Low-Calorie Pasta Salad Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

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.

Pasta Salad with Black Beans & Avocado Dressing

Rating: 4.44 stars
7
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.

Greek Pasta Salad

Rating: 4.63 stars
5
This quick, healthy Greek pasta salad recipe is tossed with all the elements of a Greek salad--plus chickpeas for added protein. This pasta salad holds well in the refrigerator or a cooler and tastes even better as the pasta absorbs the tomato-infused vinaigrette. Serve with pita chips.

Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo Salad

Rating: 4.29 stars
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.

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.

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.

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
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.

Tex-Mex Pasta Salad

A light and creamy green-salsa dressing highlights this easy pasta salad with Southwestern flavors.

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.

Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad

You may not be in the islands at this very moment, but you can certainly pretend to be while eating this tropical-inspired pasta salad--featuring grilled chicken, creamy avocadoes and sweet mango, tossed with lime-cilantro dressing.
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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.

Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad

This easy pasta salad with smoked salmon and peas and a creamy buttermilk-herb dressing takes just 20 minutes to make. Frozen peas are cooked right in the same pot as the pasta, and the dressing is whipped up in the serving bowl, saving you time and dishes! It's the perfect fresh and healthy dinner to add to your weeknight rotation and would also be lovely for a luncheon or brunch. But given how easy it is, it could also be an elegant take-to-work lunch.