With artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil, this Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe is packed with flavor for the perfect 20 minute side dish!
Most of us already have a favorite pasta salad in our cooking repertoire. But do you have the perfect pasta salad that you can whip up for any summer party, picnic, or BBQ?
I definitely didn’t before this!
The bold flavors going on in this recipe keep it from being bland, and they meld together so well, it’s sure to please everyone! And bonus, it’s easy to make vegan.
This salad is the perfect side dish for your next summer party!
Healthy Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe
With a few easy tricks, this Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe is a bit healthier than most!
I cut back on the amount of pasta in this dish and bulked it up by adding artichoke hearts.
Onion, parsley, and garlic bump up the nutrition, and Kalamata olives add healthy fat.
You could also add chopped tomato if you have one or two on hand.
Do You Rinse Pasta for Pasta Salad?
Yes! When you make pasta salad, once the pasta is cooked, rinse it under cold running water to stop the cooking process.
Can I Make Pasta Salad the Day Before?
To make this salad up to 2 days ahead, leave out the parsley, pine nuts, and Parmesan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Toss these ingredients into the salad right before serving.
What Goes Well with Pasta Salad?
Serve this Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe with any of the following:
- Grilled chicken or steak
- Hot dogs
Pro Tip: Make this a full meal by adding a can of beans to the pasta salad and serving it on a bed of arugula.
More Cold Pasta Salad Recipes:
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Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1/2 pound penne pasta or any pasta shape you like
- 14 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts in brine rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 small white onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil chopped small, with the oil reserved to make the pasta salad dressing
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese optional
- 6 tablespoons olive oil from the sundried tomatoes in olive oil
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 1 small clove garlic grated
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl.
- Once the pasta is cool, give it a quick rinse under cold water so the noodles don’t stick together. Drain it well, and add it to the bowl with the dressing.
- Add the artichoke hearts, onion, parsley, olives, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, and Parmesan, and gently toss to combine.
- Recipe makes about 6 cups.
- Make this a full meal by adding a can of beans to the pasta salad, and serving it on a bed of arugula.
- Vegan Friendly: Omit the Parmesan cheese or use vegan Parmesan-style cheese. In the dressing, use maple syrup instead of honey.
- Make Ahead: To make this salad up to 2 days ahead, leave out the parsley, pine nuts, and Parmesan. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Toss these ingredients into the salad right before serving.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on July 29, 2014. I updated it with more information on May 15, 2020.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items. Thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche says
LOVE the ingredients in this!! Anything with artichokes, olives AND pine nuts, and I am completely sold :) yum!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I could eat this all summer long, love the sun dried tomatoes!
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health says
this is my idea of lunch salad..
I always up the veggies! Looks fantastic. Such a different pasta salad. NOM
My kind of pasta salad! So flavorful.