Greek Pasta Salad
Greek Pasta Salad Ingredients

Crisp peppers, artichoke hearts and tri-color rotini

Greek Pasta Salad IngredientsWe have been making this pasta salad for years now and we hope you will like it as much as we do. It’s basically completely delicious, and that’s about all that needs to be said about it (not that that’s all I’m going to say though). There are some variations we have made over the years, including Greek pasta salad with whole Kalamata olives, chicken and red onions. That has also turned out to be a favorite as well. We will post the recipes for those later as time permits. But if you absolutely love crumbled feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil, and Kalamata olives then you are in for a real treat. I, speaking for myself now, forget just how much I truly enjoy this recipe and I kick myself for not making it more often. The contrasting colors of the rotini and the peppers bring out the unique visual appeal of this dish, while the saltiness of the feta cheese blends perfectly with the artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and Kalamata olives.

The great thing about this salad…is pretty much everything. Crunchy slices of green and yellow peppers (or even orange or red if you prefer) give this pasta salad the contrasting texture that lands this side dish squarely on the top as one of my favorite dishes. That’s actually a little misleading because I don’t really know how many dishes are on my favorite list, probably because there are a lot of them. Plus, I never really sat down to figure it out. Anyway, all I know is I really enjoy all of the ingredients that make up this great dish. And for those of you who are looking for healthier alternatives, this recipe is perfect because it has a lot of healthy ingredients in it to begin with. But you could swap out the tri-color rotini with whole wheat ones, use low fat feta instead of the full fat variety, and use a non-fat vinaigrette or non-fat Italian dressing just as easily. That should help make this dish quite healthy indeed. Oh, and one more thing. If you are trying to got out as much fat as possible, you can substitute the oil packed sun-dried tomatoes with plain old dried tomato pieces that have been reconstituted in hot water. Less fat that way and tastes just fine, although the last time I heard, olive oil was good for us.

Greek Pasta Salad Ingredients

As per my usual hangup, I can’t seem to cook for less than 8 people, and this recipe is no different. Be prepared for a lot of pasta salad. I would say this recipe makes enough food for at least 10 – 12 people, or two days max at our house. Ridiculous yes, tasty most definitely. Just ask my wife, she can vouch for my inability to understand proper portion control. This side dish just begs to be coupled with an entree such as a chicken Caesar salad (another one of my favorites, especially if there is plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice) and a side of crispy, chewy French bread. Or you could opt for soup in place of the salad if you prefer. Not that anyone asked, but I have yet to find a recipe for soup that really excited me. I’m not sure why, but I think I should change that and do my homework because I know there are plenty of awesome soup recipes to be made.

A couple words of wisdom before you dive head first into this delicious maelstrom of tastiness; don’t cut the peppers too thick or you will overpower the other flavors in the dish. Liking bell peppers is one thing, but make sure you think about your guests and what they might like, if you are planning to serve it to them. It’s up to you how you cut them, but a good rule of thumb is slicing them about one inch long by a quarter inch wide. If you are like me, make sure you buy extra olives and feta cheese because somehow they seem to mysteriously disappear. It certainly couldn’t be me “sampling” the ingredients, pretending to be on taste patrol duty. I know I’m not the only one.

Another thing that needs to be avoided if at all possible is overcooked noodles. If they cook too long, they are going to start falling apart when you run cold water over them. If that happens, it’s a good indication that they won’t hold up very well when you mix all the ingredients together at the end. We want it just a little past al dente. After about 12 minutes in the water, you could start tasting a noodle by stabbing it with a fork and running it under some cold water to cool it down and stop the cooking process. If it is still too chewy, give it another minute or two and then try again. You don’t have to do this, but it might help if you are unfamiliar with cooking noodles. And if that is the case, you should head over to this page: Should Salt or Oil be Added When Cooking Pasta? It has some good information about what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to cooking your pasta. The recipe doesn’t call for adding salt to the water before you boil your rotini, but again, that’s totally your call. I personally don’t do it, because I feel the other ingredients bring more than enough flavor to the dish already.

Something else to consider is that this dish tastes even better the next day after giving it some time for the flavors to fully meld together in the refrigerator. You might consider preparing the pasta salad the day before, if you are planning on serving this to guests, but that is totally optional because you can’t go wrong either way. And please, please make sure you purchase regular crumbled feta cheese. Last time that I was at the store, I just happened to be perusing the cheese section when I noticed one particular brand that was on sale. It was a really great price except all the regular feta must have been sold out, because all that was left was feta with some sort of so called Mediterranean herbs. Big mistake. Later that evening Vanessa and I gave it a try and the only thing I can say is that I will never be buying that again. Ever. If I had casually tossed that into the Greek pasta salad without thinking, it would have thoroughly destroyed the dish. I would be forced to wear a dunce cap and sit in the corner in a time out to think about what I had done. At least our son Nathan liked it so it wasn’t a total waste of money.

Purple onions go great in this dish as well, but they are totally optional. In fact, I will post a different variety of Greek pasta salad – hopefully soon – that features purple onions without some of the other ingredients found in this recipe. It’s kind of a simpler version but very tasty in its own right. If you choose to add onions to your pasta salad, I would recommend keeping the slices smaller than the peppers, or at least thinner. Usually I don’t add onions to this particular recipe, simply because I don’t feel it needs it.

To sum it all up, this is a simple and straightforward dish that brings all kinds of great stuff to the table. In fact, cooking the noodles might be what takes the longest when preparing this dish. If you are handy at slicing vegetables, you could throw the noodles in the boiling water, give them a good stir and get everything else chopped, sliced, and in the bowl eagerly awaiting the arrival of the rotini. Then it’s just a matter of throwing in the Italian dressing (or vinaigrette), stirring it all together and topping it off with a little dried parsley. Or if you want to get even fancier you could use a bit of freshly chopped parsley.

That’s going to wrap it up for now. Let us know what you think about this pasta salad and what, if anything you would change about it. We want to hear back from everyone. Unless you’re mean and don’t have anything better to do than make negative remarks to us or anyone else, then of course we really don’t want to hear from you.

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: 10-12


  • 3 cups tri-color rotini
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 1 medium yellow, red, or orange pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz) drained and quartered artichoke hearts
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced purple onion (optional)
  • 2/3 cup pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • dash of black pepper
  • fresh chopped parsley (optional)


  1. Bring a generous amount of water to a boil in a large cooking pot and add the tri-color rotini, making sure to stir the noodles right after adding them to the water. Let them boil for 16-18 minutes or until the noodles are done but aren’t so soft that they begin falling apart. This is important.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, get the vegetables prepared by slicing up the peppers, Kalamata olives, and purple onion if you plan on adding it to the pasta salad. You can add the quartered artichoke hearts as is, but I have found it best to chop them up some before throwing them in the bowl. The same goes for the sun-dried tomatoes. Slice them into sections before measuring them out to 1/2 cup.
  3. As soon as the rotini is finished boiling, drain the water from the pot and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the noodles from cooking any longer. Once the noodles have cooled down, drain again.
  4. Combine the noodles and the rest of the ingredients except the parsley in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Top with some freshly chopped parsley if you want.

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