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: 4.29 stars
7
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.

Pasta Salad with Black Beans & Avocado Dressing

Rating: 4.44 stars
9
Everyone will love this pasta salad recipe that's packed with tomatoes, corn and black beans. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.

Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad Bowls

Rating: 5 stars
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.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Rating: 5 stars
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: 4 stars
2
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.

Vegetable & Tuna Pasta Salad

Rating: 5 stars
5
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.

Broccoli, Ham & Pasta Salad

Rating: 4.71 stars
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.

Tortellini Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
A tomato-rich dressing boosts the flavor and lowers calories and fat in this tortellini salad (the dressing is also great on green salads or grilled fish). Roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes add a good dose of vitamins A, C and fiber.

Lemon Shrimp & Orzo Salad

Consider making a double batch of this easy pasta salad--it's delicious the next day. The orzo will absorb the dressing as it sits, so add a little more olive oil and lemon juice if you'd like.

Curried Chicken & Pasta Salad

Rating: 4 stars
6
This crowd-pleasing pasta salad is potluck-perfect for barbecue season.

Picnic Bento Lunch

Get all the flavors of al fresco dining wherever you are. This easy and healthy packable lunch idea includes all your picnic favorites for a satisfying meal to take to work.

Pasta, Tuna & Roasted Pepper Salad

Rating: 3.86 stars
3
The secret to this delicious pasta salad is a creamy low-fat dressing made with bottled roasted red peppers. If you have cooked chicken on hand, you can substitute it for the tuna.
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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.

Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Rating: 5 stars
1

Give classic pasta salad a fresher, more flavorful spin. This fast pasta dish calls for avocado to replace some of the mayonnaise, which makes it extra creamy. Whole-wheat elbow macaroni and fresh vegetables lighten up this healthy pasta salad that you'll be making all summer long.