Simple Pasta Salads

The Simple Pasta Salad Formula provides a wide variety of options to create your own pasta salad masterpiece!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups cooked pasta
  • Elbows (dry: 2 cups)
  • Bow ties (dry: 3 cups)
  • Shells (dry: 2 1/2 cups)
  • Fusilli (dry: 3 cups)
  • 4 cups fresh vegetables and/or fruits
  • Arugula
  • Artichoke
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Fennel bulb
  • Melon
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • 1-2 cups lean protein
  • Hard-boiled Eggs
  • Cooked Chicken Breast
  • Cooked Ham
  • Beans
  • Tuna
  • 1/2-1 cup flavor boost (see below)
  • Dried fruit
  • Cheese
  • Olives
  • Pepperoni
  • Salami
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dressing
  • Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Italian Dressing

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pick & Cook Pasta - 4 cups cooked pasta
  2. Load Up on Veggies - 4 cups fruits/vegetables (Use as many cups of veggies (and/or fruit) as pasta. This keeps your pasta salad healthy and well balanced)
  3. Add Lean Protein - 1-2 cups lean protein (Adding lead protein to pasta salads helps make them more satisfying. To keep prep time to a minimum, use convenient proteins as listed above)
  4. (Optional) Boost flavor - 1/2-1 cup flavor boost (For best flavor, don't forget to ass a few high-calorie or salty ingredients like cheese, cured meats, or pickled vegetables. Chop them small so you get a little bit of big flavor in each bit!)
  5. Dress It - 3/4 cup of dressing (Skip high-calories creamy dressings and use a lighter version or try a heart-healthy vinaigrette made with olive oil)

Combos We Love! To 4 cups cooked pasta, add...

Antipasti Pasta Salad

  • 2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 1 cup diced peppers
  • 1 cup quartered canned artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup white beans
  • 1/2 salami
  • 5 tablespoons shredded provolone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pepperoni

Broccoli & Feta Pasta Salad

  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Oregano to taste

This recipe was adapted from eatingwell.com