Creamy Strawberry Feta Pasta Salad

Brace yourself for a symphony of flavors in this creamy strawberry feta pasta salad. This fantastic salad takes advantage of fresh seasonal summer produce. Crisp romaine lettuce, sweet, juicy strawberries, creamy avocado, crumbly feta cheese, and nutty sliver almonds come together to hit all the right flavor notes of a fresh and bountiful summer pasta dish.

strawberry feta pasta salad in a glass bowl

Strawberries, avocado, almonds, oh my! If you enjoy your salads and pasta salads loaded with “stuff,” then this recipe is for you. And it’s a combination of ingredients that you might second-guess at first. Sure, strawberries and feta might seem oddly paired, but the sweet-salty combination hits the spot every time. In fact, feta cheese is a no-brainer in a salad like this, but substituting goat cheese would be a total home run too.

Plus, it’s topped with a completely homemade poppy seed dressing made with only a handful of ingredients including Greek yogurt.


Tell Me About this Strawberry Feta Pasta Salad

  • Texture: There’s plenty of crunch from the almonds and romaine, which makes a playful contrast to the melt-in-your-mouth strawberries and big buttery chunks of avocado. 
  • Flavor: Loaded with sweet strawberries, salty feta, nutty almonds, and creamy avocado, this sensational salad will delight your taste buds. Plus, it’s lightly dressed in a sweet and creamy poppy seed and yogurt dressing for an added boost of flavor.
  • Ease: It’s pretty simple. While the pasta is cooking, you prep the other ingredients and make the salad dressing. Drain the pasta and set it aside to cooled before combining it all together. 
  • Time: 25 minutes from start to finish.

pouring dressing ont strawberry feta pasta salad

When to Serve Strawberry Pasta Salad

With all the vibrant colors and variety of textures, this type of salad would work at any large-gathering occasion (because it can absolutely feed a crowd). I mean, how beautiful would this dish be at a bridal shower or baby shower? The bright pink strawberries and fresh flavors  look gorgeous and complement any meal . Or you could even add blueberries for a festive Memorial Day or 4th of July potluck. And if you’re simply looking to turn it into a satisfying meal, add some grilled chicken.

Best of all, this pasta salad keeps for days in the refrigerator and tastes better on day 2 or 3, so it can be made ahead without any compromises to flavor or texture. This is summer-entertaining perfection at its finest. 

creamy poppy seed dressing in a glass measuring cup

strawberry feta pasta salad in a glass bowl

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strawberry feta pasta salad in a glass bowl

Creamy Strawberry Feta Pasta Salad

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Category: Pasta Salad
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This creamy strawberry feta pasta salad is absolutely delicious, feeds a crowd, keeps for days in the refrigerator, and has homemade poppy seed dressing!


Ingredients

Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 2/3 cup (160g) Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (80g) honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard (or 1 teaspoon dijon mustard)
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds

Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound dry pasta (elbow, bow tie, rotini, etc)
  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 lb – 1.5 lbs strawberries, sliced (I use 1.5 lbs for lots of strawberries!)
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3/4 cup (85g) slivered or sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk all of the poppy seed dressing ingredients together.
  3. Stir the remaining pasta salad ingredients in with the pasta. Toss with dressing. Add a little more feta and almonds if you wish. (I like a little extra cheese!)
  4. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Tastes best on day 2 or 3, so it’s perfect to make ahead of time!

strawberry feta pasta salad in a ceramic bowl

PS: here are the bowls I use in this photo 🙂

22 Comments

  1. Do you have any suggestions for substitutes for avocado in this recipe? Other than the avocado this looks delicious!

    1. Hey Danielle! You can just leave it out. Or what about chopped red pepper, cucumber slices, or bacon crumbles?

  2. What can i use instead the poppy seed in the dressing?
    I cannot find it anywhere in México!!!

    1. You can leave the poppy seeds out 🙂

  3. I want to make this for a staff lunch at school, but we are nut free. Any suggestions for crunch without the almonds? Would sunflower seeds be too salty?

    1. Not at all! I’d definitely use sunflower seeds instead.

  4. Vicky Holland says:

    I made the salad and it was really good, but not good for leftovers because the avocado turns brown and the strawberries go limp. I would suggest making half a batch or cooking all the noodles and only dressing the noodles and add the fresh ingredients each day as you choose to eat it over the next several days.

  5. This recipe looks fantastic, and I’d love to make it for a vegan friend. I’ll omit the feta from her portion (it’s definitely going in mine!), and she makes exceptions for honey so that’s fine, but I’m trying to find a good substitute for the greek yogurt. I know there are vegan yogurt substitutes, but I don’t know about vegan greek yogurt substitutes. Do you think vegan (coconut based) yogurt would work? Any other ideas?

    1. I’m sure that would be fine– make sure it is plain.

  6. Wow, this is a keeper! Love everything, the homemade dressing (also good for other salads) and the sweet strawberries in a healthy and savory salad, way to go, Sally!

    I don’t like poppy seeds, so I just left them out. And I somehow mixed up this recipe with another and got pecans instead of almonds, but it was just as good.

    Beware, recipe is for ten portions, I halved it as it’s only my hubby and me.

  7. Made this for girls’ weekend–they didn’t mind being guinea pigs and loved the salad! It’s great as an entree or a side. Thank you. Made it as written with dry mustard. Thank you!

  8. I made this recipe and it’s soooooooo yummy! I made this recipe per the instructions using rotini pasta, goat cheese, and Dijon mustard. I’m usually noy a fan of any kind of mustard but you cannot even taste the mustard. Thanks for a great recipe!

  9. First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALLY! And next, I made this over the weekend and OMG it is SO SO GOOD! I can’t stop eating it and my family loved it as well. Thank you for all your delicious recipes! You are awesome! 🙂

  10. Can you substitute perhaps mini mozzarella cheese balls instead of feta or goat cheese in this recipe?

    1. Yes, absolutely!

  11. I have made this recipe no less than 10 times in the past 3 months! My daughter requests it every week and I am happy to oblige because it is SO delicious! The dressing pulls all the flavors together, and it is quick and easy to make. On the rare occasions we have leftovers, it tastes great the next day.

  12. I have chia, but no poppy seeds and wonder how they would work to make the dressing. Anyone tried that by chance?

    1. Hi Renee, we haven’t tested the dressing with chia seeds. I would simply leave out the poppy seeds instead of replacing them with chia seeds.

  13. Any suggestions to leave out pasta …

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary Lou, you could leave out the pasta and use more lettuce in its place for more of a traditional salad. We haven’t tried it ourselves, but rice might be a good replacement for the pasta if you’d prefer.

  14. Omgggggg!! WHAT A HIT!!

    To stretch my strawberries I cubed them and used mini bow tie paste. I forgot to add my sliced almonds so I put them in a bowl on the side … it added a secondary crunch with the lettuce. (and won’t become soggy ). Got texts the next day saying “wished we would have brought home leftovers” My reply… yea ya done GOOFED cause it’s soooo YUMMY – HA!!

    DEFINITELY a “go to” recipe

  15. Maryanne Jonas says:

    FANTASTIC!! We are away on vacation at the beach and I made this for lunch, today. It was absolutely delicious and we have lots leftover for tomorrow! Thank you, Sally! I love your recipes!!

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