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Whole Wheat Greek Pasta Salad

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5 from 8 votes

This 15 minute Whole Wheat Pasta Salad is so fresh, light and filled with Mediterranean flavors. Packed with flavor, zest and tossed in a lemony vinaigrette dressing. This makes a perfect side dish for any occasion, especially during the summer!

PIN this Healthy Pasta Salad recipe to try later!

Whole Wheat Greek Pasta Salad.Pin

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

This easy Whole Wheat Salad aka Mediterranean Pasta Salad is what I used to call it, is loaded with Mediterranean flavors and has the same fresh ingredients as a traditional Greek Salad in a pasta salad form. Tossed in a light and refreshing lemon vinaigrette dressing and could be served warm or cold. 

Pasta Salads are always a hit and almost always my go-to BBQ or party dishes. This makes the perfect side dish and it can be made in 15 minutes or you can also prep this dish and make it the day ahead.

The Mediterranean twist that’s added to this salad is light, refreshing, and full of crunchy vegetables. Soft and salty bursts of feta cheese crumbles are in each bite (my favorite part).

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad in a bowl.Pin

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Perfect all year round: Bring this to the next potluck, BBQ, pool parties, picnic, summer parties, or anytime you’re whole grains and fresh vegetables! 

It’s easily customizable: You can add your favorite add-ins and protein.

Make-ahead: Since this pasta salad is cold, you can make this up to 1 to 3 days ahead and it will store perfectly in the refrigerator.

Healthy: This pasta salad is loaded with whole grain pasta, healthy fats, and fresh veggies. You can feel good about eating and indulging in this dish. 🙂 

Portable: You can easily bring this dish anywhere by placing the pasta salad in a bowl covered with a tight lid or airtight container. You don’t need to worry about it staying warm or heating it up.

Spoonful of pasta salad.Pin

key ingredients

  • Fusilli whole wheat pasta: I love the shape of this spiral rotini pasta because it holds the dressing perfectly but you can use your favorite pasta for this dish. Others ideas are penne and farfalle or “bowtie pasta”.
  • Cherry tomatoes: You could also use Roma tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or tomatoes on the vine. Just be sure to chop them into bite size pieces.
  • Cucumber: I used about 3 mini cucumbers but you could also use an English cucumber as well.
  • Kalamata olives: Adds a bit of saltiness and brininess. Be sure to drain the olives. Leave them whole or slice them. Black olives could also be used instead.
  • Bell pepper: Be sure to remove the seeds. You can use any color you want, I always opt for the green ones for this recipe.
  • Feta cheese: My favorite ingredient. The soft and salty bursts of tangy feta cheese crumbles adds tons of flavor. You can also use a chunk of feta cheese and crumble it yourself. Goat cheese can be used instead. 
  • Red onion: Be sure to slice them thin so they don’t overpower the pasta salad. You could also use a mild yellow onion.
  • Dressing: You can make your own from this recipe or use store-bought dressing.
Pasta salad ingredients.Pin

HOW TO MAKE GREEK PASTA SALAD

Cook pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, add pasta and cook according to its package directions or until al dente. Once pasta is cooked, drain and let cool.

Make vinaigrette dressing: In the meantime add all of the dressing ingredients to a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined.

Toss pasta salad and enjoy: Add in the cooled pasta and the remaining pasta salad ingredients. Stir from the bottom to get all of the dressing incorporated into the pasta salad. Top with more feta cheese crumbles (optional). Let sit in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Best when enjoyed cold but you can serve this right away as well. Enjoy!

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variations

  • Gluten-free: Make this a gluten-free pasta dish by using gluten-free tortellini.
  • Add meat: Make this a main course by adding your favorite protein or top the pasta salad with grilled chicken breasts, salmon, or shrimp. I love doing this and making it one of my main courses!
  • Add-ins: Corn, green onions, artichoke hearts, avocado, white beans, pine nuts, canned green beans, spinach, and your favorite fresh herbs make great additions.
  • Add spice: Mix in red pepper flakes, your favorite hot sauce, or extra black pepper.
  • Dress it up: Instead of making your own dressing, you could use your own favorite dressing from the store. I recommend either a tangy vinaigrette or Italian dressing.
Close up view of Pasta salad.Pin

recipe tips

  • Make the night before: You can prep this pasta salad the night before if you want to save time! Just leave out the diced onions, cucumbers, feta cheese, and cherry tomatoes and add them in when ready to serve so they don’t get soggy.
  • Always salt your water: Generously salt pasta water with about 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of salt in a large pot of boiling water. I usually add 1 tablespoon of salt for every pound of pasta I boil. This will add more flavor to the tortellini.
  • Let your pasta salad rest: Once you’ve made the pasta salad, let it sit in the fridge to get cold and for the flavors to sit in- for about an hour. This will help make the tortellini salad extra flavorful and perfectly chilled.
  • Double the recipe: Since this pasta salad lasts well in the refrigerator, I always recommend doubling the recipe because it will go quickly and you could enjoy it for a snack, side dish or lunch.
  • Add olive oil: After you rinse the cooked pasta, I always recommend adding a tablespoon of olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together.
Greek salad with pasta in a bowl.Pin

what to serve with whole wheat pasta salad

Serve this as a delicious side dish with Pizza Stuffed Bell PeppersSheet-pan Chicken and VeggiesPulled Pork Sandwiches, Italian Meatloaf, or Spicy Honey Shrimp. Summer time is a perfect time to make this because it’s cold, light, and the best part is it takes minutes to make.

Two bowls filled with pasta salad.Pin

leftovers & storage

To-store: Leftover pasta salad is even better the next day because the flavors sit together making this even better tasting. Place leftovers in an airtight container or cover the dish with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 days.

To-freeze: Make the recipe as directed then place in an airtight container or heavy duty ziplock bag. Place in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, refrigerator overnight or leave out on the counter for a few hours until softened.

*If the pasta salad seems dry after sitting in the fridge or after defrosting, drizzle a little olive oil and stir until combined.

Side view of greek pasta salad.Pin

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Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

This 15 minute Whole Wheat Pasta Salad is so fresh, light and filled with Mediterranean flavors. Packed with flavor, zest and tossed in a lemony vinaigrette dressing. This makes a perfect side dish for any occasion, especially during the summer!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: whole wheat pasta salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta I use rotini (the curly kind)
  • 1 green bell pepper seeds removed, diced
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and sliced
  • 1 6 ounce container crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes quartered or sliced in half
  • 1 English cucumber or 3 mini cucumbers cut in half slices

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar you can also use balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Once the water starts to boil, add pasta and cook according to its boxed directions. Once pasta is cooked, drain and let cool.
  • In the meantime add all of the dressing ingredients to a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
  • Add in the cooled pasta and the remaining pasta salad ingredients. Stir from the bottom to get all of the dressing incorporated into the pasta salad. Top with more feta cheese crumbles (optional). Let sit in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Best when enjoyed cold but you can serve this right away as well. Enjoy!
Find Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog on Instagram!Mention @Kathryns.Kitchen.Blog or tag #kathrynskitchen!

 This recipe was last updated April 5, 2024 to include additional photos and information. Originally posted May 13, 2015 By Kathryn Donangelo.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to make this simple Greek pasta salad. Love all the vegetables, especially the feta cheese. You are right, easy to make and enjoy especially in the warmer months.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this pasta salad for a get together over the weekend and it was delicious! The perfect balance of flavors!

  3. 5 stars
    This was such a quick and easy recipe that does not disappoint! Easy, hearty and delicious; definitely, a new favorite recipe!