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Easy Greek Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing

Easy Greek Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing is made with fresh ingredients including tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, olives and feta cheese. It can be made in minutes and is best made ahead!

Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Greek
Keyword pasta salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
cool time for pasta 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb small- shell shaped pasta
  • 1 cup diced celery or green or red pepper
  • 1 14-15 oz can small or medium pitted black or green olives drained
  • 1 medium cucumber seeded and diced, about 2 cups chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 3 medium diced tomatoes seeded and chopped OR 8 oz grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8-10 oz. crumbled feta (also reserve some for topping salad)

Dressing:

  • 1 1/4 cup prepared "Zesty Italian" bottled dressing
  • 1/2 cup mayo, regular or light
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • OR to make homemade dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3-1/2* cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mayo or plain unsweetened Greek yogurt I prefer yogurt
  • 1 clove minced garlic about 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dry parsley or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, taking care to not overcook. Rinse with cold water and drain well.
  2. Add celery (or peppers), olives, cucumber, green onions, and tomatoes to pasta in large bowl. Set aside 1/2 to 1 cup of this mixture for topping salad.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. If using bottled dressing, whisk dressing, mayo, oregano and pepper. If homemade, place all ingredients in a jar or deep bowl or blender. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to mix dressing. Set in fridge until ready to use.

  4. Fold dressing and cheeses into pasta and vegetable mixture.

  5. Add tomatoes, folding in gently.

  6. Sprinkle reserved feta and a few reserved vegetables on top of salad before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • I use a portion of the dressing on the salad when tossing with vegetables and cheeses. If I serve it right away, I drizzle more on top after arranging. If I wait to serve it later in the day or the next day, I toss again with more dressing before serving and serve any remaining dressing on the side. 
  • When making the dressing, I start out with 1/3 cup of vinegar. If the dressing seems a little heavy, add another few tablespoons of white balsamic to the dressing and blend. You may also thin the dressing with a bit of cold water.