I first had this Sun-Dried Tomato Feta Pasta Salad from the grocery deli and I was in love at first bite! It was like every flavor in that salad (which is filled with bold flavor) was jumping in turn, hoping to get noticed; keeping my interest and making me want to go back for another bite and another!
The downside was that it was a teensy, tiny container, and those deli salads are sooo pricey for what you get! I picked up a container for an impromptu picnic without paying attention to the price! I’m almost a little ashamed that I paid $6.15 for about 3/4’s of a pound of it the first time I had it – but that inspired me to come up with my own recipe.
About Sun-Dried Tomato Feta Pasta Salad:
There is just about everything good in this salad! It’s chock full of Mediterranean flavors. There’s Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes of course, but also a mix of briny olives, as well as a little bell pepper for some crunch and a fabulous dressing.
For this recipe, you’ll want the sun-dried tomatoes in the jar; the flavorful liquid becomes part of the zippy vinaigrette that is the dressing for this salad. There’s also a little red wine vinegar, a little oil, and then herbs and seasonings.
You can choose to lean toward the Greek side by using Greek seasoning in the dressing or change it up to Italian with Italian seasoning. Either is excellent with the mix of veggies.
Making Sun-Dried Tomato Feta Pasta Salad:
This has got to be one of the easiest past salads ever! That’s because there is minimal prep work to get it going. Just cook the pasta, chop the ingredients and mix up the very easy vinaigrette.
The key to a great pasta salad is to use a good amount of “add-ins” for the amount of pasta and to cook the pasta to just al dente and drain it very well. I like to use about 12 ounces of pasta (although if you need to stretch it, you could use more pasta). Any corkscrew type of pasta works well because the ridges help catch the finely chopped veggies.
As far as the other ingredients, your best result, as I mentioned before is the jarred sun-dried tomatoes. The olives I like to use are Kalamata and a good green olive with pimento. That’s because I like them, but you can use any olives you have on hand. And the bell pepper? The red is best here; it adds flavor and color.
I really love cooking with my homemade spice blends – I think they add such a great flavor and are a little more intense than store-bought, but you do you! If you’d like to take a look, here’s my Italian Seasoning Blend and my Homemade Greek Seasoning. If you do use a store bought Greek seasoning, use an “herby” one, not a powdery one like Cavenders. I love that stuff, just not for this.
Saving Money on Sun-Dried Tomato Feta Pasta Salad:
I have a whole post on Feta Cheese, how to buy, how to store, and just about everything else you’d want to know. Just know that the blocks of Feta are always cheaper than the crumbles. The packages may look about the same size, but ounce for ounce, the blocks are a better deal. Check out the link above if you have any leftover you’d like to store correctly.
Specialty condiments like sun-dried tomatoes and olives can be pricey, too, and that goes for olive oil as well. A pasta salad is a great way to use up any of these ingredients lingering in your fridge. When you buy, watch for sales, and do check out the producer’s site for coupons.
Get in the habit of picking up pasta on sale. There’s really never any reason to pay full price. If you toss your pasta or any item containing flour or cornstarch in your freezer for three days, you’ll eliminate any possibility of pests.
This is really one of my fave pasta salads to serve at home or to take to a potluck or party; these days outdoor parties are becoming the norm and this is a salad that will keep really well and get better and better as it sits, so it’s perfect for make-ahead. The bold flavors transition easily from summer into fall!
Hope you guys enjoy it!
Sun-Dried Tomato Feta Pasta Salad
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes + chill
- Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Italian
- 12 ounces pasta (corkscrew type shape preferred)
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 cup chopped black olives
- 1/2 cup chopped green olives
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup of the liquid from the sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Italian or Greek seasoning
- 4 ounces of Feta, crumbled
- salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain well and cool. Place in a large bowl. Add the bell pepper, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes and toss.
In a jar, mix together the olive oil, the 1/4 cup of liquid from the sun-dried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and choice of seasoning blend. Shake and pour over pasta mixture. Add the Feta cheese and toss. Taste and add salt and pepper. Chill. Best if chilled for at least an hour. Toss gently again before serving.
Keywords: Bell Peppers, Cheese, Feta Cheese, Greek, Italian, Olives, Pasta, pasta salad, Salad, sun dried tomatoes, Tomatoes, Vinegar