Skip to Content

The Most DELICIOUS Pasta Salad You’ll Ever Eat

This Greek vegetable pasta salad is my hands down favorite pasta salad ever. Some links in this article may be affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Why? This amazing pasta salad not only isn’t greasy (my pet peeve of so many pasta salads), but it is filled with fresh flavors from plenty of vegetables and herbs.

Overhead shot of Greek vegetable pasta salad in a silver bowl.

What kind of pasta should I use for this Greek pasta salad?

I make this with a variety of shaped pastas from cavatappi (my favorite) to wagon wheels to large elbow macaroni, bowtie pasta, and more. I’ve made this with regular and whole grain pasta, and it would work just as well with gluten free pasta.

I have friends who have made this recipe with lentil based pasta, quinoa pasta, brown rice pasta and more. It’s amazing the options you can now find with gluten free versions.

You want bite sized pasta shapes, and definitely avoid long pasta like fettucine or spaghetti. They’re great for saucy pastas, but not Greek pasta salad.

Whatever you use, make sure the pasta is big enough and hearty enough to hold up to the additional vegetables in your Greek pasta salad. You don’t want a pasta that breaks or falls apart as you scoop up a forkful.

Closeup of Greek veggie pasta salad in a silver bowl.

Why do I rinse pasta for pasta salads?

When you have hot pasta, you should never, ever rinse your pasta. But a cold pasta salad like this Greek veggie pasta salad gets rinsed in cold water after you cook it.


When you rinse you pasta, it does two things. First, it stops cooking the pasta, and second it removes starch from the pasta.

With pasta salad, you do NOT want overcooked pasta. In fact, I often cook it a minute less than package instructions to ensure it’s not mushy.

Rinsing the pasta ensures that it doesn’t continue to cook, so you get the right texture.

And why do you want to remove the starch? Here, you don’t need to have sauce stick to the starch on the pasta.

Instead, you want your pasta to not stick to itself, as starchy pasta will when it cools. No one wants to grab a mouthful of clumpy pasta when there are so many other delicious flavors to enjoy! 

Can I make Greek veggie pasta salad in advance?

For many pasta salads, you don’t want to make it in advance. Or if you do, you need to keep the components separate.

Not for this one, which I love.

While I often make it the day of – because I’m always running short on time – this tastes even better on day two than it does when you first make it.

The garlic flavor mellows a little and complements the feta and balsamic. The other flavors meld together, and it’s just perfect.

The only exception is the feta and basil. Hold onto those two, and add them just before you serve your veggie pasta salad.

Big silver bowl of veggie pasta salad in front of a stone wall.

Can I make this pasta salad vegan?

You absolutely can make a vegan Greek pasta salad. The only not plant based ingredient is the feta cheese.

While you could just leave the feta out of the pasta salad, it does add a delicious note that I would hate to miss. Thankfully, you can find vegan feta cheese now, so use that instead!

What other veggies can I add to my Greek pasta salad?

Different Greek salads have different mixtures. This one uses roasted corn, tomatoes, cucumber, artichokes, and kalamata olives, but you can have fun with your favorites.

If you love green bell peppers, add them! This would taste great with chickpeas (rinse them first if you use canned) to add more protein to make this into more of a main dish than a side.

You could even add your favorite leafy green, raw onion, green onion, or broccoli. Figure out what tastes good to you, and play with this base recipe to make it work for you.

What kind of tomatoes should I use?

Depending on what looks best in the store, I use a variety of tomatoes in my pasta salad. The key is to getting a lot of tomato and not a lot of juice or seeds.

Needless to say, cherry tomatoes are my favorite to use. They’re small and easy, and I just cut them in half.

Grape tomatoes also work well, as do plum tomatoes (roma tomatoes). If you use larger beefsteak tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes, they require a bit more prep.

When you slice those, seed them before you add them to the Greek vegetable pasta salad. Then slice them into bite size pieces.

Whatever you choose, pick fresh tomatoes that tastes good!

Can I use frozen corn?

You bet! In fact, it’s often easier to use frozen corn than it is fresh corn on the cob.

If you use fresh corn, roast it on the cob, then slice the kernels from the cob.

If you use frozen corn, let it come to room temperature before you put it into a hot pan with any oil. Frozen corn and hot oil do not mix well, so be safe!

Read This Next:  Tasty Tuesday - Homemade Orechiette

Does it matter what kind of cucumber I use?

I love to use an English cucumber because it’s easiest. They tend to be seedless, so you just need to chop it.

However, a “regular” medium cucumber works well, and I often use them. However, make sure you seed them first.

Slice them in half, lengthwise, and run a spoon down the middle to pull out the seeds. It’s easy to do, and then you just chop them.

Do not use a Persian cucumber, however. Those are meant to pickle.

If you accidentally bought Persian cucumbers, try making these garlic dill pickles or bread and butter pickles.

