Make-Ahead Pasta Salad Recipe

Make-Ahead Pasta Salad

Laura Klynstra


  • 8 ounces rotini pasta (or any pasta shape of your choice)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool down the pasta. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, black olives, feta cheese, basil, and parsley. Toss gently to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
  4. Add the cooled pasta to the bowl of vegetables and pour the dressing over the top. Toss well to coat the pasta and vegetables with the dressing.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the salad to an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld together.
  6. Before serving, give the pasta salad a gentle toss to redistribute the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

This Make-Ahead Pasta Salad is perfect for picnics, potlucks, or as a refreshing side dish for any occasion. The combination of colorful vegetables, tangy feta cheese, and fragrant herbs creates a light and flavorful salad. The make-ahead feature allows you to prepare it in advance, saving you time and ensuring that the flavors develop and intensify. Enjoy this chilled pasta salad as a standalone dish or pair it with grilled meats, sandwiches, or other summer favorites. It’s a versatile and crowd-pleasing salad that will become a staple in your recipe collection.

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