Peas & Ham Pasta Salad

May/June 2013

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This creamy pasta salad recipe with peas, ham and mushrooms is lower in calories and fat compared to a classic pasta salad. Using whole-wheat pasta and loading it with plenty of vegetables makes it as nutritious as it is delicious. If you have fresh-shelled peas on hand, use those instead of frozen peas. For the best flavor, combine the pasta salad with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.

Peas & Ham Pasta Salad

Makes: 6 servings

Serving Size: about 1 1/3 cups each

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  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Pasta Salad

  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups) whole-wheat elbow noodles
  • 1 3/4 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 3/4 cups peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (see Tip), chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced Cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. To prepare dressing: Mash garlic and salt in a medium bowl with the back of a spoon into a chunky paste. Add buttermilk, mayonnaise, dill and vinegar; whisk until combined.
  2. To prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add mushrooms, peas, ham, onion, eggs, cheese, pepper and the dressing; toss to coat.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate, without dressing, for up to 1 day. Toss with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.
  • Tip: To hard-boil eggs, place in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with 1 inch of water. Bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at the barest simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, immediately pour out hot water and cover the eggs with ice-cold water. Let stand in the water until cool.


Per serving: 315 calories; 9 g fat (4 g sat, 3 g mono); 88 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 21 g protein; 6 g fiber; 671 mg sodium; 379 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (36% daily value), Vitamin C (24% dv), Zinc (18% dv), Iron & Magnesium (16% dv), Folate (15% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1/2 medium fat meat, 1/2 high fat meat, 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

July 4th
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Main Ingredient

May/June 2013
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