Pasta Salad with Feta and Herbs


This Southern-inspired pasta salad from Mason Hereford’s Turkey and the Wolf gets a touch of tangy heat from hot sauce, loads of crunch from nutty sunflower seeds. Use Duke’s mayonnaise for an extra-tangy bite to the dressing. This colorful, eclectic pasta will fit in well with any picnic or cookout spread.

Pasta Salad with Feta and Herbs Recipe
Photo: Eric Wolfinger
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 1 pound uncooked penne pasta

  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (such as Duke’s)

  • 2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce (such as Crystal)

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 cups torn mixed tender fresh herbs (such as basil, mint, dill, and chives)

  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 red onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 3/4 cup salted roasted sunflower seed kernels


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse pasta under cold running water; drain well.

  2. While pasta cooks, stir together feta, buttermilk, mayonnaise, hot sauce, lemon zest and juice, salt, garlic, and black pepper in a medium bowl.

  3. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl. Add buttermilk dressing, torn herbs, celery, tomatoes, red onion, and sunflower seeds, and toss well.

Make Ahead

Pasta salad can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator. Toss with herbs just before serving.


Stir 1 tablespoon plain whole-milk Greek yogurt into 7 tablespoons milk as a substitute for buttermilk in this recipe.

Suggested Pairing

Full-bodied California Chardonnay.

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