Low-Calorie Pasta Salad Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Chicken with Spinach & Tomato Orzo Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 10
Baked chicken breasts cook in the oven while you mix together a Mediterranean-inspired salad--packed with veggies, whole-wheat orzo and an easy homemade 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.
By Carolyn Casner

Pasta Salad with Black Beans & Avocado Dressing

Rating: 4.5 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.
A portrait of Breana Killeen, M.P.H., RD
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Tortellini Salad

Rating: 5 stars 4
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.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD

Tex-Mex Pasta Salad

A light and creamy green-salsa dressing highlights this easy pasta salad with Southwestern flavors.
Sara Haas Headshot
By Sara Haas, RDN

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.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

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.
By Carolyn Casner

Lemon Shrimp & Orzo Salad

Rating: 5 stars 1
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.
By Adam Dolge

Curried Chicken & Pasta Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 6
This crowd-pleasing pasta salad is potluck-perfect for barbecue season.
Patsy Jamieson
By Patsy Jamieson

Pasta, Tuna & Roasted Pepper Salad

Rating: 4 stars 4
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.
By Ruth Cousineau

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.
By Stacy Fraser

Greek Pasta Salad

Rating: 5 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.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

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.
Vegetable & Tuna Pasta Salad
This delicious pasta salad recipe is made with zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and chunk light tuna. It's light al low-calories.
Greek Tortellini Salad
Rating: 4.5 stars 4

Fresh cheese tortellini and classic Greek salad ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion come together for a fast side dish that's perfect for potlucks, picnics and other casual gatherings.