This cold kale pasta salad is brimming with kale and other yummy Mediterranean ingredients including artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and sun dried tomatoes. It’s an easy and healthy vegetarian dish you can prep ahead of time for lunches, cookouts, or gatherings. Ready in 30 minutes or less!

If you love my popular Greek tortellini pasta salad, you’ve got to try this one next!

bowl of kale pasta salad on top of a speckled plate surrounded by small bowls of the other ingredients

As a Registered Dietitian, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that I love kale 🙂

When prepared properly, kale is delicious and has so much more flavor than other greens like spinach or romaine.

I’ve got a whole collection of kale salad recipes, but this is my first kale PASTA salad recipe. And it’s a good one!

This Mediterranean pasta salad with kale is packed with some the most flavorful ingredients: briny feta cheese, tangy artichoke hearts, sweet-tart sun dried tomatoes, and herby basil.

Tossed in a simple oregano red wine vinaigrette, you’ll be transported to a balmy summer day on the Italian coastline.

This recipe is vegetarian, and can easily be made gluten free by using gluten-free pasta. It takes 30 minutes or less to prepare, and makes enough for lunches for the week!

mediterranean kale pasta salad ingredients measured out in bowls

Ingredients

  • Dry pasta: I used rotini for this recipe. It would also be good with another pasta shape, such as farfalle (bowties), cavatappi, or even tortellini.
  • Kale: Curly kale or lacinato (dinosaur) kale are best for this recipe. Because kale is a hardy green, it doesn’t get soggy with storage once it has been dressed. It just gets softer and absorbs the flavor of the dressing!
  • Artichoke hearts: From a can or jar, artichoke hearts are an underrated addition to pasta salads! They are packed with tangy flavor, hearty texture, and dietary fiber.
  • Sun dried tomatoes: I adore sun dried tomatoes in pasta salad (try my tri color pasta salad if you do too)! They are flavor bombs of concentrated, sweet-tart tomato flavor and a pleasant chewy texture.
  • Feta cheese: Everything is betta with feta! Especially Mediterranean pasta salad. Feta has a really strong, salty flavor and holds its shape when mixed up with the other ingredients.
  • Fresh basil: Basil is my favorite summery Mediterranean herb. You can also use parsley, dill, or a combination of fresh herbs in this recipe.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: When making homemade sauces and dressings, I pretty much exclusively use extra virgin olive oil. Not only is it rich in heart healthy fats, it has a pleasant earthy, nutty flavor.
  • Red wine vinegar: This type of vinegar is a favorite for Mediterranean dishes. It has a tangy, robust acidic flavor, so a little goes a long way!
  • Dijon mustard: Mustard helps to emulsify the vinaigrette.
  • Dried oregano: Don’t skip this ingredient in the dressing! It makes the vinaigrette taste much more Mediterranean.
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Large pot
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife, 6 or 8 inch
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Small jar
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoons
  • Colander
bowl of kale pasta salad on top of a speckled plate surrounded by small bowls of the other ingredients

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water for about a minute until cool.
  2. Chop sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, chiffonade the basil, and crumble feta cheese.
  3. Prepare the kale by washing, drying, and tearing it up into bite size pieces. I recommend reading this guide on how to prepare kale before you get started!
  4. To make the vinaigrette, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried oregano, salt, and pepper in a small jar. Close and shake until very well combined.
  5. Combine the pasta, kale, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and basil in a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Add dressing and toss to combine until everything is well mixed.
rotini pasta in a colander
kale pasta salad before being mixed up in a bowl
kale pasta salad in a large mixing bowl with wooden mixing spoons

Storage

Since this pasta salad has kale in it that does not get soggy, it will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days stored in an airtight container.

Enjoy cold right from the fridge, or let it sit out for 10-15 minutes if you prefer it at room temperature.

More pasta salad recipes to try

bowl of kale pasta salad on a wooden cutting board

Kale nutrition benefits

Kale is a nutrition powerhouse! One cup of raw kale provides:

  • 2.8 grams of dietary fiber (10% of your daily needs)
  • 2 grams of plant-based protein
  • 170 mg calcium (13% of your daily needs)
  • 1.1 mg iron (6% of your daily needs)
  • 161.47 mcg Vitamin A (18% of your daily needs)
  • 62.6 mg Vitamin C (134% of your daily needs)
  • 261.3 mcg Vitamin K (218% of your daily needs)
  • 0.616 mg manganese (27% of your daily needs)

Kale is also rich in different beneficial plant compounds, including antioxidants and glucosinolates, which can help reduce inflammation and prevent certain diseases.

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bowl of kale pasta salad on top of a speckled plate surrounded by small bowls of the other ingredients

Quick & Healthy Mediterranean Kale Pasta Salad

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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Description

This cold kale pasta salad is brimming with kale and other yummy Mediterranean ingredients including artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and sun dried tomatoes. It’s an easy and healthy vegetarian dish you can prep ahead of time for lunches, cookouts, or gatherings. Ready in 30 minutes or less!


Ingredients

Scale

Pasta salad

Oregano Red wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch of salt
  • Few cracks of pepper


Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, then cook the rotini pasta until al dente.
  2. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water for about 1 minute, until it is cooled to room temperature.
  3. Combine the cooked pasta, kale, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and basil in a large mixing bowl. Add a shake of salt and pepper to season.
  4. In a small jar, combine all of the salad dressing ingredients. Close the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until the dressing is emulsified (well combined with no separation of oil and vinegar).
  5. Pour a majority of the dressing over the pasta salad ingredients in the mixing bowl – I used about 2/3 of the dressing.
  6. Use mixing spoons to toss everything together so all the ingredients are well coated in the dressing.
  7. Taste and add more dressing as desired.
  8. Serve right away!

Notes

Storage

Since this pasta salad has kale in it that does not get soggy, it will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days stored in an airtight container.

Enjoy cold right from the fridge, or let it sit out for 10-15 minutes if you prefer it at room temperature.