Bow Tie Pasta Salad – A Couple Cooks


This bow tie pasta salad recipe is simple and so tasty! Pair noodles with tomatoes, herbs, and feta cheese for a satisfying side dish.

Bow tie pasta salad

If there’s something we never tire of, it’s a good pasta salad. They’re fun, delicious, and give us those carefree summer vibes. But sometimes they can take a while to make, especially if they have lots of ingredients. So this easy bow tie pasta salad has become a favorite! Pair the chewy noodles with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and feta cheese, then swirl it with a quick and easy vinaigrette dressing. It’s a quick side dish that everyone will love!

Bow tie pasta salad ingredients

Pasta salad is always a fun side dish, but it can also feel like it takes a while and can make a big mess when the recipe has lots of ingredients like our classic pasta salad. So, we’ve taken to making simpler recipes like this bow tie pasta salad! You only need a handful of vegetables and a homemade Italian dressing to make the ingredients sing. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bowtie pasta
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Fresh parsley and basil
  • Lemon juice and zest
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dried oregano, dried dill and salt
  • Olive oil
  • Feta cheese
Bow Tie Pasta Salad recipe

Cooking the pasta

The key to any good pasta salad recipe is boiling the pasta to “al dente”, which means “to the bite” in Italian. This is when the pasta is tender with a small white speck inside when you bite into a piece. It’s also important to liberally salt the pasta water to properly season the pasta. Here are a few tips:

  • Add about 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a pot of water. This seems like a lot, but you’ll want the water to taste salty so it seasons the noodles.
  • Boil the pasta a few minutes less than indicated on the package instructions. Often package instructions make for overcooked pasta, so always set your timer for before that time.
  • Start taste testing early. Start taste testing and stop cooking when the pasta is just tender but you can still see a small white speck inside.

Use any type of short cut pasta

Bow tie pasta is also known as farfalle, a short pasta shape formed like a butterfly (farfalle is the Italian word for butterfly). Farfalle is more often served vegetables, in creamy or tomato sauces, pasta salads, or even in soups. While this bow tie pasta salad is optimized for a specific shape, but it can work with other types as well. Pasta salads are made with short cut pasta, and there are lots of shapes that would work here. Try the following short cut pasta shapes:

  • Spirals (fusilli)
  • Penne
  • Shells (conchiglie)
  • Orecchiette
  • Gemelli
  • Gigli
Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Storage and leftovers

This bow tie pasta salad stores for up to 5 days refrigerated. Leftovers taste great: it’s best to allow them to come to room temperature and add a swirl more olive oil or a bit more cheese or salt as necessary.

More pasta salad recipes

Pasta salad makes a perfect summer side dish with a dinner on the grill, or a tasty lunch idea. There are so many different ways ways to make them! Here are a few ideas for changing it up:

This bow tie pasta salad recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, use dairy-free feta cheese. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.


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This bow tie pasta salad recipe is simple and so tasty! Pair noodles with tomatoes, herbs, and feta cheese for a satisfying side dish.

  • 8 ounces bowtie pasta (farfalle)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (2 cups)
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or 2 more tablespoons parsley)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup (3 ounces) feta cheese crumbles
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to toaste

  1. Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and run cool water over it until it’s room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes, shallot, garlic, parsley, and basil as noted in the ingredient list.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, oregano, dill, and kosher salt. Then whisk in the olive oil.
  4. Once the pasta is done, add it to the large bowl of dressing and toss with the chopped vegetables and herbs. Add the feta cheese and fresh ground black pepper and stir to combine.
  5. Taste and add more salt to taste if necessary. Serve immediately. Stores up to 5 days refrigerated (leftovers taste great; allow to come to room temperature and add a swirl more olive oil or a bit more cheese or salt as necessary).

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Bow tie pasta salad, bow tie pasta salad recipes


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