Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This Mediterranean Pasta Salad is packed with Mediterranean salad ingredients tossed with a fresh herb vinaigrette loaded with fabulous fresh flavors.

Mediterranean pasta salad in a dark bowl on a dark surface.

Why You’ll Love This

This easy Mediterranean pasta salad is the best you will ever eat! It’s packed with kalamata olives, red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, pearl mozzarella, and arugula, then tossed in the best fresh herb vinaigrette.

It’s easy to make and is a true crowd pleaser! Just whip up the vinaigrette in a food processor, cook and cool the pasta noodles, and toss.

I’m sure everyone will love this pasta salad it’s super fresh and flavorful, simple, and satisfying. It can be served at room temperature or cold.

The herb vinaigrette is perfect for a simple green salad too! It’s a vibrantly flavorful dressing with the fresh flavors of Italian flat-leaf parsley, fresh basil, peppery arugula, lemon, and seasonings.

Because we are using an oil-based dressing this pasta salad is great for those summer BBQs, picnics, potlucks, or large gatherings. It’s a perfect side for grilled meats or sandwiches!

Some of our other favorite side dish recipes to make during hot weather are Italian Green Bean Salad, Summer Succotash, Mixed Melon Salad, Grilled Baby Potatoes on Skewers, and Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad.

Herb vinaigrette recipe ingredients for the Mediterranean pasta salad.
Fresh herb vinaigrette ingredients.
Mediterranean pasta salad recipe ingredients.
Pasta salad ingredients.

How to Make Mediterranean Pasta Salad

  • To the bowl of a food processor add the fresh parsley, basil, arugula, chives, garlic, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, kosher salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (reserving the remaining olive oil) and pulse about 10-15 seconds. Process while slowly adding the remaining olive oil through the neck of the food processor until it reaches an emulsified consistency, about 20-30 seconds. Set aside for the flavors to combine—taste for salt and pepper.
Herb vinaigrette ingredients in the bowl of a large food processor.
Herb vinaigrette in a glass measuring cup on a dark surface.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in well-salted water. Drain, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, add the pasta to a large bowl, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the vegetables and cheese. Drizzle with about 2/3 of the herb vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly.
Cooked Farfalle pasta in a glass bowl with the prepped salad ingredients around the bowl.
Mediterranean pasta salad mixed in a glass bowl.

Tips

  • Be sure to salt the pasta water heavily. We like to cook pasta al dente but this is a personal preference.
  • Rinsing the pasta in cold water stops the cooking immediately. This is usually only done when making cold pasta salads.
  • Tossing the pasta with olive oil after rinsing helps to keep it from sticking together.
  • Dressing the Salad – Toss the pasta salad with about 2/3 of the dressing, add the remainder before serving. Pasta noodles will soak up the dressing as it sits.

Variations

  • Pasta – Use short pasta such as penne, shells, orecchiette, or rotini.
  • Herb Vinaigrette – If you aren’t a big fan of arugula use fresh baby spinach in the dressing and the salad.
  • Cheese – Add some shaved parmesan if desired or crumbled feta cheese.
  • Pasta Salad Add-Ins – Try cherry tomatoes, diced sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, diced red onion, chickpeas, pine nuts, or diced cucumber. Remember when making this ahead that some of these vegetables will get soft over time.
  • Make it a Meal – Add some grilled chicken or shrimp.
  • Make it Gluten-Free – Feel free to use gluten-free pasta in this Mediterranean pasta salad recipe.

FAQs

Can this be made ahead?

Yes. Just make sure you add the arugula, and the remaining dressing right before serving for the best fresh salad taste.

Storing

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you know you will have leftovers, be sure to reserve some of the vinaigrette to add to the pasta.

More Delicious Pasta Salad Recipes

Are you on Pinterest? Click the button below to add this recipe to one of your boards!
Mediterranean pasta salad in a dark bowl on a dark surface.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This Mediterranean pasta salad is full of fresh herb flavor, and vegetables. A perfect side dish to any meal.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

Fresh Herb Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup Fresh Italian parsley lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 cups Fresh basil leaves lightly packed
  • 1 cup Arugula lightly packed
  • 15 Fresh chives
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp White wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Fresh lemon juice about 1 large lemon
  • 2/3 cup Extra Virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper

Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb Farfalle bow tie pasta or other short pasta
  • 2 cups Arugula I remove any long stems
  • 28 oz Artichoke hearts 2 – 14oz cans – chopped
  • 2/3 cup Kalamata olives sliced
  • 1 Red bell pepper diced
  • 8 oz Pearl mozzarella balls mini mozzarella balls

Instructions

Vinaigrette

  • To the bowl of a food processor add the herb vinaigrette ingredients and 3 tablespoons of olive oil (reserving the remaining olive oil) and pulse about 10-15 seconds. Process while slowly adding the remaining olive oil through the neck of the food processor until it reaches an emulsified consistency, about 20-30 seconds. Set aside for the flavors to combine.
    1 cup Fresh Italian parsley, 1 1/2 cups Fresh basil leaves, 1 cup Arugula, 15 Fresh chives, 2 cloves Garlic, 1 tsp White wine vinegar, 1/4 cup Fresh lemon juice, 2/3 cup Extra Virgin olive oil, 1 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp Black pepper

Salad

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in well-salted water. Drain, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, add the pasta to a large mixing bowl, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
    1 lb Farfalle
  • Add the vegetables and cheese. Drizzle about 2/3 of the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
    28 oz Artichoke hearts, 2/3 cup Kalamata olives, 1 Red bell pepper, 8 oz Pearl mozzarella balls, 2 cups Arugula

Notes

Be sure to salt the pasta water heavily.
Rinsing the pasta in cold water stops the cooking immediately. This is usually only done when making cold pasta salads.
Dressing the Salad – Toss the pasta salad with about 2/3 of the dressing, add the remainder before serving. Pasta noodles will soak up the dressing as it sits.
Storage – Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 576mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1.094IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg

Share With Your Friends And Family!

9 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *