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Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato Recipe

This Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato is a refreshing and hearty dish that's perfect for any occasion. It's packed full of delicious ingredients like crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and tangy feta cheese, all tossed in a flavorful homemade dressing. This salad is easy to make and can be served as a main course or a side dish.

Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato Recipe
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Photos of Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this Greek Pasta Salad are common pantry items. However, the long English cucumber, which is sweeter and less bitter than regular cucumbers, might need a trip to the supermarket. Also, feta cheese, a tangy and crumbly cheese, is an essential Greek ingredient that you might not have on hand.

Ingredients for Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato

Short pasta: The base of the salad, it provides a satisfying bite and soaks up the dressing.

Long English cucumber: Adds a cool, refreshing crunch to the salad.

Grape tomatoes: They bring juicy sweetness and bright color to the dish.

Bell pepper: It contributes crunch and a touch of sweetness.

Pitted olives: They give a briny, salty flavor that balances out the other ingredients.

Feta cheese: A classic Greek cheese that adds creaminess and tang.

Red onion: Adds sharpness and a pop of color.

Red wine vinegar: Gives the dressing tangy flavor.

Olive oil: It ties all the flavors together and adds richness to the dressing.

Garlic powder: Brings a subtle garlic flavor to the dressing.

Oregano: A Mediterranean herb that adds depth of flavor.

One reader, Durand Tobin says:

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This Greek pasta salad is a game-changer! The combination of fresh cucumber, juicy tomatoes, and tangy feta cheese is simply divine. The dressing ties everything together perfectly. It's a refreshing and satisfying dish that's perfect for any occasion. Highly recommend trying it out!

Durand Tobin

Techniques Required for Making Greek Pasta Salad

How to cook pasta al dente: Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water until it is tender but still firm to the bite. It's important to follow the package instructions for the cooking time and to taste the pasta to ensure it's cooked al dente.

How to whisk together dressing ingredients: In a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Use a whisk to blend the ingredients until the dressing is well combined and emulsified.

How to refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving: After tossing the salad with the dressing, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This allows the flavors to meld and the salad to chill, enhancing its taste.

How To Make Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato

Juicy tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, olives, al dente pasta, and feta are tossed together to make this Greek pasta salad that’s perfect for any occasion.

Preparation: 8 minutes
Cooking: 8 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 16 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 16ozshort pasta,(such as rotini, bow ties, or penne)
  • ¾longenglish cucumber,diced
  • 1pintgrape tomatoes,halved
  • 1bell pepper,(red or orange), diced
  • ½cuppitted olives,sliced
  • ½cupfeta cheese,cubed
  • cupred onion,diced

For Dressing:

  • ¼cupred wine vinegar
  • cupolive oil
  • ½tspgarlic powder
  • 1tsporegano
  • salt & pepper,to taste

Instructions

  1. Whisk together dressing ingredients.

  2. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Rinse under cold water.

  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss.

  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 230.73kcal
  • Fat: 8.62g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.97g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.18g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.97g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.83g
  • Fiber: 2.16g
  • Sugar: 2.96g
  • Protein: 6.42g
  • Cholesterol: 5.56mg
  • Sodium: 286.46mg
  • Calcium: 53.23mg
  • Potassium: 217.44mg
  • Iron: 1.00mg
  • Vitamin A: 37.76µg
  • Vitamin C: 17.59mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfecting Greek Pasta Salad

To ensure your pasta is full of flavor, consider adding a pinch of salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. This will season the pasta from the inside out, giving your Greek pasta salad an extra layer of flavor. Additionally, when rinsing the pasta under cold water, do it briefly. Over-rinsing can wash away the starch that helps the dressing adhere to the pasta.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables and make the dressing a day in advance to save time on the day of serving.

Use pre-cut ingredients: Consider using pre-cut vegetables to minimize prep time and make the recipe more convenient.

Multi-task: While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vegetables and dressing to maximize efficiency in the kitchen.

Cook pasta in advance: Cook the pasta ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the salad.

Organize ingredients: Before starting, gather all the ingredients and utensils needed to streamline the cooking process.

Efficient chopping: Use a sharp knife and proper cutting techniques to speed up the process of chopping vegetables.

Follow recipe: Stick to the recipe to avoid unnecessary steps and ensure a smooth cooking experience.

One-pot cooking: Consider using a single pot to cook the pasta and blanch the vegetables simultaneously to save time and effort.

Delegate tasks: Enlist the help of family members or friends to assist with the preparation, making the process more efficient.

Clean as you go: Wash and put away utensils and ingredients as you progress through the recipe to maintain an organized workspace.

