Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad

Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad – a wonderfully refreshing combination of lemon, olive oil, and herbs to make your taste buds dance. Packed full of veggies, easy to make, and is sure to be a hit at your next party or with your family.

A fresh pasta salad is one of my favorite things to make – especially when it can be made with the leftovers in my fridge! If you haven’t tried lemon flavored olive oil in your cold pasta salad, then you are going to want to make this Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad. You will be tickled pink!

Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad - an easy, refreshing and healthy pasta salad packed full of flavor. #pastasalad #lemon #healthy #salad | https://withpeanutbutterontop.com

Perfect for grilling season!

If you’re wondering what to make for your Memorial Day weekend get together, for the next party, or what to serve your family the next night you grill out – then look no further! This Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad is for you. Not only are you going to love how easy it is to make, but also love how light and refreshing it is.

So skip the traditional pasta salad and skip the macaroni salad – especially if they are store bought! Wow your family and friends, as well as yourself, with this homemade pasta dish.

This recipe can serve anywhere between 10-12 people as a side dish, but you can easily adjust the recipe accordingly. Not that there is anything wrong with leftovers. Sometimes leftovers make for the best meals. This recipe is one of those! It came about from leftovers needing to be used, as well as makes for delicious leftovers days later.

Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad - an easy, refreshing and healthy pasta salad packed full of flavor. #pastasalad #lemon #healthy #salad | https://withpeanutbutterontop.com
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The Easy Lemon Garlic Dressing:

Easy to whisk together and absolutely delicious. I recently took to perusing the olive oil aisle at my local grocery store. So many options and so much to choose from! With my shopping I discovered lemon flavored olive oil. That’s right – lemon flavored olive oil.

You’re probably thinking that I’ve been living under a rock my whole life. I cannot deny that. I more than likely have been. But I am also a creature of habit with things. I stick to something that I know I like and every once in awhile I venture out of my comfort zone to try something new.

This would be one of those times! Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised and I will be using this lemon flavored olive oil quite often. Which has only led me to wanting to shop for more flavored olive oils. I’ll take the “bad” with the good here. 😉

If you can’t find lemon flavored olive oil at your local grocery store, you can either find it on Amazon (Organic Mantova Lemon Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil) or make your own by combining olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice! But having it on hand in your pantry is such a nice convenience.

Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad - an easy, refreshing and healthy pasta salad packed full of flavor. #pastasalad #lemon #healthy #salad | https://withpeanutbutterontop.com

Flavorful and crunchy veggies:

I absolutely love pasta salads that are not only jam-packed full of flavor, but also have that added crunch! The red onion, cucumber, and chopped romaine help give this salad just that. Let’s not forget the arugula – bringing a little peppery bite, as well.

But let’s talk about that romaine. Seems strange to have in a pasta salad, right? It’s not! I watched my mother-in-law cook for us one night and I noticed she tossed finely chopped romaine in with a cooked, warm pasta dish. Never once had I thought to add chopped romaine to warm pasta, so I asked her about it. To which I was assured to how good it would be.

And she was right! I mean, I love a cold pasta salad on top of a traditional salad (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it), but never once thought to add it to a warm pasta dish. It adds a nice crunch with a plain flavor. In this Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad – it works very well.

I guess to put it quite simply, this salad is merely a combination of some of my favorite things.

  • Pasta – hello, carb coma!
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Feta Cheeeese
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Lemon – tartness? yes, please!
  • Tomatoes – I generally only buy cherry or roma tomatoes. Is that bad? HA
  • Cucumber – got to love that crunch!
  • Romaine and Arugula – for some crunch and a peppery bite!

One of my top favorites is the roasted red peppers. It is a continuous staple in my kitchen. Whether they’re homemade or store bought – I always have them on hand and can put them on or in anything. And in this dish – they compliment everything so well!

Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad - an easy, refreshing and healthy pasta salad packed full of flavor. #pastasalad #lemon #healthy #salad | https://withpeanutbutterontop.com

Carb up, Buttercup!

Let’s talk about the pasta – the star in this dish. Something I wish I could eat day in and day out if only my waistline would allow for it. I used penne pasta, because that is what I had on hand. You can use the pasta of your choosing – penne, bowtie, macaroni, corkscrew, or spaghetti.

Pasta Prep Tips:

  • Prep the night before or the day of. Simply add the romaine, arugula, and avocado just before serving. The greens will soften and the avocado will turn quickly if left to sit/soak overnight.
  • If you cannot find lemon flavored olive oil in your local grocery store, simply combine olive oil and lemon juice together. I would recommend 1/3 cup of olive oil with 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • I recommend cooking the pasta with a generous amount of salt in the water until it reaches an al dente texture. Once drained, run under cold water until the pasta reaches a cool temperature. The salt will help prevent the pasta from clumping together and the cold water will help speed up the cooling process, thus cutting back on prep time.

More pasta and salad dishes!

  1. Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta
  2. Shrimp and Feta Penne Pasta
  3. Cajun Lime Chicken Avocado Corn Salad
  4. Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad
  5. Chicken Avocado and Cucumber Caprese Salad

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Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad - an easy, refreshing and healthy pasta salad packed full of flavor. #pastasalad #lemon #healthy #salad | https://withpeanutbutterontop.com
4.13 from 8 votes
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Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad

An easy, light and refreshing pasta salad jam-packed full of veggies and flavor. Sure to be a hit at your next family function or party!

Course Appetizer, Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 229 kcal
Author Samantha Buckner

Ingredients

  • 1 large english cucumber sliced in half lengthwise, then into slices
  • 1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers drained and chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1.5 cups chopped romaine
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1 medium avocado peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 lb penne pasta or pasta of choice

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup lemon olive oil* *see notes below
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp honey or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • extra lemon juice to taste, if preferred

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot with a generous amount of salt until al dente - time will be dependent on pasta used, so follow instruction on the package. 

  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients into a small mixing bowl, whisking together until mixed. Place in a covered dish and into the refrigerator until ready to use.

  3. Once the pasta is ready, drain while running under cold water approximately 60-90 seconds or until the pasta has cooled through. It helps to either use your hand or a spoon to stir the pasta to ensure it cools quickly and evenly.

  4. Into a large serving bowl, combine pasta and vegetables listed above. Add dressing and toss to coat, followed by the feta cheese and diced avocado.

  5. Serve garnished with additional avocado, feta cheese, basil, and oregano.

Recipe Notes

  • Prep the night before or the day of. Simply add the romaine, arugula, and avocado just before serving. The greens will soften and the avocado will turn quickly if left to sit/soak overnight.
  • If you cannot find lemon olive oil in your local grocery store, simply combine olive oil and lemon juice together. I would recommend 1/3 cup of olive oil with 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • I recommend cooking the pasta with a generous amount of salt in the water until it reaches an al dente texture. Once drained, run under cold water until the pasta reaches a cool temperature. The salt will help prevent the pasta from clumping together and the cold water will help speed up the cooling process, thus cutting back on prep time.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 229 Calories from Fat 131
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14.6g 22%
Saturated Fat 2.4g 12%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.4g
Cholesterol 2.7mg 1%
Sodium 214.5mg 9%
Potassium 166.9mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 22.6g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2.5g 10%
Sugars 3.6g
Protein 4.2g 8%
Vitamin A 13.3%
Vitamin C 24.7%
Calcium 1.7%
Iron 5.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad - an easy, refreshing and healthy pasta salad packed full of flavor. #pastasalad #lemon #healthy #salad | https://withpeanutbutterontop.com

Lemon Garlic and Feta Pasta Salad - an easy, refreshing and healthy pasta salad packed full of flavor. #pastasalad #lemon #healthy #salad | https://withpeanutbutterontop.com

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