Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Arugula and Feta

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!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Arugula and Feta

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!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Lemon Dressing

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

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Arugula and Feta

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!
5 from 19 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 8 oz farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 3 cups chopped fresh arugula
  • 1/2-3/4 English cucumber
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2-3 TBSP fresh chopped parsley (optional)

LEMON DRESSING*

  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (via 1-2 large lemons)
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest plus extra to taste
  • 2 TBSP plain dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, freshly. minced
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

* If leftover dressing is desired (hello meal prep!) or if you're making this salad in advance, simply double the dressing recipe. When it chills in the fridge, the pasta soaks up much of the dressing. Simply refresh with an extra drizzle or so of dressing before serving, or let guests add extra to taste. Enjoy!
No bowtie pasta? No problem! Try it with ditalini, orzo, elbow, rotini, or even tortellini!
See post for a list of tasty extras and swaps.
Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed based on extras added and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 245kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 229mg, Potassium: 320mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 390IU, Vitamin C: 11.4mg, Calcium: 84mg, Iron: 1.1mg

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!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

hungry for more?

 

Jenn Laughlin Headshot Photo - About the Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Jenn Laughlin founded Peas and Crayons in 2009 after graduating with B.S. in Dietetics from Florida State University and working as a Nutrition Educator for WIC. The goal was simple: create and share delicious tested and perfected recipes with vegetables as the star! Peas and Crayons is know for veggie forward recipes that are colorful and crave-able.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I am so impressed with this delicious combination of food! We’re vegan so we omitted the cheese and added chickpeas for protein. My husband said “put this in the rotation” – HUGE COMPLIMENT!

  2. 5 stars
    Wow…. so simple and not to mention tasted great. I did use Italian seasoning as I love it. I just made a post on my blog but mine had mushrooms.

  3. I am terrible in the kitchen, but really want to make this salad…my question is, if you make it in advance for a gathering or plan to eat it throughout the week, won’t the avocado brown quickly?

    Thanks for you time!

    1. Hi Kim! I’m so excited you’ll be trying the recipe! The avocado will have delayed browning because of the lemon dressing but will still start to brown over time when kept on hand throughout the week. I suggest adding avocado as needed, just before you enjoy the salad or before the event as the last step (while the rest is made ahead). Some days you can add avocado and other days toss in some extra veggies – whatever sounds good! xoxo

  4. 5 stars
    I’m having this for lunch as I type, and O.M.G. it is so delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!