Turkish pasta salad

Turkish pasta salad

30 min
A lovely pasta salad where risoni replaces arpa şehriye, a type of pasta rice that is popular in Turkish salads and soups. The red pomegranate seeds make this salad a feast for both the eyes and taste buds. Try this easy Turkish pasta salad recipe that not only is quick to make but it's also delicious!


Step 1
  • Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Add the butter to a pan and sauté half of the onion and garlic.
  • Add the risoni, one litre of water and a teaspoon of salt. Let it boil for about 10 minutes.
Step 2
  • Drain the water and stir in the oil. Let cool.
Step 3
  • Cut the cucumber lengthwise. Core and cut into thick slices.
Step 4
  • Add the cucumber, parsley, salt, pepper and rest of the onion and garlic into the risoni. Crumble in the cheese.
Step 5
  • To serve, stir in the pomegranate seeds and it will be ready.

Questions about Turkish pasta salad

This deliciously fresh salad makes for a perfectly balanced meal. Read below to know more about the frequently asked questions.

How do you best store Turkish pasta salad?
This salad can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Make sure that you use either an airtight container or place a layer of plastic wrap over the salad before sealing in a standard container.
Can you make Turkish pasta salad in advance?
Definitely. In fact, the flavours of the salad will keep developing and deepening over time and many believe that it tastes even better when prepared a day in advance.
What can you serve with Turkish salad?
While this salad goes well with almost anything, keeping it traditional is always recommended. Classic Turkish sides like lahmacun (a flat pizza with minced meat, onion, parsley, peppers and spices), börek (a filo pastry stuffed with cheese, meat and vegetables) or köfte (beef or lamb meatballs cooked over a wood fire). Meze is also a classic in Turkey and this salad can easily be incorporated into any platter, alongside other salads, pickles, roasted vegetables and skewers of chicken, lamb, and even dried fruits.


Yellow onion
Garlic cloves
1 tbsp
Olive oil
1 tbsp
Chopped fresh parsley leaves
25 g
Garlic and parsley white cheese cubes
200 g
The seeds of half a pomegranates
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

An all-time favourite in Turkish cuisine

Makaronya, as pasta was first named in Turkey, arrived on the Ottoman culinary scene in the late 1700s. Originally imported from Italy, it didn’t take long for the ingredient to become hugely popular and, by the 1830s, the country started to produce its own in the first makarna factory in Üsküdar, Istanbul. This recipe is one of Turkey’s favourites and you will find colourful pasta salads, infused with fresh ingredients and simple dressings on most restaurant menus and home kitchen tables.

Try these different dressings

Instead of a full-on dressing, our recipe calls for a simple drizzle of olive oil as a finishing touch that brings the salad together without overpowering its flavours. Replicating some of the salad’s ingredients in a dressing is also a good way to infuse extra flavour and a garlic, lemon, mint, parsley, and olive oil combination is one of our favourites.

Add this to your Turkish pasta salad

Adding a leafy green like baby spinach will bring a subtle new flavour to the salad. Capsicum, in its wide array of bright colours, is also a common ingredient that can be found in many Turkish recipes and their sweet, slightly bitter taste pairs especially well with this salad’s milder flavours.