The weather is warmer, your schedule is busy, and that calls for a quick, no-fuss, cold lunch. This Greek pasta salad stores well (in fact, the flavors are enhanced after some time in the fridge) so you can make it early in the week and portion out the leftovers for an easy grab-and-go meal. Adjust the veggies and flavors to your liking and enjoy this easy lunch favorite!
For the vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the salad
- 12 ounces spiral pasta; cooked and drained
- 3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup sliced pitted black or Greek olives (optional)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, gather and prepare vegetables.
- Put vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- In a separate large bowl, combine cooked pasta, vegetables, feta cheese, and vinaigrette.
- Add in olives, if using.
- Dig in! Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Roxana W. is a fourth-year nutrition student at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.
“The Greek pasta salad makes for a colorful, tasty plate. Its nutrient density makes it not only a great side dish, but also a complete main entrée for lunch or dinner. While preparing this recipe, I realized how the high volume of veggies makes it an easy and delicious way to get those precious veggies that many of us may fall short on. Leftovers taste even better, so preparing the full recipe and saving it for the remainder of the week is a good idea.
Total cost, including proportional costs of oil and balsamic vinegar, is about $12.00. Considering the 3:2 ratio of veggies to pasta, the six pasta servings give about 1.2 cups of precious veggies for only $2.00 per serving.
The Greek pasta salad is very easy to prepare. You need a couple salad bowls, a cutting board, a chopping knife, a measuring cup, and a measuring spoon. Once the pasta is cooked, the rest of the pasta salad doesn’t require cooking. Plus, the recipe can be prepared in advance (e.g., over the weekend) to have healthy food available for the rest of the week.
I found the Greek pasta salad yummy! I am definitely going to incorporate it into a meal plan this semester. I will be making a change though. I found the salad dressing too watery, so I dissolved a teaspoon of cornstarch into the mix, which made it creamier and helped it stick to the pasta and veggies. The combination of the balsamic vinaigrette with the feta cheese, garlic, red onions, and olives not only gave this salad its pretty unique flavor, but also adds key vitamins and minerals to improve our health.
Recipe inspired by https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/spring-greek-pasta-salad/