Not to slam other healthy vegetarian pasta salad recipes, (ok yes I am), but this not your run-of the-mill veggies and pasta topped with fat-free dressing. What I really wanted to do was recreate the deliciousness of macaroni salad (the kind without egg – bleh why must they put eggs in there?) WITHOUT recreating the guilt. And I did! What’s the secret? Two not-so-secret ingredients: fat free Greek yogurt and lots of plain old yellow mustard.
Red Onion or White Onion
Let’s talk about onions. Personally, I think they are a must in a vegetarian pasta salad. They add that oomph that keeps it from just being blah. You can use either white or red onions in this recipe. Both add some zing. It just depends on your preference. If you want a clean, sharp bite, go with white. If you’re looking for a little spice, go with red. It’s only 1/4 of an onion, so it won’t be too spicy.
If you’re cooking for a picky crowd or want a milder flavor, I’d go with. yellow onions. Last option … if you’re allergic or just can’t stand onions, just leave them out. No problem — easy, peasy.
What KInd of Cheese to Use
I prefer chunks of cheese in my pasta salad. For this one, I actually just cut up a couple of Colby cheese snack sticks. I believe a sharp cheese like cheddar or Colby works best for this, but you do you. You can use any kind of hard cheese in any form. Cut up a block or a stick, throw in some shreds — it’s all good!
Why Does Pasta Salad Need to Chill
This is one of those foods that ;needs time for the flavors to develop. That’s basically just a fancy way of saying it tastes better over time, as the different flavors have more time to mix. That’s why some foods, like chili, taste better the next day. Chances are, though, that you don’t have all day to sit around and wait for more flavor. Chilling in the fridge for an hour will do just fine.
MoRe Healthy Swaps to Try
Thanks to lots of fiber from the broccoli slaw and mostly healthy ingredients, this healthy vegetarian pasta salad is just as tasty as the store bought full guilt kind. I LOVE comfort food, so I’m all about making it lighter. Here are some other recipes like that to check out:
- Healthier Grilled Potatoes with Butter
- Grillable Homemade Veggie Burger
- Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs
- Healthier Burger Sauce
- Creamy Vegetarian Mexican Risotto
Healthy Pasta Salad Recipe
Love macaroni salad? So do I, but I do NOT love how it slays my diet in one sitting. This version is tasty, creamy, satisfying, and WAY less guilt.
- 3/4 cup short dry pasta like macaroni or penne
- 1.5 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
- 4 TB yellow mustard
- 3 TB light mayo
- 1 TB minced garlic
- 1 TB dried dill or 2 TB fresh
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 TB white pepper
- 1/4 cup Splenda or other sugar substitute
- Add after chilling:
- 1 bag broccoli slaw (10-12 oz)
- 1 medium tomato
- 1/4 medium yellow or red onion
- 1.5 oz cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package ingredients.
2. Mix sauce ingredients. Stir in pasta and chill for at least one hour, covered.
3. Mix in remaining ingredients before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 391mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 12g