Substitute Ingredients For Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato Recipe

  • short pasta - Substitute with penne or fusilli: Penne or fusilli are great substitutes for short pasta in this recipe as they hold the dressing and other ingredients well due to their ridges and shape.

  • long English cucumber - Substitute with regular cucumber: Regular cucumber can be used as a substitute for long English cucumber as it has a similar texture and flavor, and will work well in the salad.

  • grape tomatoes - Substitute with cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are a suitable substitute for grape tomatoes as they have a similar sweet flavor and size, making them a great alternative in the salad.

  • bell pepper - Substitute with roasted red pepper: Roasted red pepper can be used as a substitute for bell pepper to add a smoky flavor and a slightly different texture to the salad.

  • pitted olives - Substitute with capers: Capers can be used as a substitute for pitted olives to add a briny and tangy flavor to the salad, enhancing its overall taste.

  • feta cheese - Substitute with goat cheese: Goat cheese can be used as a substitute for feta cheese as it has a similar tangy flavor and creamy texture, adding a delicious twist to the salad.

  • red onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a substitute for red onion to provide a milder and sweeter flavor, complementing the other ingredients in the salad.

  • red wine vinegar - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar can be used as a substitute for red wine vinegar to provide a slightly milder and fruitier flavor to the dressing.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil can be used as a substitute for olive oil, providing a similar richness and flavor to the dressing while adding a hint of avocado taste.

Best Way to Present This Refreshing Greek Pasta Salad

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the Greek pasta salad in a circular motion on a large, white, round plate, ensuring that the colors of the ingredients are evenly distributed to create a visually appealing dish.

  2. Incorporate fresh herbs: Garnish the dish with sprigs of fresh oregano and parsley to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor.

  3. Utilize high-quality serving ware: Present the Greek pasta salad in a beautiful, handcrafted ceramic bowl to add a touch of elegance to the overall presentation.

  4. Create a focal point: Place a vibrant, whole bell pepper in the center of the salad to draw attention and add a striking visual element to the dish.

  5. Add a finishing touch: Drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over the salad just before serving to enhance the flavors and add a glossy sheen to the dish.

Essential Tools for Making Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato

  • Cutting board: A flat surface used for cutting, slicing, and chopping ingredients.
  • Chef's knife: A versatile knife used for various kitchen tasks such as chopping, slicing, and dicing.
  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining ingredients and mixing dressings or sauces.
  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for blending and mixing ingredients together.
  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen tool with holes used for draining liquids from food items like pasta or vegetables.
  • Large bowl: Used for tossing and combining the salad ingredients.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Used for accurately measuring ingredients for the dressing.
  • Pot: Used for cooking the pasta.
  • Strainer: Used for rinsing the cooked pasta under cold water.
  • Spatula: Used for tossing the salad ingredients with the dressing.
  • Refrigerator: Used for chilling the salad before serving.

Storing and Freezing Greek Pasta Salad: What You Need to Know

  • Store the Greek pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors will meld together and intensify over time, making it even more delicious.

  • If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, store the pasta, vegetables, and feta cheese separately from the dressing. Combine them just before serving to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.

  • For longer storage, you can freeze the pasta salad without the dressing. Place the salad in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 2 months.

  • To thaw the frozen pasta salad, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight. Once thawed, drain any excess liquid and toss the salad with the prepared dressing.

  • If you have leftover dressing, store it separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake or whisk the dressing before using it to recombine the ingredients.

  • To refresh the salad after storage, you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a drizzle of olive oil to brighten up the flavors before serving.

How to Reheat Leftover Greek Pasta Salad

  • Reheat the greek pasta salad in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until it reaches your desired temperature. Be sure to stir the salad halfway through to ensure even heating. This method is quick and easy, but may cause the vegetables to become slightly softer.

  • For a fresher taste, reheat the pasta separately in the microwave or on the stovetop until warm. Then, mix the heated pasta with the cold vegetables, feta cheese, and a splash of olive oil to refresh the flavors. This method helps maintain the texture of the vegetables and prevents them from becoming overcooked.

  • If you prefer a cold pasta salad, simply remove it from the refrigerator about 15-20 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature. This will help enhance the flavors of the dressing and ingredients.

  • To add a twist to your leftover greek pasta salad, consider grilling some chicken or shrimp to top the salad. This will add a smoky flavor and some extra protein to your meal.

  • If the pasta salad seems a bit dry after being stored in the refrigerator, add a small amount of olive oil and red wine vinegar to revive the dressing. Toss the salad well to ensure the ingredients are evenly coated.

