Spaghetti Salad Recipe

Spaghetti Salad Recipe

This Greek spaghetti salad is tough to beat. Fresh and simple, this dish comes together easily and is customizable to your taste. Try using small sweet peppers instead of bell peppers, or adding parmesan and Italian dressing instead of the feta and Greek dressing called for. For maximum flavor, make sure you salt the pasta water heavily. This will ensure that both the vegetables and the pasta are well-seasoned.

If your salad feels a bit too dry, just add a squeeze of lemon, some brine from the pepperoncini's, or more dressing. A touch of olive oil will help, too. If you’re gluten-free you can try using lentil or chickpea pasta.

Bring even more freshness to this dish by adding fresh herbs like basil or thyme. Mince the herbs together and sprinkle them on top of the dish before serving along with the juice from half a lemon.

Our favorite thing to do is prepare this on Sunday evening for lunch during the week. Keep this dish covered in your refrigerator for up to three days. The flavor only improves with time. You may find yourself eating it cold straight from the fridge for a refreshing treat.

“This is a great spin on a cold pasta salad. The Greek-inspired flavors work well together. Put your water on to boil and then start prepping your veggies. This salad is the perfect light lunch or BBQ side dish. ” —Carrie Parente

Spaghetti Salad Recipe / Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • Salt, as needed

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced

  • 1/2 medium English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 cup quartered pepperoni slices, or mini pepperoni slices

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced pepperoncini peppers

  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, more for garnish, if desired

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced pitted Kalamata olives

  • 1 cup store-bought or homemade Greek dressing

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Spaghetti salad ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente.

    Pasta and water in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

    Pasta on a colander

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. In a large bowl add the spaghetti, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, pepperoni, pepperoncini, feta, and olives. Toss with just enough dressing to coat.

    Pasta, vegetables, cheese and olives in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to overnight. Adjust the seasoning, toss, and garnish with more feta, if desired. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

    Spaghetti salad in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Tips

Don’t forget to rinse your pasta under cold water until it is no longer warm, otherwise, you run the risk of your pasta continuing to cook and becoming sticky and overdone. 

Recipe Variations

  • If you’d rather use penne, bucatini, or other kinds of pasta that is totally fine too.
  • Sprinkle on some minced basil or thyme as a garnish.
  • Add some chopped fresh kale or swiss chard to up your greens intake.
  • Use sweet peppers in place of the bell peppers.
  • Add parmesan and Italian dressing instead of feta and Greek dressing.

How to Store

This spaghetti salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can eat it cold or reheat, whichever way you prefer.

Make Your Own Dressing

If you’d prefer to make your own dressing, do so by combining olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, a few minced garlic cloves, dried oregano, a touch of stone ground mustard, and plenty of flaky salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Whisk well in a bowl or add all the ingredients to a jar with a tight lid and shake well.

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