a perfect salad that can also act as lunch or even dinner!
Taco Ranch Pasta Salad - Having a pasta salad that shares the crunchy wonderful zingy flavors of a taco dinner is great for potlucks and summer BBQs! You can cater this salad to your liking, but make sure to chop up some tomatoes and black olives. The trademark crunchy smashed Doritos on top makes it super popular!
Caprese Pasta Salad - Caprese Pasta Salad is a huge hit at parties! Serve this delicious dish as a side, salad or appetizer. The combination of tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and basil is absolute perfection!
Black Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad - A unique twist on that plain ol' pasta salad! So good with flavor-packed sun-dried tomatoes that give this salad its signature flavor. Also, protein-filled black beans and delicious twisted elbows. If you’re a fan of Feta cheese and delicious capers, then this will be the perfect salad for you!
Easy Classic Macaroni Salad - Macaroni Salad is creamy, crunchy, filling and totally delicious! We’ve got hard-boiled eggs, crunchy celery and dill pickles all mixed in. You’ll enjoy the diced red onions and the flavor of the simple dressing made with mayo, mustard and apple cider vinegar!