As far as I’m concerned, this cold salad checks all the boxes for an easy vegetarian side dish. It’s made with wholesome ingredients, a homemade dressing (again, real ingredients!), and can be enjoyed as a filling main, too. Plus, it’s the perfect combo of flavors and textures.

white bowl of bow tie pasta with mediterranean toppings

If you love cold pasta salads, be sure to check out our Zesty Italian Pasta Salad and this super simple Tuna Orzo Salad (for seafood lovers), too!

A few ingredient notes

For the sake of simplicity, I’m giving you a rundown on the four main components of this Mediterranean pasta salad, but know that making pasta salad from scratch is incredibly customizable.

Take my recommendations and adjust them to suit your taste buds and your pantry. Please be sure to see the full recipe card below for measurements.

  • Salad dressing – If you’ve made any of my salad recipes, you’ll know I’m a pretty big fan of homemade salad dressings. Nothing beats the flavor or simplicity of homemade, this Mediterranean Pasta Salad being no exception! You’ll need fresh lemon juice, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, pepper, salt, red wine vinegar, and a good extra virgin olive oil.
  • Pasta – When it comes to making a good pasta salad, opt for a short pasta shape. Dried mini farfalle or orzo pasta are my go-to choices, but you can also use rotini, fusilli, or macaroni.
  • Veggies – I like to use cucumber, bell pepper, banana peppers, and niçoise olives (or kalamata).
  • Cheese – What’s a simple Mediterranean pasta salad without tangy feta cheese? If you’re a fellow feta lover, you’ll love this Whipped Feta with Marinated Olives and my Artichoke and Arugula Flatbread. Not to mention, these recipes would pair well with this cold pasta salad!
Bowl of mini farfalle pasta next to bowls of pasta salad ingredients.

Variations and Add-ins

  • Make it dairy-free – Replace the salty feta cheese with a dairy-free, vegan feta or simply omit it entirely.
  • Add protein – If you’re planning on serving this Mediterranean pasta salad as a main meal, bulk it up by adding drained and rinsed chickpeas, or cubed, grilled chicken for non-vegetarians.
  • Use roasted bell peppers – If you prefer a stronger flavor, replace the red bell pepper with roasted peppers or even sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Add greens – Fold in some fresh arugula. The peppery flavor profile will pair perfectly with the Mediterranean flavors.
  • Add fresh tomatoes – halved cherry or grape tomatoes are delicious and juicy!
  • Use mild olives – Sub in black olives for a more mild flavor.
  • Add additional veggies and herbs – The best part about making pasta salad is you have full liberty to use your favorite ingredients and adjust to taste. Try red onion, artichoke hearts, fresh basil, or any of your desired salad ingredients.

How to Make Mediterranean Pasta Salad

If you’ve made my Zesty Italian Pasta Salad or are simply a professional when it comes to classic pasta salad, you already know the drill. We’ll start by making the dressing, then cook the pasta, and toss it all together with the prepped veggies and herbs.

Make the Dressing

In a bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the fresh lemon juice, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk or shake vigorously until well combined.

Taste, and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

Cook the pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. It should be cooked through and have a bite, yet not be mushy.

Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water to stop the cooking and lower the temperature.


While the pasta cooks, prepare the fresh veggies, shallot, garlic, feta, and niçoise olives and add them to a large serving bowl.

Once the cooked pasta has cooled, toss it in with the veggies and drizzle the dressing over top. Toss together until well combined, then serve immediately at room temperature or place in the fridge to chill and serve cold.

Serving Ideas

There are a couple of different routes you can choose to go down when it comes to serving this Mediterranean Pasta Salad.

First and foremost, it’s a potluck favorite. If you’re looking for additional side dishes perfect for your picnic table and summer parties, you’ll love this refreshing 15-Minute Melon Salad with Feta, a classic take on a favorite Herb and Leek Potato Salad, and this craveable Vegetarian Layered Taco Dip.

If you’re planning on serving this pasta salad as a quick and easy lunch, pair it with a Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus Wrap and these 3-Ingredient Energy Bites for a well-rounded meal.

Finally, if you’re hosting friends and family and want to serve the ultimate Mediterranean meal, this Vegetarian Mezze Platter paired with these Cumin Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Sauce and a Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza are sure to please everyone!

Hand scooping pasta salad

Can I Make Pasta Salad Ahead of Time?

Yes, absolutely! This pasta salad can be prepped up to 24 hours in advance of serving. And as an added bonus, while it marinates overnight, the pasta salad will absorb all of those delicious flavors in the homemade dressing and yield an even better-tasting side dish.

When ready to serve, if you’ve found that the pasta has absorbed a majority of the dressing ingredients, drizzle the pasta salad with a little olive oil before serving.

mediterranean pasta salad in white bowl with forks

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

mediterranean pasta salad in white bowl with forks
5 (3 ratings)

Get the Recipe 15-Minute Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Add a little flavor to your life and make this Mediterranean Pasta Salad! Fresh vegetables, tender pasta, and creamy feta tossed in a tangy homemade dressing. It's the perfect 15-minute side dish to enjoy all summer long.


Greek Dressing:

Pasta Salad



  • In a jar with a lid (or a bowl) combine the dressing ingredients. Shake to combine, or whisk together if using a bowl. Taste test and adjust salt/pepper as needed.
    2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, ~1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ~1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta as directed on the package, making sure they are al dente when done. Drain and rinse with cold water.
    12 ounces dried mini farfalle pasta
  • While the pasta cooks, prepare the veggies and add them to a large mixing bowl. Once the pasta is rinsed and cool, add it to the bowl. Drizzle on the dressing and toss to coat completely.
    1 medium cucumber, 1 red bell pepper, 1/3 cup jarred banana peppers, 1 medium shallot bulb, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles, 1/2 cup fresh parsley, 1/2 cup niçoise or kalamata olives*
  • Serve immediately or place in the fridge to cool. It is better the longer it sits to marinade (if left overnight, add an extra drizzle of olive oil before serving).


  • Olives: use black olives for a milder taste.
  • Store leftovers an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. The pasta will absorb the dressing, so you may want to add more or a drizzle of olive oil before eating it, the longer it is stored.
Calories: 363kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 522mg, Potassium: 320mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1203IU, Vitamin C: 42mg, Calcium: 102mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!