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.
Orzo with Sesame and PeasPaul Pastina was looking for something colorful and light to serve with chicken and fish when he came up with this quick dish infused with Asian flavors.
Cavatappi with Bacon and Summer VegetablesA 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.
Black Pepper Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus, and RomanoThis mayonnaise-based pasta salad veers from the traditional with salty Italian ham, nutty asparagus, and a generous grinding of pepper.
Asian Pasta SaladEasy 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 SaladOrzo 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 SaladThis 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 SaladAn 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 SaladThis 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 OlivesToss 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 SaladPretty 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 SaladHigh 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 DressingThis 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 SalmonThis 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!