How to make perfect pasta salad
My go-to side dish to bring along wherever I’m invited—pasta salad—is simple to make and easy to tote. It seems to have been invented for summer picnics, potlucks and backyard barbecues!
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But typical versions consist of white pasta drowning, often tastelessly, in a heavy mayonnaise dressing. Luckily, it’s easy to make a light and creamy pasta salad with a lot less fat that’s still super-yummy!
Here are 4 of my simple tips to help you make your favorite pasta-salad recipes healthier.
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- Replace regular white pasta with whole-wheat pasta to add fiber—you’ll more than double the fiber per cup of pasta.
- Use a combination of low-fat mayonnaise, low-fat plain yogurt and olive oil instead of regular mayonnaise and you’ll cut calories and saturated fat.
- Double the veggies and use a variety of colorful ones. Some of my favorite pasta-salad veggies: shredded carrots, finely chopped broccoli and cauliflower, cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes and diced bell pepper.
- Add fresh herbs! They boost flavor without fat or sodium. Fragrant basil is always a hit, or try tarragon, dill or cilantro.
EatingWell’s Garden Pasta Salad incorporates all these healthy tricks. One pasta salad recipe that’s, dare I say it?, more delicious than most of the pasta salads I’ve eaten at potlucks. If you share it with friends, I bet you get asked for the recipe as often as I do!
More Recipes to Try:
Deviled Eggs, Three-Bean Salad and More of Your Favorite Summer BBQ Picnic Foods Made Healthier
Rich, Creamy Spinach Dip and More Potluck-Perfect Appetizer Recipes
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Carolyn Malcoun , Healthy Cooking Blog , Dinner , Entertaining , Family meals , Recipe Makeover
Carolyn Malcoun combines her love of food and writing as a recipe contributor for EatingWell. Carolyn has a culinary arts degree from New England Culinary Institute and a degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin—Madison. Carolyn lives in Burlington, Vermont, and enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and running in her free time.
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