This Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe is a healthy twist on traditional pasta salad. A perfect option for summer gatherings or a quick weeknight dinner.
About This Recipe
This recipe is fresh and colorful! It uses classic Mediterranean ingredients (specifically Southern Italian and Greek) such as fresh basil, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and garlic. It is salty and vinegary with hints of sweetness from the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. The fresh arugula brings fresh peppery crunch while the parmesan adds a rich nutty flavor. The dressing is simple but flavorful and smells SO GOOD! The garlicky aroma makes my heart flutter.
This recipe was inspired by my little sister, Taylor. She wanted it to have all the olives and all the artichokes in existence. You ask and you shall receive!
Taylor was a taste tester for this recipe and her only feedback (which she repeated multiple times) was MORE ARTICHOKES! So, for the second test run, I doubled the artichokes. However, if Taylor has it her way, she’d have a bucket of artichokes and just a small amount of the other ingredients. If you’re an artichoke lover, like Tay, add as many as your little heart desires!
Recipe Questions & Answers
Is this recipe vegetarian?
Is this recipe vegan?
No, but it is super easy to make it vegan. Just skip the parmesan cheese!
How do I keep my pasta noodles from sticking together?
Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking and rinse away excess starch that causes stickiness. Then toss the noodles in a little olive oil.
Can you make pasta salad the night before?
Yes, BUT don’t add the arugula or the dressing to the pasta salad until right before serving. If you add it the night before, it will get soggy.
Is this Mediterranean pasta salad good to make for a crowd?
Yes! Here is how you can cut your prep time in half (if not more) and make this pasta salad for a crowd in no time!
- Don’t take the time to halve or slice the olives. Just keep them whole.
- Buy quartered artichoke hearts. Drain them and add them right to the salad!
- Buy sun-dried tomatoes that are already chopped or julienned (thinly sliced). Drain them and add them to the salad as is!
Other Salad Recipes
How to Make Mediterranean Pasta Salad (1 min)
Tools & Equipment
This Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe is a healthy twist on traditional pasta salad. A perfect option for gatherings or a quick weeknight dinner.
Pasta Salad Ingredients:
- 8 oz. pasta*
- 2 cups arugula loosely packed
- 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts
- 1 cup Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup fresh basil (loosely packed)
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4–1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1–2 cloves of garlic
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. sugar (or other sweetener)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Peel and mince the garlic. Put all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
Pasta Salad Instructions:
- Cook Pasta: Cook pasta according to package instructions. Set aside until Step 3.
- Slice & Dice Ingredients: The shape and size ingredients are cut into, is entirely personal preference. Below are some options for preparing ingredients that need to be sliced or diced. Generally, I recommend the below ingredients are cut into similar sized with the exception of the red onion. The red onion should always be thinly sliced.
- artichoke hearts – quartered or chopped
- Kalamata olives – whole, halved or sliced
- fresh basil – thinly sliced (chiffonade)
- sun-dried tomatoes – thinly sliced or chopped
- cucumber – thinly sliced or cubed
- red onion – thinly sliced
- Assemble: Put all pasta salad ingredients in a large bowl except the pine nuts. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. Top the salad with the pine nuts. Serve immediately.
*Use whichever pasta you prefer. Campanelle is the pasta seen in the photographs of this post. Other options such as Farfalle (bowtie pasta), Rotini, Penne and Cavatappi work well also!
- Category: Salad
- Method: Toss
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
- Calories: 262
- Sugar: 4
- Sodium: 304
- Fat: 13
- Carbohydrates: 30
- Fiber: 4
- Protein: 8
Keywords: Mediterranean pasta salad, pasta salad