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4 Tips for Making a Healthier Pasta Salad


Carolyn Malcoun, Contributing Food Editor

Pasta salad is simple to make and easy to tote to summer potlucks, picnics and backyard barbecues. But typical versions consist of white pasta drowning, often tastelessly, in a heavy mayonnaise dressing. Luckily, it’s easy to make a light and creamy pasta salad with a lot less fat that’s still super-yummy! Here are 4 of my simple tips to help you make your favorite pasta salad recipes healthier.

1. Use Whole-Wheat Pasta

Replace regular white pasta with whole-wheat pasta to add fiber—you’ll more than double the fiber per cup of pasta.

2. Cut Back on Mayonnaise

Use a combination of low-fat mayonnaise, low-fat plain yogurt and olive oil instead of regular mayonnaise and you’ll cut calories and saturated fat.

3. Use More Vegetables

Double the veggies and use a variety of colorful ones. Some of my favorite pasta-salad veggies: shredded carrots, finely chopped broccoli and cauliflower, cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes and diced bell pepper.

4. Add Fresh Herbs

Herbs boost flavor without fat or sodium. Fragrant basil is always a hit, or try tarragon, dill or cilantro.

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Source:; Pictured Recipe: Garden Pasta Salad