I am always looking for easy and delicious recipes perfect for making ahead, especially during the summer. It allows me to meal prep so I can enjoy the longer days without worrying about cooking. This Easy Spanakopita Pasta Salad is one of my favorite make ahead dishes.
Salads are one of my favorite things to serve all summer like, like my Summertime Strawberry Caprese Salad. This dish takes as long to prepare as it takes to boil pasta. Besides all of the fresh and bright flavors I love that I can use the help of a favorite grocery store short cut as one of the main ingredients.
With just a handful of fresh ingredients this pasta salad comes together effortlessly. Whether you’re looking for a fun lunch or light dinner, this is a great option.
- Fusilli corti buccati pasta – This short fusilli pasta has the perfect shape for the light dressing to hug.
- Baby spinach – This is a classic component of spanakopita.
- Feta cheese – This salty, tangy cheese is made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. It’s another traditional component of spanakopita.
- Scallions – These offer up a light onion flavor.
- Rotisserie chicken – I love taking this grocery store shortcut to add protein to this dish and make it extra hearty while also feeling light.
- Fresh herbs – I use a combination of dill and mint.
- Lemon – This recipe uses both the juice and zest from a lemon. They both offer up their own sunny burst of lemon flavor, in different ways.
- Olive oil – You want to use a good quality olive oil for this recipe as it’s a main ingredient.
- Salt and pepper – The feta is salty so salt lightly at first and then taste before adjusting.
How to Make Easy Spanakopita Pasta Salad
The only cooking required for this fresh and delicious pasta is boiling the water. It takes minutes to toss together and is even better the next day.
Time needed: 2 hours
The only cooking required for this cool and crisp pasta salad is the pasta itself!
- Bubble and Boil
Boil your pasta according to the package directions for al dente. It should still have a little bite to it. Drain it once done cooking. Drizzle olive oil over the top to prevent it from sticking.
- Mix it Up
Add your pasta and the remaining ingredients to a large serving bowl and toss to combine.
- Cool Down
Allow your pasta salad to refrigerate for at least an hour. This can be made the day before as it is even better the next day. This allows all of the flavors to meld and deepen.
Substitutions For Easy Spanakopita Pasta Salad
- Fusilli corti buccati pasta – Rotini, gemelli, and cavatappi are all good substitutions for the Fusilli corti buccati pasta.
- Dairy Free feta – You can make this recipe dairy free by using a Dairy Free feta cheese.
- Gluten Free – This recipe can easily be made Gluten Free by using a Gluten Free pasta.
- Vegetarian – You can make this recipe completely meat free by leaving the rotisserie chicken out of the pasta salad.
- Spicy – For a little kick add crushed red pepper flakes when you’re mixing up your pasta salad.
Top Tip for Easy Spanakopita Pasta Salad
The zest of all citrus adds depth and dimension from the citrus oils. Make sure you only grate the colored skin of the citrus. You don’t want to grate any of the white part. This is called the pith and it is bitter. Whether it’s the lemon zest in this recipe or orange zest in a cheesecake, don’t forget to zest your citrus first, and then squeeze your fruit.
Easy Spanakopita Pasta Salad
- 1 stockpot
- 1 colander
- 1 serving bowl
- 8 oz fusilli corti buccati pasta
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup feta, crumbled
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, cubed
- fresh dill and mint, chopped
- juice and zest from one lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp of salt.
- Add the pasta into the boiling water and boil according to the package directions for al dente.
- Immediately drain the pasta. Drizzle olive oil over it to prevent it from sticking.
- Add the pasta and the remaining ingredients to a large serving bowl. Mix to combine.
- Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
- Allow to chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator. This is better the next day.