Creamy Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This colorful pasta salad is full of Mediterranean flavors with marinated chicken, tangy olives, eggplant, cherry tomatoes and creamy goat cheese. It has all the fresh, summery flavors in one dish and It’s an ideal meal for lunch, dinner or a get together!

Ingredients You Need

  • Globe eggplant – Choose firm, medium sized eggplant.
  • Cherry tomatoes, Campari or vine ripe tomatoes – If you’re using Campari or vine ripe tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters.
  • Marinated olives – Marinated olives are well seasoned with olive oil, herbs, red wine vinegar and adds tangy, herby flavors for your salad. I usually reach for a packet of marinated kalamata and chalkidki olives from Trader Joe’s. Use 1-2 tsp of this marinade and toss with cooked pasta so they don’t stick together.
  • Goat cheese – Loads of goat cheese keeps the salad moist and very creamy!
  • Penne or Rotini – If you want even more color in your dish, try tri-color rotini or spinach penne.
  • Marinated, pan-seared chicken breast – Boneless, skinless chicken breast is marinated in olive oil, lemon, white wine, rosemary and pan-seared. You can marinate the chicken the day before and this moist, tender chicken will not disappoint!

Oven Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes

My fridge is never without eggplant or tomatoes in summer and it feels like I’m always roasting them for different dishes! Drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and bake for 20-25 minutes in the 400° degree oven or until they are soft, but not charred.

Assemble the Pasta Salad

Once you have roasted eggplants and tomatoes, cooked pasta and pan-seared chicken it’s time to combine everything together.

  • You need a mixing bowl large enough to hold pasta, eggplant, chicken slices, marinated olives and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Toss everything together to combine all the ingredients. Warmth from oven roasted eggplant, along with chicken and pasta will soften the goat cheese and allow it to evenly coat all the ingredients.
  • Transfer pasta salad to a large serving platter, then place roasted tomatoes on top. Roasted tomatoes will make everything soggy, so don’t toss them with other ingredients. They look prettier decorated on top!
  • For a finishing touch, you can also add fresh basil leaves to your salad. I absolutely love basil and put loads of them on mine.

Ideal Salad for Lunch, Dinner or a Get Together

This hearty pasta salad can be enjoyed warm or chilled. Either way, it’s absolutely delicious and you can serve this for lunch or dinner. I made this for a get together with friends, serving this dish on my hand painted vintage Italian tableware from Sur La Table. Needless to say, the dish was a huge hit, and so was my Italian tableware!

More Summertime Salad Recipes

Creamy Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Servings: 5


Marinated Chicken Breast

  • 1 skinless, bone less chicken breast sliced in half horizontally
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs rosemary

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

  • 1 globe eggplant stem removed and cut into quarters
  • cup cherry tomatoes, whole (or use 4-5 campari tomatoes or 2-3 vine ripe tomatoes halved or quartered)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • tsp salt
  • 2 cups penne or rotini
  • 1-2 tsp olive marinade
  • 2 sprigs  rosemary (for pan-seared chicken)
  • 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup marinated olives (I used kalamata and chalkidki olives)
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh basil leaves (optional)


Marinated Chicken Breast

  • Blot excess moisture from chicken breast with paper towel. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a glass dish, add olive oil, white wine, lemon juice, chicken breast, rosemary and refrigerate for 4-24 hours. Use sealable plastic bag if suitable dish is not available.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

  • Turn on oven to 400°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place eggplant and tomatoes on backing sheet. Sprinkle 1 tsp salt and drizzle 3 tbsp olive oil over the eggplant and sprinkle ½ tsp salt and drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil over tomatoes,
  • Bake eggplant and tomatoes for 20-25 minutes or until soft but not charred. Toss around 15 minute mark. When done, remove from the oven and set it aside.
  • While eggplant and tomatoes are roasting, cook pasta according to instructions on box. Drain the pasta. Transfer pasta to a large mixing bowl, add olive marinade and toss to combine.
  • Heat medium cast iron skillet over medium heat and place marinated chicken breast and rosemary sprigs. Sear each side of chicken breast until golden brown. Once chicken is thoroughly cooked, slice and set it aside. Chop browned rosemary leaves and combine with chicken slices.
  • In a large mixing bowl with pasta, add roasted eggplant, olives, chicken slices, and goat cheese. Toss ingredients together until well combined.
  • Transfer pasta salad to a large serving platter and add roasted tomatoes on top. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve slightly warm or chilled.

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