This healthy Greek pasta salad recipe makes enough to serve a crowd! Bring it to a cookout as a side dish, or great for meal prepping. Top with your favorite meat for a complete meal!
Is there any side dish more perfect for a summer dinner than a pasta salad?
Pasta salads came onto my radar in the 80s.
Or maybe the 90s?
It’s all a little fuzzy, but it was a long time ago!
Either way, whenever it was that I discovered this thing called “pasta salad,” it was love at first bite.
I mean, pasta, cheese, veggies, and a tangy dressing?
Just go ahead and fill up my plate.
No need to add anything else!
Well, maybe some grilled meat.
When I started following a healthier lifestyle back in 2016 I was afraid that my beloved pasta salad would be a thing of the past…
Fortunately for me, I was wrong!
There are lots of ways to keep pasta salad on the menu, all year long.
Although I never seem to crave it when it’s cold out.
Why is that?
For me, a healthy pasta salad is definitely a summer kind of recipe.
It’s the perfect thing to bring a backyard BBQ dinner party.
But if you love pasta salad any old time of year, this is the recipe for you!
This Greek pasta salad recipe features tons of fresh veggies, some salty feta cheese, and kalamata olives, dressed with a fresh, bright, authentic Greek salad dressing.
Have I mentioned it’s pretty low-fat too?
And really not that high in carbs!
This is truly one of the healthiest pasta salad recipes I’ve ever seen.
Not to mention it’s easy to tweak.
Of course, those tweaks may change the nutrition a little.
So figure out what’s important to you: low carbs or low fat and tweak away!
More Ways to Serve Mediterranean Pasta Salad
I think it goes without saying that a pasta salad is an amazing side dish.
This Mediterranean-style pasta salad features spinach, olive oil, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and lots of heart-healthy veggies.
But there are other ways to enjoy pasta salad!
One of my favorites is to start with a big bed of lettuce or baby spinach.
Then add a nice scoop of healthy pasta salad.
And then cut up some grilled chicken, or grilled shrimp, or maybe some fish to go on top.
Now you’ve got a full on meal!
Talk about a healthy lunch.
What Kind of Pasta Should I Use for a Healthy Pasta Salad?
You have a few options for healthier pasta.
Of course, this salad works with any old kind of pasta you want!
But let’s take a look at some healthier options.
If you’re looking for a low carb pasta, Dreamfields pasta is a good option.
Apparently, it’s got some kind of magical coating that affects how your body digests it so your blood sugar doesn’t spike?
For some people.
There’s also Carbanada pasta that has been shown to prevent blood sugar spikes.
If you follow Trim Healthy Mama like me, you don’t mind pasta options with healthy carbs.
Check out chickpea pasta, quinoa pasta, and brown rice pasta.
Any of these pasta options will make your pasta salad healthier.
This Mediterranean pasta salad is loaded with lots of veggies, so each serving has more vegetables than pasta.
I’ve also reduced the amount of fat significantly.
How to Make an Authentic Low-fat Greek Salad Dressing
A good Greek salad dressing is so flavorful!
It definitely uses a high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
Red wine vinegar and/or lemon juice give it a “bright” tartness.
I’ve kept all the important ingredients but made some adjustments to reduce the fat.
You won’t even notice that it’s missing.
This healthy Greek salad dressing has a lower amount of olive oil that’s replaced with some water.
You’ll still get the flavor, just less fat.
While some Greek dressing recipes call for red wine vinegar or lemon juice, I’ve used both to amp up the flavor.
A little bit of Dijon mustard does a great job of helping the dressing to emulsify so you don’t need as much oil.
And let’s not forget the garlic and oregano!
What Vegetables Are Best in a Greek Pasta Salad?
My secret to making a really healthy pasta salad is to add a lot of vegetables.
Like, a lot, a lot.
To the point that you end up getting more veggies than pasta when you scoop a serving onto your plate.
The key is to choose vegetables that blend well with the Mediterranean flavors.
I start with some traditional options: cucumbers and tomatoes.
I love using English cucumbers because they don’t have as many seeds and the skin is more tender.
True confession: I still remove the seeds from the hothouse cucumbers.
It helps to prevent the salad from having too much liquid.
But then, I love to add a zucchini (or two!).
They’re so mild and most people don’t even realize they’re eating cucumber and zucchini!
Using both red and yellow bell peppers adds a lot of color to the salad.
My big secret for adding lots of veggies is to cut them small so each bite includes a little bit of all the flavors.
Especially the onions.
A secret to making onions taste amazing without quite so much bite is to soak the sliced red onion in cold water and then draining it before adding it to the salad.
I figured that trick out when I made this amazing cucumber salad recipe.
Another reason to cut the extras small is a little bit goes a longer way.
Especially with higher fat items like the kalamata olives.
Try using reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese to further reduce the amount of fat per serving.
I promise you won’t notice the difference.
How Long Should Pasta Salad Marinade Before Serving?
I’ve whipped up this Greek pasta salad just before heading to a cookout and it’s always delicious!
However, if you have time to let it marinate a bit, it’s even better.
I like to let it marinade at least four hours before serving it, and if you can let it sit overnight it’s just about perfect.
Be sure to store it in an airtight container and refrigerate it.
It’ll last for up to a week.
I hope you love this healthy pasta salad as much as we do!
Be sure to leave a star rating and review after you make the recipe!
This helps other people to find and enjoy it too.
Plus it means the world to us!