All hail the 15-minute pasta salad!

Cretan Pasta Salad - dani + duff

Every Sunday, I try to devote as much time as I can to preparing food for the week. I cannot even begin to tell you the difference it makes just to know you don’t have to worry about your meals for a few days. Having food at the ready saves time and worry about what to prepare, keeps money in your wallet since you aren’t eating out every day, and it helps you make healthier choices because you know what you’re eating. AND it’s ready to go when you are — your own personal drive-thru! Knowing that I always have a long list of dishes to tackle, I like to keep everything as quick and simple as possible, and that’s exactly how I would describe this pasta salad recipe.

For our first blog post, we shared a simple salad recipe that Duff created after we were inspired by an episode of Giada in Paradise. For this one, I was inspired by Duff and that Cretan Salad recipe when I knew I wanted to throw together a pasta salad but wasn’t sure what to do with it. It looks a lot like a basic potluck pasta salad, but the taste is a surprise because the herbs and vinegar give it a different flavor. Duff says this should be my go-to pasta salad, and now you can switch up your pasta game and try this one, too! But let’s just touch base before the next time we potluck together. You know, just in case we both signed up to bring a salad…

This pasta salad is so simple, I’m not even going to give you a play-by-play with action shots, despite the fact that I have them. Because do you really want to see a picture of pasta draining in a colander? Yeah, no. So let’s just get straight to the goods.

Cretan Pasta Salad
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 1 lb. rotini pasta (whole grain if you can!)
  2. 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  3. 1/2 cucumber, diced
  4. 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
  5. 8 oz. feta cheese*, crumbled
  6. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  7. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  8. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  9. 2 teaspoons dried dill
  10. 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  11. 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  12. salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions (about 10 minutes).
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop the vegetables and prepare other ingredients.
  3. Drain the pasta.
  4. Place the pasta back into the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasonings, oil, and vinegar if preferred.
  1. This dish is intended to be served at room temperature and tastes best after chilled overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. *We also like to add cubes of different cheeses to this recipe as well. Whatever you have on hand or need to use up would be great. White cheddar is a good one.
  3. Remember: Measurements are not strict -- taste test as you go and make it what you love!
dani + duff




  1. Aunt Libby says:

    This looks great, and I love what you are doing!! I’m a diabetic, and so I have to really watch my carbs. I’m going to try this, you have enough protein from the cheese to help balance with the carbs!!

    • dani + duff says:

      Thanks, Libby! I hope you enjoy it! We also like to add extra cheese sometimes by throwing in cubes of whatever we have in the refrigerator. We have a friend who was recently diagnosed with diabetes and we tried a pasta dish he made with a low carb pasta he found at Kroger — it was delicious and there was no difference with the texture! I’ll see if I can figure out which brand it was and let you know.

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