A pasta salad without mayonnaise and yet it taste satisfying and delicious. A mashed-up between pasta and salad, hence the name Broccoli Feta Pasta Salad. This pasta salad uses Tzatziki Sauce, a Middle Eastern dip made from yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil,lemon juice, and herbs such as dill (which is the most common herbs used), mint, parsley and thyme as the dressing. You can just imagine how fresh it taste, simply perfect for a filling Summer salad.
Between iced drinks, frozen treats, crumble, crisp and pie, salad is one of my all time favorite but more so during Summer. Pasta salad in particular makes a great make-ahead filling lunch that could last for a week without worrying of it going bad. I still remember when I was a kid, my favorite salad dressing was any cream based dressing. Ceasar dressing, ranch dressing or anything creamy is what I always go for. I dislike vinaigrette dressing and wouldn’t dare come near nor, but more so tasting it. But as I grew up and more here in Canada, my preference change, my eating habits change, my life style change for the better. I am not in any kind of diet, I eat almost anything but in moderation. I enjoy eating a lot of vegetables and fruits now, and my preference for salad changed. I am more inclined now to choose salad greens, and pasta salad with light dressing. This is one reason why I love this Broccoli Salad Pasta, but aside from that here are other reason why you should try this.
- Perfect for make-ahead
- Simple and flexible ingredients
- The longer it sits, the better it taste
- The Tzatziki Dressing makes the perfect healthy option dressing
- It taste delicious and full of freshness
Ingredients to Make Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Rotini Multi Colored Pasta – Other past like Penne, Riccioli, Rigatoni, Ziti, Shell, Orzo, Farfalle will work well too.
- Tatziki Dip replaces the mayonnaise. If you do not want to make one, you can also use a simple lemon and olive oil + herbs and spices dressing.
- Salt – Tzatziki Dip has a very mild taste, so adding the salt is really important
- Black Pepper – to taste
- Crumbled Feta – the only cheese that is perfect for a Mediterranean or Greek style salad. The closest that you could replace this with is with Goat Cheese
- Broccoli – Can be substituted with grilled or roasted yellow and green zucchini, or bell peppers
- Kalamata Olive – The Olives gave a nice pickled taste which matches with the fresh lemony taste of the salad, so do not skip this.
How to Make Broccoli Pasta Salad
This is such an easy recipe. First thing first, cook the pasta or your choice and make sure not to over cook it. Aim form aldente, slightly firm but not too soft. For the Tzatziki Dressing, you can make this the same day or make it the day before. I would suggest the later for better flavor specially if you intend to serve the salad immediately. Making the dressing is probably the most that you need to do here. Once the dressing is done, simply pour it into the pasta and add the vegetables, olive and feta cheese. It is recommended to chill the salad at least 1 hour to allow the flavor to develop, but if you have time, it is better to make it 1 day ahead or even more. This salad could last at least 5 days in the refrigerator anyway. So easy, right?
What other vegetables can you add to a pasta salad?
Broccoli is the first on the list, but if you are not a fan of broccoli there are other vegetables that you can use. Try adding yellow and green zucchini. You can either stir-fry, roast or grill the zucchini before adding it to the salad. To add more color and crunch, red, green, orange and yellow bell peppers are good options to. For more crunch and freshness, some diced cucumbers and minced red onion. Experiment and do not be afraid, sometimes the best recipe comes from scrap vegetables that you have in your fridge.
Can you make pasta salad ahead of time?
Definitely YES. In fact, this salad taste even better when serve the following day. It gave the salad time to develop and absorb the dressing which makes it flavorful and delicious. This is a great salad option to bring for a get together because you can make it ahead of time. No rush, no worry, everybody happy.
Can I make this Pasta Salad without Tzatziki Dressing
Yes, You can. Use a simple olive oil and lemon the herbs and spices dressing like the one I used in the featured video below Mediterranean Pasta Salad. It is as equally good as using Tzatziki dressing.
How long will Pasta Salad Last in the refrigerator?
I would say about 5 days, but since this is a small batch I don’t even have to worry for any leftover. But just in case you want to make it for weekday lunch, it should be good for 5 days in the refrigerator. Again, the flavor intensify even better as the days go by. I actually recommend making it in advance to get the best of the flavor.
For Non-Vegetarian Variation
This salad is good to serve on its own. Because of how delicious it taste, it can actually stand on its own without any additional protein. But if you are not vegetarian and want to make this more filling, simply add some protein to go with it. I normally have this with grilled my Grilled Greek Chicken or even plain roasted chicken or salmon.
Featured Video: Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- 1 cup uncooked Rotini Pasta ( Penne, Riccioli, Rigatoni, Ziti, Shell, Orzo, Farfalle)
- 1/3 cup Tzatziki Dip
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/3 cup Crumbled Feta (set aside 2 tbsp for topping)
- 100g Broccoli ( Only the florets)
- 1/4 cup Kalamata Olive – sliced (set aside 2 tbsp for topping)
- Cook pasta as per package instruction. remove the pasta and transfer in a large bowl. Do not wash with water to retain the starch so the dressing sticks better.
- Cook the Broccoli: Using the same water where you boil the pasta, blanch the Broccoli for about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Make the Tzatziki Dressing: Get the FULL RECIPE HERE
- Mix Pasta: Pour Tzatziki dressing onto the pasta. Add chopped broccoli, crumbled feta, kalamata olive, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle top with reaming feta cheese and olive before serving.
- Storage: This salad gets even better the following day, keep the leftover refrigerated.
Enjoy! If you make this, share and tag me in Instagram #SweetNSpicyLiving. I would like to see your creations too.
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