A Healthy Pasta Salad recipe that is not difficult to make! This cool pasta salad with salami rushes to make and is delightful. The ideal side dish! New veggies, smooth mozzarella, pungent salami, and a splendid dressing meet up to make an astounding, sound side dish for your Spring or Summer potlucks or picnics! It likewise meets up in under 30 minutes! I realize you will adore it!
Why do I Love This Healthy Pasta Salad Recipe?
There is a ton to cherish about this recipe. It’s one of our number one simple side dishes since it’s:
Simple to make – Blend the dressing and throw it all together! It’s truly simple!
Incredible for bringing to an excursion – There isn’t anything better than really new veggies for a cookout.
Basic Fixings – You won’t track down any peculiar fixings in the serving of mixed greens or dressing fixings!
Adaptable – There are so many ways that you can change around this salad in light of your own inclinations or what you have in your refrigerator or storeroom!
Some pasta salad recipes are healthy, but some are not as healthy. A pasta salad that has extra veggies, some protein, and healthy fats can be enjoyed in moderation like anything else!
Healthy Pasta Salad Ingredients
To make this pasta salad you’ll need the following:
- Fusilli pasta
- Mini mozzarella balls
- Cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber
- Black olives, red bell pepper
- Fresh parsley
Healthy Pasta Salad Dressing Ingredients
Dried thyme, dried oregano, black pepper
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- Maple syrup
Pasta with ridges is best for pasta salad. You want lots of nooks and crannies to soak up the dressing! Fusili, rotini, and farfalle are all great options for pasta salad!
How to Make a Healthy Pasta Salad For Lunch?
In a measuring cup, combine dressing ingredients, then mix well.
Cook pasta until al dente. Then rinse with cold water to cool down.
Add the pasta, veggies, and salami to a large bowl. Then stir in the dressing.
For maximum flavor, chill in the fridge for around an hour!
Substitutions For Healthy Pasta Salad
Pasta: Fusilli, rotini, farfalle, or any other pasta that has little curves that the dressing gets stuck in.
Mini Mozzarella Balls: You can use chopped mozzarella or halved mozzarella balls if you can’t find mini mozzarella balls.
Cherry Tomatoes: You can use regular tomatoes that have been cut up, cherry tomatoes, or plum tomatoes.
Red Onion: I wouldn’t recommend substituting with white onion. You can omit the red onion if you’d like.
Cucumber: English cucumbers work best in this recipe but you can use any cucumbers. Feel free to scoop out the center of the cucumbers to remove the seeds if you’d like.
Olives: You can omit the olives or use green or kalamata olives.
Parsley: Fresh parsley works best in this recipe. You can also substitute with fresh basil.
Salami: You can omit salami from this recipe or use cooked bacon.
Bell Pepper: Red peppers work best in this recipe because they are sweet. You can substitute green, orange, or yellow peppers too.
Dried Spices: Feel free to omit the dried spices or use more or less to taste.
Lemon Juice: Do not use bottled lemon juice because it doesn’t taste the same. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best.
Olive Oil: You can substitute avocado oil in place of olive oil.
Dijon Mustard: You can substitute Dijon mustard with whole-grain mustard. However, we don’t recommend using yellow mustard. You can also omit the mustard if you don’t like it.
Maple Syrup: You can substitute maple syrup with honey.
To Make it Lower Carb: Add more veggies and cut down on the amount of pasta.
Make it Lower Calorie: Use less salami and olives.
To Make it Plant-Based: Omit the salami.
How Long Will Pasta Salad Last in The Fridge?
This will last for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The pasta will get slightly soggy as the days go on. It’s best to eat this fresh.
Freezing: You can’t freeze this recipe.
How to Make a Healthier Pasta Salad Recipe?
Make a healthier pasta salad with this easy no-recipe formula that uses whole-grain pasta, fresh veggies, lean protein, and a zingy homemade dressing to tie it all together.
I have also written an article on Easy Homemade Cheesesteak Recipe.
Choose & Cook Pasta
Whole-wheat pasta adds 2 grams of satisfying fiber per ounce of dry pasta versus white pasta. The amount of dry pasta to start with depends on the shape. To get 4 cups of cooked pasta, use 2 cups elbow macaroni, 2 1/2 cups shells, and 3 cups bow ties, or fusilli. Cook pasta and drain (but don’t rinse). Spread on a large baking sheet to cool.
Start with 4 cups of cooked whole-wheat pasta:
- Bow ties
Load Up on Veggies
Traditional pasta salads are made with mostly pasta. But here at EatingWell, we suggest you use as many cups of veggies (and/or fruit) as pasta. Doing so not only delivers delicious flavor, but it also means you’ll get a healthy dose of important nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin C (e.g., from red bell peppers), and heart-healthy fats (like from avocado).
Add 4 cups of fresh vegetables and/or fruits:
- Baby spinach
Add Lean Protein
Adding lean protein to pasta salads helps make them more satisfying, although this step is optional, especially if you’ll be serving the pasta salad as a side. To keep prep time to a minimum, use convenient proteins like canned beans or tuna, cooked ham, or roasted chicken. And remember, when squash, beans, and corn are eaten together, they form a complete protein.
Add 1 to 2 cups of lean protein:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Cooked chicken breast
- Cooked ham (reduced- or low-sodium)
- Chunk light tuna in water
Add Ingredients to Boost Flavor
For the best flavorful pasta salad, don’t forget to add a few salty ingredients like cheese, cured meats, or pickled vegetables. Chop them small so you get a little bit of a big flavor in each bite.
