Low-Calorie Pasta Salad Recipes

Find healthy, delicious low-calorie pasta salad recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo Salad

Rating: Unrated
6
Baked chicken breasts cook in the oven while you mix together a Mediterranean salad--packed with veggies, whole-wheat orzo and an easy homemade Greek vinaigrette--for a weekend-worthy dinner on the table in under an hour. The leftovers from this healthy 400-calorie meal make a delicious packable lunch for the next day.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Rating: Unrated
1
You might not think to use hummus as a pasta sauce, but the creamy dip makes the perfect backdrop to the bold flavors of this healthy Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Rating: Unrated
1
A creamy pesto sauce turns this simple pasta salad into a delightful dinner. Adding broccoli to the pasta cooking water just before the pasta is done is a convenient way to briefly cook it so that it turns a vivid shade of green and softens slightly.

Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad Bowls

Rating: Unrated
2
Pasta salad is a classic summer side dish, but adding protein (leftover grilled chicken is perfect here) and extra greens makes it a super-satisfying lunch. We use baby spinach, but arugula or baby kale works too. Top with a bright and tangy basil vinaigrette just before serving. The great news is that these easy meal-prep lunches take just 20 minutes to prepare--that's 4 days of lunches in less than 30 minutes.

Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Rating: Unrated
7
Everyone will love this Mexican-inspired pasta salad recipe. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.

Vegetable & Tuna Pasta Salad

Rating: Unrated
3
This delicious pasta salad recipe is made with zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and chunk light tuna, which is lower in mercury than white albacore tuna. For the best flavor, combine the pasta salad with the dressing about 1 hour before serving. If you're looking for an environmentally sustainable canned tuna option, check the label--tuna that was caught by troll or pole-and-line is considered the best choice, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program. Or look for the blue Certified Sustainable Seafood label from the Marine Stewardship Council.

Chicken & Spring Vegetable Tortellini Salad

Store-bought tortellini and frozen peas keep things quick in this healthy 30-minute meal. Jazzed-up bottled salad dressing helps you go even faster. Look for one with 200 mg or less of sodium and 3 g or less of sugar per serving.

Broccoli, Ham & Pasta Salad

Rating: Unrated
5
A great make-ahead entree, this lightened-up pasta salad is loaded with broccoli and peppers. Smoky ham and sweet raisins give it plenty of punch. Enjoy the leftovers for a fuss-free lunch. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Rating: Unrated
4
This creamy crowd-pleasing pasta salad features the tantalizing flavors of Buffalo chicken with a healthy dose of vegetables. Bring it to your next potluck or picnic, or whip it up for game day.

Orzo Chicken Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing

Rating: Unrated
2
The creamy quick-blend dressing is just the thing to top this inspired Southwest pasta salad. Both can be made a day ahead.

Curried Chicken & Pasta Salad

Rating: Unrated
4
This crowd-pleasing pasta salad is potluck-perfect for barbecue season.

Couscous & Chickpea Salad

Cooked couscous and canned chickpeas come together in this quick lunch salad. The basil vinaigrette makes it taste anything but basic! When in season, we recommend adding fresh chopped tomatoes for a spin on tabbouleh.

Inspiration and Ideas

Broccoli Rabe & Orzo Salad

Lemon, oregano and feta add zing to broccoli rabe tossed with whole-wheat orzo in this low-calorie pasta salad.

Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado

Everyone will love this Mexican-inspired pasta salad recipe. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.

Antipasti Pasta Salad

Rating: Unrated
1

This Italian pasta salad recipe has all the flavors of antipasto--salami, Provolone and pepperoncini-- tossed together with a tangy vinaigrette and whole-wheat pasta. This healthy antipasti pasta salad is perfect for a light dinner. For the best flavor, combine the pasta salad with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.