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bowtie pasta salad in a colorful blue serving bowl surrounded by some ingredients in small bowls

Cold Bowtie Pasta Salad with Feta Cheese and Spinach

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This cold bowtie pasta salad (or farfalle pasta salad) is perfect for cookouts or an easy weekday meal. Cooked and cooled al dente bowtie pasta is tossed with crumbled feta cheese, chopped spinach, green olives, sweet roasted cherry tomatoes, and pesto sauce – yum! Make your own pesto or use store-bought. It’s an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe that comes together in 30 minutes or less.


  • 1 lb bowtie pasta
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup green Castelvetrano olives, halved
  • 1 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought


  1. PREP: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On the prepared baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them out onto the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until some are burst open and they are soft and juicy.
    Roasted cherry tomatoes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  3. While the tomatoes cook, bring about 5 quarts of water to a boil on the stovetop, and add a tablespoon of kosher salt to season. Cook the bowtie pasta in the salted water according to package instructions, until pasta is al dente.
  4. Strain the pasta in a colander and run it under cold water in the sink for about a minute, or until the pasta has cooled down completely.
    Cooked bowtie pasta in a colander
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled pasta, roasted cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, chopped spinach, olives, and pesto sauce.
    bowtie pasta salad ingredients in a bowl before being mixed
  6. Use mixing spoons to toss everything together very well, until all the ingredients are evenly dispersed and coated in the pesto sauce.
    bowtie pasta salad in a bowl with mixing spoons


Serving suggestions

You can serve pasta salad as a vegetarian main dish, or as a side dish for a cookout or gathering. I like to pair pasta salad with some protein to make it an even more filling meal.

Try pairing it with salmon, shrimp, tofu, or tempeh.


Pasta salad is a good recipe to prep in advance, because it keeps well in the fridge and it is meant to be served cold or at room temperature.

Prepare this salad up to 3 days in advance, and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

I do not recommend freezing pasta salad, as it will change the texture and become icy.

Keywords: bowtie cold pasta salad, bowtie pasta salad with feta, farfalle pasta salad, healthy cold pasta salad, healthy pasta salad recipes