This Mediterranean Pasta Salad is tossed with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, arugula, and feta then tossed with a tasty homemade lemon dressing! Bringing it to a party or picnic? It can easily be made in advance the day before!
Being a food blogger means I’m often playing a never-ending game of Chopped in which I have to use up all the random ingredients I buy for one recipe up by creating other recipes with the leftovers.
If I purchase a big bunch of cilantro just to use a few sprigs as a garnish, you bet your booty I’ll be putting cilantro in my next 2-3 recipes until I’ve used it all up. (I mean is this not the tastiest problem to have? haha!)
Today’s recipe was inspired by a surplus of arugula in my fridge.
This peppery leafy green was the *perfect* not-so-secret ingredient for this tasty Mediterranean pasta salad!
I paired it with a fresh lemon dressing (lemon and arugula are a match made in heaven!) and a whole lot of veggies! A little feta here… a sprinkle of cracked black pepper there… and I am in LOVE!
can I add extra veggies?
Yes! Yes! 1000x yes! This Mediterranean pasta salad would be the perfect base for all your favorite veggies.
Feel free to raid you pantry for artichoke hearts or olives or empty your crisper drawer! You can add fresh basil, spinach, onion, bell pepper, and more.
For the noodles, I used bowtie (farfalle) pasta but there are a ton of varieties that work great here! You can use ditalini, orzo, elbow noodles, rotini, or even tortellini!
pasta salad dressing
I’m a big fan of homemade salad dressing because 1. They’re CRAZY quick + easy to make and 2. I pretty much always have all the ingredients I need lying around.
I paired this pretty pasta salad with a fresh lemon dressing but there are a few others that would also work positively fantastic here. No fresh lemons on hand? Try it with my easy homemade Greek Dressing or Italian Dressing, both of which pair oh so perfectly with pasta and veggies.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Make a little… or a lot! This pasta salad yields 8-10 side dish sized servings.
The leftovers are oh so tasty (my husband and I are all about meal prepping cold pasta salad for the week) but if you’d like a smaller batch, feel free to halve it. Need to serve a crowd at a party or barbecue? Simply double or triple the recipe below and you’re good to go!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Arugula and Feta
- 8 oz farfalle (bowtie) pasta
- 3 cups chopped fresh arugula
- 1/2-3/4 English cucumber
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2-3 TBSP fresh chopped parsley (optional)
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (via 1-2 large lemons)
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest plus extra to taste
- 2 TBSP plain dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, freshly. minced
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- First let's make the dressing! Zest 1 lemon and set aside. Juice your lemons to yield 1/4 cup of juice and add to a small/medium mason jar. Add lemon zest and remaining dressing ingredients and close lid tightly. Shake to emulsify the dressing.
- Next cook pasta via package instructions. For farfalle you'll boil the pasta in water for approx. 12-14 minutes.
- Chop arugula, cucumber, tomato and optional parsley and add to a large bowl. Save the avocado for just before serving.
- Once your pasta is perfectly al dente, strain in a colander and run cold water to halt the cooking process and chill the pasta slightly. Then add the drained pasta to your veggies an toss together.
- Shake once more if needed and add your dressing to the salad. Toss well to coat. Lastly add avocado and feta on top and gently fold into the salad. Add extra salt and pepper if desired and enjoy!
Need to make a vegan version? Simply skip the feta and this salad is gloriously vegan. The creamy feta cuts a bit of the acidity of the lemon dressing so if you find it super tart, feel free to add a tsp or so of sugar or maple syrup to the dressing to taste.
If you get a chance to try this quick and easy Mediterranean Pasta Salad, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation! I can’t wait to see what you whip up!
hungry for more?
- Quinoa Black Bean Veggie Burgers
- Roasted Broccoli Chickpea Arugula Salad
- Mexican Kale Salad with Zesty Cilantro Lime Dressing