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Spinach Penne Salad

This healthy recipe will shine as is, or double the vinaigrette and use half to marinate and grill chicken breasts if you want to add a protein. Slice and add to the salad. —Benice Silver, Carmel, Indiana
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • SALAD:
  • 1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe or Greek olives


  • In a Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, onions and olives. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 327 calories, 15g fat (3g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 233mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 7g fiber), 11g protein.

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  • recipehound54
    Dec 23, 2018

    I used a huge family gathering to test this recipe. It got numerous thumbs up votes and requests for copies of the recipe. The salad was very tasty and, for a salad that has an oil-based dressing, fairly healthy. I substituted gluten-free pasta and there was no noticeable difference in taste; I made no other substitutions other than to add a little more spinach than called for. The vinaigrette dressing mixed together easily and was not oily. At first I thought that there was too much dressing but it absorbed into the pasta and was flavorful. I thought Campari tomatoes would maybe be meatier; because they are smaller, I used six or seven and saved the inner seeds and pulp to throw into my next batch of chili. I think next time I will make this as a entree salad with the addition of grilled chicken breast or grilled shrimp. That would be a great protein boost without an overload of additional calories.

  • kimspacc
    Feb 4, 2018

    This was a great alternative to traditional pasta salad.

  • suttonjp
    Oct 5, 2017

    One of my favorite recipes! We like it just like this, but also enjoy it with 4 oz. of chicken. Delicious!

  • Susan
    Jun 30, 2017

    This was perfect. Followed exactly and was a big hit at potluck. Holds up surprisingly well on buffet.

  • anselr
    Mar 18, 2017

    Just made this for a family gathering and it was a hit. Followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious. Makes a pretty large amount - would be perfect to take to a potluck.

  • Darryl
    Nov 23, 2016

    I wouldn't change a thing!

  • robbiejackson
    Jun 29, 2015

    Quick, easy and tasty! I thought the spinach would be too wet in the leftovers the next day, but it wasn't. The pasta absorbed the dressing nicely.

  • Hot Dodge
    Jun 1, 2015

    This salad is delicious and easy to make. The first day I thought the vinegar made it taste really strong, ( not bad though) so I liked it better the second day. I like that it's different from the salads that just have a ton of mayo in it. I used pistachio oil because that's what I had open, and black olives, and skipped the green onions because I forgot to buy them. I think this would work with a little finely chopped regular onion though. My husband really liked it too. I will make this again.

  • ozorzi
    May 16, 2015

    Very very delicious. This is a keeper. I made it for 3 different events. Once I changed the pasta and included bow tie pasta instead of penne and it was complimented as a very pretty salad in addition to being the hit of the party delicious.

  • dovecanyon
    Apr 14, 2015

    This salad is excellent- the dressing is perfect. I replaced about one-fourth of the spinach with a handful of fresh whole basil leaves from my garden. (we put basil in EVERYTHING) Compliments all around and no leftovers!