Interesting Fact About Greek Pasta Salad

Greek pasta salad is a versatile dish that can be customized with various ingredients such as grilled chicken, artichokes, or spinach. It can be served as a main dish or a side, making it perfect for potlucks and gatherings. The combination of cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives provides a refreshing and tangy flavor, while the feta cheese adds a creamy and salty element. This salad is a great source of fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats, making it a nutritious option for a meal. It's also a convenient make-ahead dish, as the flavors tend to meld and improve over time.

Is Making Greek Pasta Salad at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this Greek pasta salad recipe is quite high, as it utilizes simple and affordable ingredients such as pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The addition of olives and feta cheese may slightly increase the cost, but these ingredients are used in moderation. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $15-$20. The overall verdict rating for this recipe would be 9 out of 10, as it offers a refreshing and flavorful dish that is easy to prepare and suitable for various occasions.

Is This Greek Pasta Salad Healthy or Unhealthy?

This Greek pasta salad recipe is a healthy and refreshing option for a summer meal. The combination of vegetables, including cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, and red onion, provides a good source of vitamins and minerals. The olives and feta cheese add a flavorful twist while keeping the overall calorie count in check. The dressing, made with olive oil and red wine vinegar, is a healthier alternative to creamy, high-fat dressings.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Use whole wheat pasta to increase the fiber content and provide a more satisfying meal
  • Add more vegetables, such as spinach or artichokes, to boost the nutrient profile
  • Reduce the amount of feta cheese or opt for a lower-fat variety to decrease the saturated fat content
  • Include a source of lean protein, like grilled chicken or chickpeas, to make the salad more balanced and filling
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices, such as basil or red pepper flakes, to enhance the flavor without relying on excessive salt or oil

Editor's Thoughts on This Delightful Greek Pasta Salad

This Greek pasta salad with cucumber and tomato recipe is a delightful combination of fresh and flavorful ingredients. The crisp cucumber, juicy grape tomatoes, and tangy feta cheese are perfectly complemented by the briny olives and zesty red onion. The dressing, with its blend of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and aromatic spices, ties everything together beautifully. This dish is a refreshing and satisfying addition to any meal or gathering. The recipe is simple to prepare and yields a dish that is sure to impress with its vibrant colors and vibrant flavors.

Enhance Your Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: Savory garlic bread with a crispy crust and soft, buttery center, perfect for soaking up the flavors of the Greek pasta salad.
Grilled Chicken Skewers: Juicy, tender grilled chicken skewers marinated in Mediterranean herbs and spices, complementing the fresh flavors of the Greek pasta salad.
Fruit Salad: A refreshing fruit salad with a mix of sweet and tangy fruits, providing a delightful contrast to the savory Greek pasta salad.

Delicious Alternatives to Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato

Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Peppers: Use a mixture of ground lamb, rice, and Mediterranean spices to stuff bell peppers, then bake until tender and golden brown.
Citrus Grilled Chicken Salad: Marinate chicken in a citrusy blend of lemon, lime, and orange juices, then grill and serve over a bed of mixed greens with your favorite salad toppings.
Summer Berry Crisp: Combine fresh berries with a crumbly oat topping, then bake until bubbly and golden for a delicious summer dessert.

Appetizers and Desserts That Complement Greek Pasta Salad

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your taste buds with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Bruschetta: Indulge in the classic Italian flavors of bruschetta, featuring toasted baguette slices topped with a vibrant mixture of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and tangy balsamic glaze. A refreshing and satisfying start to any gathering.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors. It's a light and refreshing dessert that's perfect for any occasion.

Why trust this Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato Recipe:

This recipe is a trusted classic, featuring fresh and vibrant cucumber, tomatoes, and bell pepper combined with flavorful olives and creamy feta cheese. The homemade dressing, made with tangy red wine vinegar and fragrant oregano, perfectly complements the dish. With a balance of textures and a burst of Mediterranean flavors, this pasta salad is a delightful addition to any meal. The ingredients are carefully selected to ensure the highest quality, making this recipe a reliable choice for a delicious and satisfying dish.

Want to share your own Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Tomato creation or discuss the recipe with fellow cooking enthusiasts? Head over to the Recipe Sharing forum and join the conversation!
FAQ:
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can use any type of short pasta for this recipe. Fusilli, penne, or farfalle would all work well.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Absolutely! In fact, it's best to let the flavors meld together by refrigerating the salad for at least 2 hours before serving.
Can I substitute the feta cheese with another type of cheese?
Certainly! If you're not a fan of feta, you can substitute it with another cheese such as goat cheese or even mozzarella.
How long will the Greek pasta salad last in the refrigerator?
The salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container.
Can I add some protein to this salad?
Of course! Grilled chicken, shrimp, or chickpeas would be great additions to make this salad a complete meal.

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