Greek Pasta Salad

Olives tend to be one of those love-hate foods. Lots of people are crazy about them: set out a bowl of olives, and they’ll disappear fast. But lots of other people think they’re too strong- tasting, salty, or a little bitter. We think of canned black olives as a good beginner olive: they’re milder than Greek, Niçoise (pronounced nih-SWAHZ), or green olives, and they might help you see what there is to like in an olive. Combine that with the familiar gentleness of a pasta salad, and it just might make an olive lover out of you! 

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Hands-on time: 30   |    Total time: 30   |    Makes: 5 Servings


Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Large mixing bowl
Small mixing bowl
Large spoon or rubber spatula, for stirring 


8 ounce whole-grain pasta (such as fusilli, rotini, or penne), cooked and cooled
2 medium tomatoes, cored and diced
1 small cucumber, scrubbed and diced (if it looks waxy, then peel before dicing)
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (or 1 cup shredded cheddar or Parmesan cheese)
1⁄2 cup sliced pitted black olives (or Greek or Kalamata olives)
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon salt


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

  1. Put the pasta, vegetables, feta, olives, and parsley in the large mixing bowl. 
  2. Put the lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and salt in the small mixing bowl and whisk together. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture, and stir gently to combine. Taste the salad. Does it need a pinch of salt or a dash more lemon juice, vinegar, or olive oil? If so, add it and taste again. Serve right away.