Liven up your penne with this summer-inspired Mediterranean Pasta Salad! This fresh, vibrant 30-min recipe brings all the flavors of the Med to your table, as it combines tomatoes, arugula, basil, Kalamata olives, and Feta. Why not finish the dish with a homemade lemon vinaigrette?
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Mediterranean Pasta Salad
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions; to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required, and to understand the steps and timings involved.
With all of the dreary weather we have been having in the UK recently, this Mediterranean Pasta Salad has certainly brightened my day! With all of the delicious, bright colors of the ingredients, it is like summer in a bowl!
This salad packs a lot of interesting flavors into each bite. From the peppery taste of fresh arugula to the salty appeal of Kalamata olives and Feta cheese, plus the satisfying addition of penne pasta that helps to balance the strong flavors – there is nothing bland or boring about this dish.
This robust and tasty salad can be served as a satisfying main course or as a hearty side dish for grilled chicken or sautéed fish.
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.
It does not include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, and pepper, as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen already. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.
- Fresh Produce – Lemons, Garlic, Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, Arugula (Rocket), Basil
- Dairy – Parmesan Cheese, Feta Cheese
- White Balsamic Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Honey – try to buy locally produced honey when possible.
- Penne Pasta
- Kalamata Olives – or any kind of black olive you prefer.
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
More Recipes Using Pasta
One of the hero ingredients in this dish is pasta, so here are some more recipes using the same:
- Greek Orzo Salad with Feta
- Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli Penne Pasta
- Pasta Fagioli – Slow Cooker Meal Prep
More Mediterranean Recipes
Looking for more Mediterranean dishes to make? Check these recipes out next:
- Mediterranean Grouper with Tomato-Cucumber Salad
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- Mediterranean Layer Dip with Hummus, Feta, and Fresh Vegetables
- Prepare the lemon vinaigrette in advance to give the flavors a chance to fully develop.
How Do I Make Mediterranean Pasta Salad?
Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.
For the Lemon Vinaigrette
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest, preferably organic
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1-2 Tbsp honey
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 (16-oz/450g) box penne pasta
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pint (500g) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 12-15 large fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
- ⅓ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
- 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 3 oz (85g) Feta cheese, roughly chopped
- Additional arugula leaves
- Sprigs of fresh basil
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously until emulsified. Set aside. (Or prepare in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use).
- Add olive oil and garlic to a skillet set over medium heat. Sauté for approximately 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic develops some color.
- Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until the tomatoes are warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh arugula. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm tomato and arugula mixture with the fresh basil and Kalamata olives. Add the warm cooked penne pasta and both types of cheese. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
- Transfer the pasta salad to a large serving bowl and garnish with some fresh arugula, sprigs of basil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with the remaining vinaigrette on the side. Enjoy!
Tip: Prepare the lemon vinaigrette in advance to give the flavors a chance to fully develop.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 675Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 537mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 4gSugar: 21gProtein: 13g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Full Meal
This dish would work well as an appetizer, main course, or even side dish. But what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal for a dinner party or special occasion:
- Appetizer: How to Assemble An Italian Charcuterie Board For Parties & Entertaining
- Soup: Gluten-Free Gazpacho Recipe with Chickpea “Croutons”
- Salad: Roasted Artichoke Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Main Dish: Mediterranean Grouper with Tomato-Cucumber Salad
- Beverage: Cucumber Cantaloupe Mint Fizz
- Dessert: Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes with Strawberries & Cream Filling!
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too.