This Greek Chicken Pasta Salad is perfect for meal prep, summer picnics, potlucks, or just a quick and easy meal. The fresh flavors of Mediterranean food are paired perfectly with chicken and pasta for a full and hearty meal or flavorful side dish!
Danae from Recipe Runner here sharing one of my favorite healthy chicken pasta salad recipes!
A cold pasta salad is a dish that usually consists of cooked and cooled pasta, vegetables, and a dressing or sauce. This type of salad can be served cold or at room temperature, making it perfect for potlucks and picnics.
For this easy pasta salad, we use Mediterranean inspired flavors by loading it with cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and of course, plenty of feta cheese! It also contains cold-cooked chicken to add protein and make it into a hearty meal.
This cold chicken pasta salad is great for the warmer weather months because it does not need to be served hot, and it can be prepared ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about heating something up on busy days or evenings.
To make a chicken and pasta salad, all you’ll need to do is slice up cooked chicken breast and toss it with pasta, vegetables, and feta. Pour over the simple Greek dressing and toss again for a great addition to your summer recipe lineup!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- You can make this chicken pasta salad ahead of time.
- Customize by using your favorite pasta shapes and sizes, including gluten free pasta.
- This recipe can be served cold or at room temperature, with no heating is needed.
- The greek pasta salad is a refreshing and satisfying dish that is still light enough to serve during the warmer months.
Pasta Salad Ingredients
- Chicken Breast – This high-protein meat is the perfect addition to this pasta dish. It takes on whatever flavor you cook it in and adds satisfying protein. You can cook the chicken any way you like for this recipe.
- Chicken Seasonings – A mix of dried coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, garlic, oregano, and cayenne pepper is used to season and flavor the chicken before cooking.
- Pasta – Penne, bowties, shells, rotini, orzo or any other fun pasta shape works great in this dish.
- English Cucumbers – These refreshing vegetables add crunch and a touch of fresh garden taste to the salad. You can substitute with standard cucumbers, if needed.
- Cherry Tomatoes – Cherry or grape tomatoes are used for their bite-sized shape and sweetness.
- Kalamata Olives – These briny olives add a salty and intense flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients. You can substitute the kalamata olives for green olives or black olives.
- Crumbled Feta Cheese – A crumbled cheese is perfect for topping this salad and adding a salty bite even more Mediterranean flavors. You can omit the cheese to make it dairy free.
- Red Onion – A sweet and mild onion that is a great addition to this salad.
- Fresh Dill – This herb adds a great fresh and aromatic taste.
For the Greek Salad Dressing:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – A good high quality olive oil is best.
- Red Wine Vinegar – Do not omit as this adds the traditional greek vinaigrette flavor.
- Spices – Dried oregano, salt and pepper.
- Dijon Mustard – Any type of dijon mustard words well.
- Garlic – Use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor.
How to Make Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. The pasta should be cooked to al dente.
- Cook the marinated chicken: Add all of the dried seasonings for the chicken into a small bowl and mix until combined. Grill, pan-fry or bake the chicken breast until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Let the chicken rest before cutting into cubes.
- Assemble the pasta salad: Add cooled pasta to a large bowl along with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, fresh dill, and feta cheese. Add the cooled and chopped chicken breast. Give it a good toss to combine all of the ingredients.
- Add the pasta salad dressing: In a medium-sized bowl or in a mason jar, add all of the vinaigrette ingredients. Whisk together or shake until fully combined and emulsified. Pour over the top of the pasta salad toss until fully combined.
Serve the greek chicken pasta salad immediately or store in the fridge for later use. If you are storing the salad to enjoy later, you can store the dressing in the mason jar separately in the refrigerator. Toss the dressing with the salad just prior to serving.
- Cook the chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a digital kitchen thermometer for best results.
- Prep ahead – If you want to make this salad ahead of time, wait to add the vinaigrette until just before serving. The pasta and vegetables will stay fresh for a couple of days when stored in the fridge. It’s a great option for meal prep.
- Chop vegetables to roughly the same size. This ensures everything mixes together well and all ingredients are in each bite.
- Use a mason jar to easily mix the dressing. Simply add all of the ingredients and shake vigorously until combined. Use any extra as a marinade.
- Change up the protein by using grilled shrimp, salmon, or diced ham in place of the chicken.
- Add other Mediterranean flavors like roasted red peppers, bell pepper, artichokes or capers.
- Add fresh lemon juice to the greek vinaigrette for even more flavor.
- For a gluten free greek pasta salad, use gluten free pasta.
- For a vegetarian dish, add in a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas for extra protein and fiber. You can also add extra veggies.
- Use any other type of cheese in place of feta, like mozzarella, blue cheese, or Parmesan.
- Use store-bought dressing. If you don’t have the ingredients to make the vinaigrette, try using Italian dressing in place of the Greek vinaigrette.
Did you try this Greek Chicken Pasta Salad recipe? Leave a recipe rating and review below.
Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
For the chicken
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,, about 1/2 pound
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano,, rubbed between the palms of your hands
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper,, optional
For the Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano,, rubbed between the palms of your hands
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
For the pasta salad
- 1/2 pound whole wheat bow tie pasta or pasta of choice
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped English cucumber
- 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- In a small bowl combine all of the spices and sprinkle evenly all over the chicken. Cook or grill the chicken until no longer pink inside and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before dicing it.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain and cool to room temperature then place in a large serving bowl.
- Add the diced chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, olives, feta and dill in with the pasta.
- Whisk together all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette and pour over the pasta salad. Toss everything together until it’s coated. Taste for seasoning then serve or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.