We’ve had some pretty hot days here in June, so on a recent hot and humid weekend I made plans to experiment with a Greek Pasta Salad. I mentioned when I posted the recipe for Greek Chopped Salad that I love Greek dressings and flavors, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that after nailing a Greek dressing that I wanted to dive right into other uses. Well as it turned out the day I made the salad it rained –so much for my idea for light, cold, refreshing meal on a hot day. But the good news is the pasta salad was awesome! It would make a great pasta salad to bring to a 4th of July party this weekend. Without mayo it could sit out at a potluck.
As I compare the two recipes, I pretty much just swapped the lettuce for pasta and the cherry tomatoes for sun dried tomatoes. I mean, why mess with a good thing. Right? I’ve been a little obsessed with sun dried tomatoes lately. Some of the uses are starting to creep into my blog posts like this Spicy Shrimp, Sundried Tomato and Tortellini recipe, some are sitting as pictures in my camera waiting for editing, and some are still in development. So when you consider that the hubby doesn’t love cherry tomatoes, loves sundried tomatoes, and the fact that I had a partial jar of sundried tomatoes in the fridge which just happened to be julienne cut and matched the shape of my pasta; it really was a no brainer to add sundried tomatoes and I think they ended up being a better fit in the pasta salad.
Here all the goodies you’ll need:
I used leftover rotisserie chicken for the salad. You could skip the chicken for a vegetarian version or just more of a side dish. I was serving this as a main course and wanted the protein. You could also season up some chicken with a Greek seasoning, grill and chop it and add it to the salad.
I tossed all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar and gave it a good shake to emulsify them. I actually did this a day before in fact – which is why you see the jar in the ingredients picture and not the ingredients. The garlic really has a chance to infuse the dressing if you give it time to sit. Details of the ingredients and how I made it are in the Greek Chopped Salad post and ingredients are in the recipe below.
All that really goes into this recipe is to cook pasta, chop ingredients veggies and stir.
I chopped up red onion, orange bell pepper, cucumber, sliced pepperoncini, and pulled the sundried tomatoes (already julienned) out of the jar – don’t worry about patting the oil off it will mix in nice. And just tossed in the leftover pulled rotisserie chicken.
Cook up a one pound packaged of pasta – I chose Gemelli which is like a tight corkscrew – according to package directions, rinse with cold water, and toss it on top of the other ingredients. Pour the dressing over the top. I did use all the dressing. At first it will look like there is a big pool in the bottom of the bowl but keep stirring (even let it sit a minute or two and then stir it up again) and the pasta will absorb all the dressing and all the flavor.
Mix it up and toss in a package of feta cheese. I used the pre-crumbled stuff.
Stir it all together to combine.
And scoop up a nice big bowl to enjoy!
- ¼ c red wine vinegar
- ½ c olive oil
- 2 t Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ t Turkish oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 lemon, juice of
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pasta Salad:
- 1 lb Gemelli or other pasta
- 2 c cooked and chopped or shredded chicken (optional)
- ¾ c sundried tomatoes in oil, julienne cut (don’t use the excess oil but don’t pat dry)
- ⅓ c pepperoncini, sliced
- ¾ c cucumber, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- 2.5 oz container feta, crumbled
- Cook pasta according to package directions, making sure to salt the water. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl add pasta, chicken, tomatoes, pepperoncini, cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion. Pour the dressing over the top and stir until the ingredients are well mixed and the dressing is absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the feta, reserve a little to sprinkle over the top (if you remember).
- Serve immediately but keeps well in the fridge for at least 5 days (as long as it lasted before we ate it all).