Pasta Salads Under 300 Calories

Warm summer weather calls for lighter, fresh-tasting fare. From picnics and potlucks to dinners for two and lunch on the go, pasta salad is a perennial summertime favorite.

  • Black Pepper Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Romano
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Photo: Romulo Yanes; Food Styling: Simon Andrews; Prop Styling: Helen Crowther

    Black Pepper Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Romano

    This mayonnaise-based pasta salad veers from the traditional with salty Italian ham, nutty asparagus, and a generous grinding of pepper.
  • Cavatappi with Bacon and Summer Vegetables
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie Clark

    Cavatappi with Bacon and Summer Vegetables

    A light, flavorful pasta toss, accented with crumbled bacon, is a quick and easy dinner solution for any night of the week. Use whatever veggies you have on hand to add to the colorful dish. Serve with a mixed greens salad.
  • Asian Pasta Salad
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Randy Mayor

    Asian Pasta Salad

    Easy and tasty, this salad is a lighter, fresher version of the classic dry noodle salad. Chinese noodles are low in fat and can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store. Sunflower seeds add a pleasing nutty flavor to the pasta salad and are an excellent source of vitamin E.

  • Orzo Salad
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Orzo Salad

    Orzo is pasta made from hard wheat semolina that is rice-shaped, but slightly larger. It's cooked the same way that other pastas are cooked—in a large pot of boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes. Similar to most other pasta shapes, it's delicious hot or cold.
  • Peppery Chicken Pasta Salad
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Karry Hosford

    Peppery Chicken Pasta Salad

    This salad is the definition of quick and simple. Cooking the pasta and the veggies together saves time. Toss with chicken and dressing, and serve warm or refrigerate and save for the next day. The addition of pesto gives a garlicky kick to the fresh veggies and chicken.
  • Tortellini Pepperoncini Salad
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Photo: Karry Hosford

    Tortellini Pepperoncini Salad

    An easy weeknight dinner, or the perfect salad to bring to your next picnic or potluck, this salad is sure to be a hit with everyone. With such bright and fresh flavors, no one will ever guess that it's only 208 calories per serving.
  • Chicken-Pasta Salad
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Chicken-Pasta Salad

    This colorful salad is a cinch to prepare and works well as a main dish. Chop veggies and cheese while pasta and peas are cooking to save time.
  • Pasta Salad with Shrimp, Peppers, and Olives
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Randy Mayor; Mary Catherine Muir

    Pasta Salad with Shrimp, Peppers, and Olives

    Toss angel hair pasta with shrimp, plum tomatoes, bell peppers, and olives for a Mediterranean-style main dish salad. Sprinkling with a small amount of sharp feta cheese gives the salad its distinct flavor, yet adds very little fat to the dish–a 2-cup serving has only 7.2 grams of fat.
  • Confetti Pasta Salad
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Christy Flowers

    Confetti Pasta Salad

    Pretty enough for a party, this pasta salad is as delicious as it is colorful. Fresh dill gives it an added twist that will have everyone begging for seconds. And, at only 204 calories per serving, why not?
  • Penne, Crispy Tofu, and Green Bean Salad
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Randy Mayor; Jan Gautro

    Penne, Crispy Tofu, and Green Bean Salad

    High in protein, low in saturated fat, and a good source of calcium and iron, firm tofu is sautéed and combined with green beans, tomatoes, and pasta in this vegetarian main dish salad. Cooking the beans and pasta together is also an excellent time-saver.
  • Macaroni Salad with Bacon, Peas, and Creamy Dijon Dressing
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D.

    Macaroni Salad with Bacon, Peas, and Creamy Dijon Dressing

    This delicious twist on classic macaroni salad uses smoky bacon, sweet fresh peas, and spicy Dijon mustard for a recipe you're sure to make again and again. And with only 208 calories per serving, it's practically guilt-free!
  • Summer Farfalle Salad with Smoked Salmon
    By: Jaime Harder, M.A., R.D., Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

    Summer Farfalle Salad with Smoked Salmon

    This easy, well-rounded, low-fat dish is loaded with fresh flavors. It's great for a picnic meal or a simple weeknight dinner. It also packs a healthful punch with the benefits of essential omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon and the wealth of vitamins and minerals in the spinach!
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