10 Healthy pasta salad recipes

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Pasta salad is made for summer picnics, cookouts, and pool parties. Served cold or hot, this crowd-pleasing dish is versatile and easy to transport. Instead of mayo, we've loaded up these easy pasta salads with healthy ingredients like homemade pesto, broccoli, arugula, tuna, shrimp, crumbled feta cheese, and more.



Broccoli-Feta Pasta Salad

Ingredients


  • 12 ounces 1/2-in. broccoli florets (about 3 heads)
  • 12 ounces uncooked brown rice pasta (such as Jovial Caserecce Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 20 pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


How to Make It

Step 1
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil over high. Add broccoli, and cook until bright green and tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to an ice bath; reserve cooking water in stockpot. Let broccoli stand in ice bath until cold, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
Step 2
Bring cooking water back to a boil over high. Add pasta; cook according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well. Cool 10 minutes.
Step 3
Stir together oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until emulsified. Add cooled pasta, broccoli, feta, olives, and parsley; toss to coat. Serve immediately, at room temperature, or cold.


Strawberry Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad

Ingredients

·         3 cups dry bowtie pasta (weighed 8.5oz), option to use whole grain, gluten-free, chickpea, etc.
·         3/4 cup pesto
·         1/4 cup shaved parmesan
·         2 cups sliced strawberries
·         1 medium-large avocado, cubed (could omit if you’d like)
·         1/4 cup walnut pieces, optional

INSTRUCTIONS


  1. 1.    Cook pasta according to package instructions, cooking al dente.  Drain and rinse pasta under cold water. Option to use gluten-free pasta such as chickpea or quinoa pasta. I really like Banza.
    2.    In large bowl combine cooked pasta, pesto, strawberries, avocado and parmesan cheese. Gently toss until pasta is coated. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts and top with more parmesan for serving, if desired.
    3.    Note: I found this pasta salad to be best enjoyed within 1-2 days. I am not sure I’d recommend prepping this a day in advance for a party. You could prep each step and then combine right before serving.

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