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Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Summer Pasta Salad Recipe


This Summer Pasta salad recipe is one of the best things you can bring to a potluck. It’s versatile, kids love it and you can serve it alongside proteins like grilled chicken or burgers. Creamy pasta salads, like those that have mayonnaise are yummy but also risky since they need to stay chilled. This is a great summer pasta salad recipe with an oil and vinegar base that holds up well in the heat, making it a nice summertime dish.

Summer pasta salad recipe

Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Just like we have specific recipes that we only cook in cold weather seasons (like my Roasted Garlic Rosemary Soup), this Summer Pasta Salad recipe is one that we reserve just for the warm months! I created this recipe over 15 years ago and it became one of our summertime staples. I even won a second place ribbon at the county fair!

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At least in my case, once I make this dish, I’m very quickly asked to make it again! While this recipe makes a very large bowl of pasta salad it’s also very popular and disappears fast. Consider buying ingredients in bulk so you’ll always have them on hand for another batch. Feta cheese has a long expiration date and Parmesan cheese can be frozen until you’re ready to use.

What to Serve With This Summer Pasta Salad

Consider serving this pasta alongside grilled chicken, steak or kabobs. If you have protein leftovers, shred the cold meat and serve it mixed in with the pasta salad. If you eat the pasta salad the next day, be sure to toss it well as the olives, tomatoes and feta chunks tend to settle on the bottom of the bowl. You might find the pasta more dry on the second day after it’s been refrigerated. Drizzle with additional olive oil before serving, if you wish.

Ready for a Backyard Picnic?

My family recently moved to a new home with lots of outdoor space to explore. And this year we’ll be adding to this list of free summer staycation ideas with kids. Since my kids love having a picnic outside, I think this summer pasta salad recipe is just the thing for an outdoor meal! Add cold shredded chicken, homemade lemonade and a slice of watermelon and for the perfect summertime food.

This Summer Pasta Salad recipe goes together quickly so it’s a perfect light meal for warm weather when it’s too hot to cook. I like to make it in the evening and then chill overnight for lunch the following day. Pair it with a hunk of crusty buttered bread and well, that’s just a little bit of heaven right there!

Summer pasta salad recipe

Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Bow tie pasta with feta, black olives and tomatoes


  • 16 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked until al dente (usually a few minutes short of package directions)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1 can (2.2 oz) sliced olives, drained
  • 2/3 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dried parsley


  1. After cooking pasta, rinse well with cold water and drain.
  2. Using a large bowl, wisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt.
  3. Add drained pasta to the bowl and toss carefully until well coated
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, crumbled Feta, drained olives, Parmesan cheese and parsley, tossing again.
  5. Chill. Mix well again before serving as many pieces will settle to the bottom of the bowl.
Summer pasta salad with tomatoes, olives and Feta in an oil and vinegar base that's light and healthier for warm days. This easy make-ahead side dish pairs well with grilled chicken or steak and is a great leftover (if there are any!) #MomRewritten #Pasta #SideDish

This post originally published on July 1st, 2014 and has been updated and republished.

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