A Healthy Pasta Salad recipe that is easy to make! This cold pasta salad with salami is quick to make and delicious. The perfect side dish!
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Super fresh veggies, creamy mozzarella, salty salami, and a bright dressing come together to make an amazing, healthy side dish for your Spring or Summer potlucks or picnics!
This salad is a healthier pasta salad option because it is loaded with amazing veggies!
It also comes together in less than 30 minutes! I know you are going to love it!
why we love this Pasta Salad Recipe
There is a lot to love about this recipe. It’s one of our favorite easy side dishes because it’s:
- Easy to make – Mix the dressing and toss it all together! It’s seriously that easy!
- Great for bringing to a picnic – There is nothing better than super fresh veggies for a picnic.
- Simple Ingredients – You won’t find any weird ingredients in the salad or dressing ingredients!
- Versatile – There are so many ways that you can switch up this salad based on your personal preferences or what you have in your fridge or pantry! Check the green box below for our suggestions.
Is pasta salad healthy? Some pasta salad recipes are healthy, but some are not as healthy. A pasta salad that has extra veggies, some protein, and healthy fats can be enjoyed in moderation like anything else!
Easy Healthy Pasta Salad Ingredients
To make this pasta salad you’ll need the following:
- fusilli pasta
- mini mozzarella balls
- cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber
- black olives, red bell pepper
- fresh parsley
Healthy Pasta Salad Dressing Ingredients
- dried thyme, dried oregano, black pepper
- lemon juice
- olive oil
- dijon mustard
- maple syrup
You can find substitutions for all of these ingredients below in the green shaded box.
What is the best kind of pasta for pasta salad? Pasta with ridges are best for pasta salad. You want lots of nooks and crannies to soak up the dressing! Fusili, rotini, and farfalle are all great options for pasta salad!
How to make Healthy Pasta Salad for Lunch
- In a measuring cup, combine dressing ingredients, then mix well.
- Cook pasta until al dente. Then rinse with cold water to cool down.
- Add the pasta, veggies, and salami to a large bowl. Then stir in the dressing.
- For maximum flavor, chill in the fridge for around an hour!
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR HEALTHY PASTA SALAD
Pasta: Fusilli, rotini, farfalle, or any other pasta that has little curves that the dressing gets stuck in.
Mini Mozzarella Balls: You can use chopped mozzarella or halved mozzarella balls if you can’t find mini mozzarella balls.
Cherry Tomatoes: You can use regular tomatoes that have been cut up, cherry tomatoes, or plum tomatoes.
Red Onion: I wouldn’t recommend substituting with white onion. You can omit the red onion if you’d like.
Cucumber: English cucumbers work best in this recipe but you can use any cucumbers. Feel free to scoop out the center of the cucumbers to remove the seeds if you’d like.
Olives: You can omit the olives or use green or kalamata olives.
Parsley: Fresh parsley works best in this recipe. You can also substitute with fresh basil.
Salami: You can omit salami from this recipe or use cooked bacon.
Bell Pepper: Red peppers work best in this recipe because they are sweet. You can substitute green, orange, or yellow peppers too.
Dried Spices: Feel free to omit the dried spices or use more or less to taste.
Lemon Juice: Do not use bottled lemon juice because it doesn’t taste the same. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best.
Olive Oil: You can substitute avocado oil in place of olive oil.
Dijon Mustard: You can substitute Dijon mustard with whole grain mustard. However, we don’t recommend using yellow mustard. You can also omit the mustard if you don’t like it.
Maple Syrup: You can substitute maple syrup with honey.
To Make it Lower Carb: Add more veggies and cut down on the amount of pasta.
To Make it Lower Calorie: Use less salami and olives.
To Make it Plant Based: Omit the salami.
Don’t overcook the pasta. For pasta salad, it should be firm and not soggy. Cook it al dente according to your package instructions.
Don’t make it ahead of time: Pasta salad is best eaten fresh. Don’t make this dish the night before, make it the day you plan to serve it.
What goes with cold pasta salad?
You can serve this pasta salad with so many things! Here are some of our favorites:
Storing Healthy Cold Pasta Salad
How long will pasta salad last in the fridge? : This will last for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The pasta will get slightly soggy as the days go on. It’s best to eat this fresh.
Freezing: You can’t freeze this recipe.
Healthy Pasta Salad FAQs
You shouldn’t make pasta salad the night before. You can cook your pasta and chop your components, but it’s best to dress your pasta salad right before you serve it. If you assemble the pasta salad the night before, the pasta might get too soggy.
You should dress a pasta salad about 10 minutes before you’re going to serve it or an hour before to chill it in the fridge. This will allow enough time for the pasta to absorb the flavors of the dressing without getting soggy!
If cold pasta salad is drying out, it means that your pasta is undercooked. It’s best to cook your pasta al dente. Keeping your pasta salad completely covered will also help it from drying out.
Pasta Salad can have anywhere from 200 to 400 calories per cup depending on how much meat, cheese, and pasta is in the recipe.
Other healthy side dish recipes:
Looking for other side dishes? Here are some of our favorites!
Healthy Pasta Salad
- 15 oz fusilli pasta
- 1 cup mini mozzarella balls whole or halved
- 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes 8 oz
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup halved & sliced cucumber
- 1/2 cup black olives
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup diced salami 5 oz
- ½ cup red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice juice of ½ a lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. Make sure to cook until al dente. Once cooked, drain the pasta in a colander. Run cold water over the pasta to stop it from cooking and to cool it down.
- While pasta cooks, make the dressing. In a measuring cup or mason jar with a lid, combine dried thyme, oregano, lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, maple syrup and black pepper. Stir/shake well.
- Prepare your veggies and salami by cutting them and arrange in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the cooled, cooked pasta to the bowl with veggies and salami. Stir in the dressing.
- For best flavor, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
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