These Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes Are Under 400 Calories (But Sure Don’t Taste Like It)
Roasted Tomato and Mushroom Pasta Salad
Meaty mushrooms and protein-rich beans ensure this healthy summer pasta salad will be the most filling side dish on your potluck spread. Don't sweat the prep time if you're in a hurry: 30 minutes of it is for cooling the cooked pasta to room temp—an optional step. Whether you serve it warm or chilled, a handful of fresh basil and the sweet-tart tomatoes give fresh flavor in every bite.
Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad
A tasty meal for any summer potluck or picnic, this healthy chicken pasta salad is a full meal with all the sides in one. Fruit and veggies fill the dish with bright, vibrant flavor at just 357 calories per serving. (Translation: Plenty of room for a summer dessert, don’t you think?!)
Roasted Tomato Pasta with Mozzarella
For a guaranteed people-pleaser at your next event, try this healthy Italian pasta salad. Rotini pasta mixes with creamy mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, garlic, and fresh basil for a healthy and delicious pasta recipe. “You can add salami, pepperoni, sliced black olives, or Parmigiana cheese. My family loves it,” raves one BH&G home cook.
Grilled Fruit Couscous Salad
This might be the most original “pasta salad” to ever come out of our Test Kitchen. Instead of traditional noodles, couscous (essentially tiny pasta pearls) rounds out this pretty fruit salad. Grill the plums and nectarines to caramelize their natural sugars, then toss with the couscous and a honey-citrus dressing for a speedy and healthy pasta salad recipe.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
Transform yesterday's leftover roasted vegetables into today's fresh and healthy pasta salad. (Any blend will do, and we even have from-scratch guidance on how to make roasted root veggies, mushrooms, and bell peppers if you like.) Pair a satisfying 1⅔-cup serving with a side of fruit salad and dinner is done.
Peachy Chicken Pasta Salad
With 15 grams of protein from the chicken and walnuts, this peachy pasta salad is an entrée in itself. Try it with any small shape of pasta, such as radiatore, bowties, campanelle, or penne. If chicken isn't your fave, consider canned tuna for a healthy tuna pasta salad, or try grilled pork or shrimp.
Summer Spaghetti Salad
Noodles and zoodles join forces in this summer squash-supplemented healthy veggie pasta salad recipe. Long, thin strands of string cheese join the party too. Then all that’s left to do to complete the low-cal, 10-serving dish is garnish with herby tomatoes and toasted nuts.
Whole Grain Farfalle with Walnuts and Arugula
Lighten your pasta salad by swapping some of the noodles for leafy greens, like the arugula here. Parmesan cheese and walnuts add protein to veggies and carbs, covering three of your food groups. The resulting healthy veggie pasta salad recipe is an ideal main dish any time of year.
Summer Pasta Salad
Wondering what to do with all those broken lasagna noodles at the bottom of the box or the random bits and bobs of noodles in the cupboard? This healthy cold pasta salad is the perfect home for all of the above. Cook 8 ounces of any cut, then toss with a mix of summery veggies, mozzarella, prosciutto, and a zippy red wine vinaigrette. Chill 4 to 24 hours, then devour. Master the original version in summer, then try our fall and winter versions to usher in the new seasons.
Zucchini Ribbons, Pasta, and Arugula
For a fast, flavorful, and healthy pasta salad, look no further than this divine trinity of -ini's—zucchini, pepperoncini, and fettuccine (close enough). Rounded out with arugula and fresh oregano, this lemony pasta salad comes together in half an hour and contains only 282 calories per serving. This vibrant and filling dish will change the way you think about zucchini noodles.
Chicken, Spinach, and Pasta Salad
Calling for only 30 minutes of total time from start to sharing, this healthy whole wheat pasta salad is the entrée to turn to when you receive a last-minute invitation. (Or, you know, forget about the potluck you RSVP-ed to a few weeks ago.) It serves 10 and calls for mostly pantry staples, chicken breasts, and summer produce, so it’s our go-to warm-weather party contribution.
Greek Garden Pasta Salad
Take your menu on a trip to the Mediterranean. This healthy rotini pasta salad—studded with olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes—pairs perfectly with a variety of entrées, such as grilled burgers, gyros, or seafood. A dressing of light mayonnaise, milk, and yogurt tossed with whole grain pasta keeps this creamy pasta under 100 calories per side dish serving.
Pasta with Chicken, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese
Taste the freshness of summer in this healthy chicken pasta salad mixed with baby spinach and juicy cherry tomatoes. The easy all-in-one meal definitely eats more like a meal than a side thanks to high-protein grilled chicken, crumbled feta, and pine nuts. One BH&G fan declares this, “Perhaps the nicest dish I have ever cooked in my 53 years of marriage.”
Italian Pesto Pasta Salad
Step aside, mayo. Pesto is the star of this pasta dish. Crank up the pesto power of this make-ahead macaroni salad by garnishing with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and toasted pine nuts, two ingredients commonly found in basil pesto. Toss beans and pasta with arugula to lend a peppery punch and extra vitamins to this crowd-pleasing healthy summer pasta salad.
Italian Pasta Salad
Low in calories but not in flavor, this Italian-style dish makes a great healthy alternative to mayo-laden pasta salad. Made with snap peas, bell pepper, fresh basil, and olives, this healthy pasta salad with Italian dressing (a simple three-ingredient DIY dressing, that is) offers fresh flavors in every forkful. Make it a meal by adding grilled salmon, shrimp, or drained and rinsed white beans.