This easy Greek bowtie pasta salad recipe with feta, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, and more, is everything a pasta salad should be. This Mediterranean pasta salad is light, flavorful, and full of ingredients you’ll love, and is perfect for a potluck, picnic, or party!
Originally published Feb. 19, 2017. Updated May 18, 2019.
I’m a sucker for pasta of all sorts, especially a good pasta salad recipe. I love making a big batch and eating it cold or at room temperature for lunch all week. It’s such a great and easy way to meld all your favorite flavors together!
And there are sooo many ways to make a pasta salad better than that horrible deli kind that is drowning in overly-sweet Italian dressing and filled with celery. You know what I’m talking about.
That’s why I love this Mediterranean pasta salad with Greek dressing, feta cheese, kalamata olives, pepperoncinis, and roasted red peppers. It’s lightly dressed but super flavorful. Plus, it’s a great way to load up on all my favorite antipasto-type ingredients and call it a meal.
Let me tell you a little story. One time the department downstairs from my office brought in a bunch of food for someone’s birthday, and when they were done they brought the rest up to the break room for everyone to enjoy.
I saw a delicious looking pasta salad with feta cheese, kalamata olives, and some other tasty-looking ingredients and went straight for that one first, putting a big pile on my plate. It reminded me of the easy Greek pasta salad recipe I liked to make! And it was delicious.
Later I found out it had been brought in by my coworker who frequently cooks from my blog, and it WAS my Greek bowtie pasta salad recipe! Turns out he and his family had incorporated it into their weekly dinner rotation!
Just give this Mediterranean pasta salad with Greek dressing a shot and it will be one of your favorites too!
Can I make this pasta salad the night before?
I find in many pasta salads that after sitting overnight, the flavor has absorbed and is gone forever, (my brother-in-law refers to pasta as a “flavor eraser”) but this Greek pasta salad recipe is just as flavorful the next day.
It’s kind of addictive actually. I had to test the leftovers the next morning to see how it held up overnight and I couldn’t stop eating the noodles with my fingers.
If you do make this the day before a potluck or something, I would recommend adding the tomatoes just before serving, since they lose their firm texture overnight in the fridge, but the rest of it can be made in advance.
How long will this pasta salad last?
I would recommend eating it within 3-4 days. The only downside to eating this Greek pasta salad recipe after it spends some time in the fridge is the halved tomatoes lose their texture.
If you’re making it in advance for a specific event like a picnic, I’d recommend adding the tomatoes just before serving, but if you’re just making it to eat for lunches all week it will be fine for a few days!
What is Greek salad dressing made of?
The dressing in this Greek bowtie pasta salad makes this dish super-flavorful without being soupy.
It’s a simple vinaigrette with a base of red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Add to that tons of Greek herbs and spices like oregano, basil, freshly minced garlic, onion powder, a little dijon mustard to emulsify, and your favorite olive oil, and you’re almost there!
I like adding a little feta cheese into the dressing itself in addition to in the pasta salad because I think it makes the dressing a little creamier when you mix it well.
Don’t be shy with the herbs and spices! That’s what helps keep this pasta salad with Greek dressing from losing its flavor overnight like so many vinaigrette-based pasta salads.
There’s just enough sugar to mute the tanginess of the vinegar and lemon juice, and enough seasonings that the flavor doesn’t just disappear into the pasta.
Is this Mediterranean pasta salad good for a potluck?
Why yes, it is! First, the flavor doesn’t disappear over time and get absorbed into the pasta, so it’s just as good hours after you make it or even the next day.
A pasta salad with Greek dressing is great for a potluck or picnic since it’s tossed with a vinaigrette rather than something mayo-based. That means you don’t have to worry about mayo getting weird at room temp.
Sometimes ingredients like cucumbers will degrade overnight (especially if salted), making your pasta salad watery and unappetizing. The only ingredient in this Greek bowtie pasta salad that I’d recommend adding in later is the halved tomatoes. You can make the rest of the recipe in advance and add in the tomatoes the day you’ll be serving it!
What goes with pasta salad?
I love eating pasta salad as a side to sandwiches and burgers. It’s a great side dish for picnics and potlucks, or you can eat it as a main dish with a simple green salad on the side. Here are some suggestions of what to serve with this easy Greek pasta salad recipe!
Enjoy this Greek bowtie pasta salad with:
- Prosciutto and Brie Sandwiches with Fig Orange Spread
- Pesto Chicken Paninis with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes
- Gourmet Turkey Burgers with Hollandaise Sauce
- Grilled Balsamic Eggplant Stacks
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You can adapt this recipe to include your favorite Greek inspired ingredients. In fact, after making this, I really wished I had put in some quartered artichoke hearts, so I’m including that in the recipe notes. You can also add diced chicken if you want a heartier main dish, but we had it as is and it was great!
This Greek pasta salad is so light and springy I know it will be making a repeat appearance this year at picnics, potlucks, and parties. I think this will be a new favorite, right up there next to the sun-dried tomato pasta salad!
The BEST Easy Greek Pasta Salad Recipe!
- 1 lb bowtie pasta
- 12 oz roasted red peppers cut into 1-inch strips (about 2 whole peppers)
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives 6 oz jar
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved lengthwise
- 12 oz pepperoncinis sliced into rings, seeds removed (about 2/3 cup)
- 1 cup feta cheese crumbles 2 tbsp reserved
For the Greek dressing
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp feta cheese crumbles
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Combine ingredients from vinegar through feta cheese crumbles and mix thoroughly. I use my handheld milk frother for this but you can whisk it too. Then, while whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Alternately, combine all dressing ingredients in a jar or bottle and shake to combine.
- Combine all pasta salad ingredients in a large bowl. Top with dressing and toss to thoroughly combine.