Side close up view of Greek pasta salad.

How to Make Greek Vegetable Pasta Salad

Bring a pot of well salted water to boil, and cook your pasta one minute less than the package instructions. You want it a little more al dente than normal.

While the pasta cooks, prep the remainder of the salad.

Heat a large wide saucepan over medium heat with the vegetable oil. Add your corn, and let it cook until kernels start to turn brown, stirring occasionally.

Use a tomato shark to core your tomato, then slice it in half lengthwise. Cut it again to make quarters, and seed it.

Chop the meaty part of the tomato into large bite size pieces. (Or use cherry tomatoes and just slice them in half.)

Add veggies to your large serving bowl as you prep them.

Cut your artichoke hearts into bite size pieces, and chop your olives into approximate quarters. Mince your garlic, and add it last.

As soon as the pasta finishes cooking, drain it, and rinse it briefly in cold water. Add it to the bowl with the vegetables, and stir to combine.

Add the corn, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil, and stir again. Make sure you do this right away, as this lets it absorb the flavors more.

Taste test and add salt and pepper, as needed, going light on the salt, as the feta will add a perfect salty contrast to the rest of your Greek vegetable pasta salad.

Let the pasta chill overnight in your fridge for the flavors to fully meld. If you don’t have time, at least let the pasta rest for a half hour or so before you serve it.

Chiffonade the basil, and crumble your feta, then add both to your pasta salad just before serving. Mix it up one last time.

Store any leftovers tightly sealed in the fridge for three to four days. This tastes delicious on days three and four, so it is a perfect make ahead salad.

What will you serve this Greek vegetable pasta salad with?

Overhead shot of Greek vegetable pasta salad in a silver bowl.

Greek Vegetable Pasta Salad

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 28 minutes

This pasta salad contains so much flavor, and it is unique and not greasy like so many are. The fresh flavors of roasted corn, tomatoes, olives, and more marry perfectly in this cold side dish. Make it the night before to let the flavors meld even more.


  • 1/2 pound pasta
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 3 marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, add your pasta and cook one minute less than package instructions.
  2. Place oil into wide saucepan and turn heat to medium. Add corn kernels and roast until some start to turn brown. Stir periodically.
  3. Chop artichoke hearts into bite size pieces. Chop olives into approximate quarters, and cut tomatoes into bite size pieces, and add all veggies to a large bowl.
  4. Mince your garlic cloves, and add them, as well.
  5. Once pasta finishes cooking, drain and rinse it, then immediately add it to the bowl with the veggies and stir gently to combine.
  6. Add the corn, along with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and stir again.
  7. Chill this overnight if possible.
  8. Just before serving, chiffonade your basil, and crumble the feta. Add both to your salad, and gently mix to combine.


  • This tastes better if you let it sit the night before and eat it the second day, and yes, leftovers are delicious the third and even the fourth day.
  • If you don't have time to chill it, let the salad come to room temperature at least before you add the basil and feta. The feta will melt and basil turn brown if you add them to a hot pasta salad.
  • I use cavatappi, but you can use any strong shaped pasta like wagon wheels or even large elbow macaroni.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate the recipe above and save it on Pinterest so you can find it to make again and again. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think about it, too!

Greek veggie pasta salad in a bowl with a stone wall behind.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Enjoy this article? Please share it and save it for later!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Spinach Orzo Salad Recipe - Honest And Truly!

Monday 20th of December 2021

[…] to say, when I make a pasta salad (and I have two that I love), it’s going to have a kick of flavor and not be your traditional […]


Tuesday 28th of July 2009

Lisa - Oh it was a blast! I'm so glad I finagled a ticket. Enjoy the salad.

Unknown Mami - Ohhh it is. And I think I need to make it again. Mmmm, yum.

Ave - You're welcome. I hope you enjoy it.

Martha - I should have. There's yet another reason to make it again this week. :)

Mrs4444 - It's hard to set corn on fire. There's a lot of liquid in them, ya know ;) Glad you liked the pics!

Kelly - I'm a mind reader. What do you need for next week?

Angela - I know the feeling. I'm sooooo behind on my blog reading (sorry everyone!). Good luck with work!


Tuesday 28th of July 2009

Sounds great Michelle! I am so sorry I have been out of touch so long. Hope you enjoyed BlogHer and I can't WAIT to read all about it and see all the pics! I am slowly catching up this week. Painfully slowly, actually, due to but should be caught up soon.

Hope all is well!


Tuesday 28th of July 2009

Thanks, Michelle. How did you know that I need a PERFECT pasta salad recipe? See, I knew that I can always count of you :)


Tuesday 28th of July 2009

Oooooh. This sounds yummy! Except that I'd probably burn the house down with that stovetop method! Thanks for the recipe (and the photos-I had no idea they were yours!)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe