Mediterranean Pasta Salad is a delicious and healthy twist on a classic dish. This unique combination of traditional Tuscany ingredients combines fresh vegetables, herbs, delicious cheese, delicious pasta, and other flavors to make a delicious meal or side dish.
You can prepare it in no time from just a few common ingredients that are easy to find in the grocery store. Not only is this Mediterranean Pasta Salad delicious, but it's also incredibly healthy for you. It's packed with essential vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal health and wellness. Try out this delicious Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe today – you won't regret it!
Just how good is Mediterranean pasta salad?
Mediterranean pasta salad is the perfect summer dish! Not only it is healthy and light, but the goodness of the vegetables, the bite of the feta cheese, the sweetness of the olives, and the tangy flavor from the dressing all come together to create an irresistible taste. The best part is that it's extremely easy to make – all you need are some cooked pasta, a few vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers, kefalotiri cheese or feta cheese crumbles, kalamata olives, olive oil and red wine vinegar as a dressing. This al dente pasta salad is sure to hit the spot every time!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12-15 minutes
Ingredients needed to make Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- ½ c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. white balsamic vinegar
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. fresh lemon zest, preferably organic
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
- 1 T. Dijon mustard
1-2 T. honey, preferably local
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 16-oz. box of penne pasta
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1-pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
2 c. fresh arugula
12-15 large fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
- ⅓ c. Kalamata olives, chopped3 T. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 oz. Feta cheese, roughly chopped
Garnish: additional arugula leaves, sprigs of fresh basil, and grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions for making Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously until emulsified. Set aside. (Or prepare in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use).
- Add olive oil and garlic to a skillet set over medium heat. Sauté for approximately 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic develops some color.
- Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until the tomatoes are warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh arugula. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm tomato and arugula mixture with the fresh basil and Kalamata olives. Add the warm-cooked penne pasta and both types of cheese. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
- Transfer the pasta salad to a large serving bowl and garnish with some fresh arugula, sprigs of basil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with the remaining vinaigrette on the side. Enjoy!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad is a delicious dinner or side dish, but it can be taken up a notch with variations to the recipe. Consider recipes with artichoke hearts, arugula, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, pepperoncini peppers, grilled vegetables and olives for even deeper Mediterranean flair. Or lighten the recipe up with fresh herbs like parsley, basil or oregano. Furthermore, switch out the usual bowtie pasta with alternative shapes like orecchiette instead. For extra protein or crunchy texture, consider adding chicken or toasted croutons; both variations are sure to make your dish stand out from the rest!
Keeping Mediterranean Pasta Salad fresh and safe to eat requires some TLC. After making the salad, it should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator and can last up to three to four days. Be aware that if you don't completely seal off your storage containers, the salad can dry out during storage. To ensure lasting freshness, try to serve the pasta salad as soon as possible or within 24 hours of storage. So if you're planning on collecting ingredients for a delicious Mediterranean Pasta Salad make sure you're ready to enjoy it soon after storage!
There's nothing like a bowl of Mediterranean Pasta Salad on a hot summer day! To make sure you're getting the best possible salad, there are a few top tips you should keep in mind. First, use fresh vegetables whenever possible - artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes and onions all give your dish great flavor. Second, mixing together different pasta shapes can add an interesting texture to the dish - try combining elbow macaroni and rotini or fusilli! Third, top it off with generous amounts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for that classic Mediterranean flavor. And finally, don't forget to refresh your salad with plenty of herbs such as basil or oregano for added aroma and depth of flavor. With these top tips in mind, you’re sure to impress your friends and family with your Mediterranean Pasta Salad culinary creation!