Quick and easy pasta salad packed with colorful vegetables, feta cheese, and tossed with a simple homemade dressing. The perfect side dish or dinner!
If you are looking at under 20 minutes from start to finish. Not too bad, especially when you can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days! This recipe uses a vinaigrette-based dressing.
Which pasta To Use:
You should choose hearty pasta shapes like penne, fusilli, rotini, and farfalle (bow tie). They also have the advantage of lots of nooks and crannies, which trap the dressing and bits of cheese. Other shapes can work, too.
Vegetables: An assortment of veggies add color and crunch to the salad. We love adding bell pepper, peas, corn, cucumber or zucchini, halved cherry tomatoes, onion. You can add other vegetables, too. I used slightly grilled zucchini, onion and bell peppers(yet crunchy). It is not necessary to grill or sauté. But with this salad, I prefer grilling.
We like sun-dried tomatoes too for that subtle sourness.
Cheese: Other cheeses will work, too. Try fresh mozzarella cheese or grated mozzarella or parmesan cheese. For a vegan pasta salad, leave the cheese out.
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe Variations
This pasta salad is fantastic as-is, but feel free to change it up to match your tastes or the ingredients in your pantry. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make it vegan! Use olives or sun dried tomatoes and/or vegan parmesan cheese in place of the feta.
- Make it gluten-free! Use gluten-free pasta or quinoa or millets.
- Try a capresé combo. Use halved mini mozzarella balls in place of the feta.
- Try another herb. Fresh mint would be lovely in place, and thyme would also be a great addition.
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Quick & Easy Pasta Salad in 20 Minutes
- 1/2 lb Pasta (220 grams)
- 1/2 red onion diced and grilled
- 1/2 cup steamed corn
- 1/2 bell pepper chopped and grilled
- 1/2 cup peas steamed
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2-1 cup zucchini grilled
- 1/2 cup feta crumbled form
- few fresh mint or basil leaves
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp flax powder (optional)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (opt)
- 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
- pinch pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, or until slightly past al dente.
- Grill or lightly sauté onion, bell pepper, and zucchini. Keep aside.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, herbs, flax powder, garlic powder, pepper and salt.
- Drain the pasta, toss it with a little olive oil (so that it doesn’t stick together) and let it cool to room temp.
- Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add grilled veggies, peas, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, few fresh mint or basil leaves, and feta cheese.
- Pour the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with more lemon, salt, pepper, and/or a drizzle of olive oil, if desired, and serve.
- Cook pasta a little past al dente.
- Vegans – swap feta with vegan feta or vegan parmesan or skip the cheese altogether.
- You may swap grilled veggies with raw veggies.
- Use other veggies if you like.
- Swap vinegar with lemon juice, if you don’t like vinegar.
- You may add roasted nuts, chickpeas and roasted sesame seeds.
- Fresh mozzarella can be used in place of feta.
Step by Step Photo Instructions
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare 1/2 lb pasta according to the package directions, or until slightly past al dente.
2. Grill or lightly sauté 1/2 diced onion, 1/2 colored bell pepper, and 1 cup zucchini. Keep aside.
3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together 3-4 tbsp olive oil, 1.5 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp each oregano, dried basil, dried dill, 2 tsp flax powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, pinch of pepper and 1/2 tsp salt.
4. Drain the pasta, toss it with a little olive oil (so that it doesn’t stick together) and let it cool to room temp.
5. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add grilled veggies, 1/2 cup boiled or steamed peas, 1/2 cup corn, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes, few fresh mint or basil leaves, and 1/2 cup feta cheese.
6. Pour the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with more (lemon), salt, pepper, and/or a drizzle of olive oil, if desired, and serve.