Garden Pasta Salad

Garden Pasta Salad

22 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, June/July 2005

This lightly dressed pasta salad gets lots of flavor from Kalamata olives and basil. A colorful mix of diced bell pepper, shredded carrot and tomatoes adds vitamins and minerals. Serve on a crisp bed of greens. Toss in canned chunk light tuna, cooked chicken or flavored baked tofu to add protein and make it more substantial.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 2 cups whole-wheat rotini, (6 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, or lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup diced yellow or red bell pepper, (1 small)
  • 1 cup grated carrots, (2-4 carrots)
  • ½ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup chopped scallions, (4 scallions)
  • ⅓ cup slivered fresh basil


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
  2. Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, oil, vinegar (or lemon juice), garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, carrots, scallions, olives and basil; toss to coat well.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 217 calories; 9 g fat(1 g sat); 4 g fiber; 30 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 32 mcg folate; 4 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 4,338 IU vitamin A; 39 mg vitamin C; 70 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 267 mg sodium; 272 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (87% daily value), Vitamin C (65% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat (mono)

Reviews 22

August 29, 2018
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By: wenjem
We really liked this. Very flavorful and healthy. We added tuna for a bit of protein.
July 21, 2013
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By: overlook237
Healthy and delicious! I made this for a cookout for myself and two of my friends who were also watching what they eat. This was actually gone before the regular pasta salad! I love the idea of using half mayo and half yogurt instead of all mayo, it cuts the calories and fat but doesn't affect the flavor very much. I did make some modifications: I used the juice of one lemon as well as the zest for more flavor, and also added a packet of the Wishbone Italian salad dressing mix. I don't like peppers so I left them out but added more tomatoes and carrots to compensate. The second time I made this, I added in broccoli and cucumbers as well, and added 2 lemons so I could stretch the dressing without adding calories. Pros: Healthy, tastes good, easy to make
July 02, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Good basic pasta salad recipe One of my favorite summer meals is tuna pasta salad. I love to have a big bowl of it in the fridge for a quick and satisfying lunch with a glass of iced tea. With all the veggies, this makes a great healthy version. I skipped the olives (since I'm the only one in my family who likes them) and basil (too expensive until my summer crop comes in) and opted for parsley instead, then added a little dried dill weed. I added two cans of drained tuna. It makes a nice slightly heaping cup serving, which I served on a bed of arugula. Delicious! You could vary up the spices depending on your taste - it is a nice basic recipe. Pros: Full of veggies
May 23, 2013
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By: mandres268
my go-to pasta salad I've made this many times, guests love it. I stick to the recipe and I think it has great flavor (the garlic, lemon, basil and olives are a nice combo) I've found that the flavor is best the next day, so make ahead for best results. Pros: very tasty
May 25, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Loved this dish! Made it with all the ingredients listed except instead of the yogurt and Mayonnaise dressing, I added Simply Dressing Light Raspberry with Acai. We both loved it! I am taking it to our Memorial Day get together!
February 07, 2012
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By: fruitbowlk
Wow. What an amazing pasta salad Wow. This is really good. I would have never tried this and I'm so glad I did. I added Mrs Dash tomato basil garlic seasoning blend. I mixed all ingredients together at one time and I added the pasta last. Very creamy. Very well balanced. and if you aren't big on red/yellow peppers you won't be turn off by salad because everything is blended so well together. Pros: favor,easy to make, healthy, creamy
December 06, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Quick, easy, delicious I agree with other posters that a few extra seasonings really take this recipe up a notch. The creamy sauce is delicious, and you're flexible to sub whatever veggies you have on hand. Like other posters, used black olives instead of kalamata, and added a bit of feta cheese, crushed red pepper, and oregano. Left out the tomatoes (can't stand 'em!), and served with Ellie Krieger's recipe for zucchini crisps on the side. Used a little more pasta than called for, but did not change the amounts called for in the sauce (yougurt, mayo, etc.) and it was still deliciously creamy. Made enough for 5 servings, so it's perfect for a light dinner with lunch for the next day! Pros: Easy weeknight dinner Cons: Needs a few extra spices!
May 03, 2011
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By: cook from sc
Garden Pata Salad I found this to be bland and so took other reviewers suggestions and added some italian dressing and feta. Still needs something, maybe raisins or grapes and some chopped nuts. That said it was very fresh and healthy tasting.
November 09, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Now I`m eating this salad! I didn`t thought that healthly food can be so delicious!5 stars.
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