Add 1/2 to 1 cup total:
- Full-flavored cheese (Parmesan, cotija, Cheddar)
- Smoked sausage
- Sun-dried tomatoes
Add a Homemade Dressing
If you’re looking to lighten things up, but still want the creaminess of a classic pasta salad, consider swapping half of the mayo in the mix with buttermilk or yogurt. Or try a heart-healthy vinaigrette made with olive oil or canola oil.
Creamy Buttermilk Dressing
Place 1 clove of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl; mash into a paste. Whisk in 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, and 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar until smooth. Makes about 3/4 cup.
In a jar, combine 1/3 cup each extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar (such as red wine, champagne, white balsamic or rice), 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, chives, cilantro, dill, oregano, and/or tarragon, or 1 tablespoon dried), 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot, 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Screw on the lid and shake until well combined. Makes a generous cup.
Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Pasta Salad
Serve this colorful, veggie-packed pasta salad at your next outdoor gathering. From creamy avocado to crunchy bell peppers, this pasta salad is full of texture and flavor. A homemade herb-lime vinaigrette ties everything together.
Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato, Tuna & Pea Pasta Salad
Serve this healthy pasta salad at your next barbecue or backyard get-together. A garlicky buttermilk dressing adds creaminess, while sun-dried tomatoes provide a nice chewiness. Look for sun-dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil.
Creamy Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Pasta Salad
Enjoy this veggie-packed pasta salad at your next picnic or backyard get-together. Cucumbers and fennel provide crunch to contrast the creamy feta and Kalamata olives. A tangy herb-buttermilk dressing completes the dish.
Artichoke, Chickpea & Mozzarella Pasta Salad
This healthy pasta salad draws inspiration from a traditional antipasto platter. Artichoke hearts and pepperoncini add briny flavor, while fresh mozzarella lends a creamy note. Serve this pasta salad at your next dinner party or backyard get-together.
Benefits of Eating Pasta Salad
Improved Diet Quality
A study analyzing the diets of adults and children who eat pasta found that people who consume pasta have better diet quality and better nutrient intakes than those who do not eat pasta.1 This means pasta consumption was associated with higher intakes of the nutrients we need more of like iron, magnesium, dietary fiber, vitamin E, and folate, and a lower intake of the nutrients we get too much of, like saturated fat.
Pasta as a Delivery System
Pasta can be an effective building block for good nutrition throughout the lifecycle, as it serves as a perfect delivery system for fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, and legumes. This is really the crux of its nutritional potential—it’s the ideal base for pairing with whole foods.
Think of pasta as a canvas from which you can add almost any nutrient-dense, fiber-rich food you and your family like, to create memorable and delicious meals. This analysis underscores the nutritional importance of grains, such as pasta, as consistent with a healthy diet. It shows that pasta eaters have better quality diets than those who don’t eat pasta.
Increased Nutrient Intake
One serving (about 2 ounces) of enriched pasta is fortified with about 30% or 125 micrograms of the recommended daily dietary intake of folic acid. Folic acid helps your body maintain and produce new cells. It may also help prevent colon and cervical cancer, as well as reduce the risk of birth defects in pregnant women.
If you want to make more then watch this video.
As a complex carbohydrate, pasta breaks down into glucose, which is the primary fuel your brain and body need to keep you energized and alert throughout the day. You’ll often hear of professional athletes eating a large bowl of pasta before a big game.
Low Glycemic Index
With a low GI, most pasta varieties keep blood sugar levels (relatively) in check, so you can stay energized throughout the day. If you have a condition like diabetes, make sure you check with your doctor before significantly increasing the complex carbs in your diet.
Low Sodium and Cholesterol
Pasta is low in sodium and cholesterol-free, so you can feel good about what you’re eating. For an extra nutritional boost, try adding some fresh fish or seafood to your pasta. Seafood contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol and protect heart health.
High in Protein
Many of our pasta dishes are high in protein which is essential for muscle growth and development. Protein assists the body’s metabolism and cellular processes, and also defends against disease through optimal immune function.
Source of Omega-3
Omega-3 is one of the most common supplements taken across the world and the health benefits are almost endless. From improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of high blood pressure to strengthening your eyes and boosting your brain, there’s a lot to be said for these fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil. Our fish-filled pasta and special seafood dishes, therefore, bring a lot to the table in terms of vital nutrition.
Whilst pasta is often misconstrued as being ‘unhealthy’ because of its high carbohydrate content, it actually has a low glycaemic index, which basically means that it releases energy to the brain steadily over several hours. This helps to fuel consistent productivity, rather than offering a momentary rush followed by a dip or crash. So eating a bowl of our delicious pasta as a lunchtime meal is a good way to avoid the lethargy often experienced in the afternoons.
You shouldn’t make pasta salad the night before. You can cook your pasta and chop your components, but it’s best to dress your pasta salad right before you serve it. If you assemble the pasta salad the night before, the pasta might get too soggy.
You should dress a pasta salad about 10 minutes before you’re going to serve it or an hour before chilling it in the fridge. This will allow enough time for the pasta to absorb the flavors of the dressing without getting soggy!
If cold pasta salad is drying out, it means that your pasta is undercooked. It’s best to cook your pasta al dente. Keeping your pasta salad completely covered will also help it from drying out.
Pasta Salad can have anywhere from 200 to 400 calories per cup depending on how much meat, cheese, and pasta is in the recipe.