This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please visit my disclosure page.
I had a hard time deciding on the perfect side dish to serve with the Turkey on Ciabatta with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli, Provolone, and Arugula sandwiches from this month's Cooking with Astrology "Cancer" meal. I almost went with a green salad to try and keep things light, but ultimately this Healthy Italian Pasta Salad won out. I left out the mayonnaise and cheese.....
and used Barrilla Plus multigrain Rotini for an added boost of protein, fiber, and Omega-3. I also added a homemade Italian Dressing that is loaded with fresh herbs and tons of flavor!
How to make Healthy Italian Pasta Salad:
While the pasta is cooking, thinly slice the zucchini and grate the carrots. Add to a large bowl.....
along with the sliced olives, green onions, tomatoes, and cooled pasta. Add 1/2 cup of Italian Dressing, and toss to combine.....
Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Double check to see how much dressing has been absorbed. If pasta seems dry, add additional dressing.....
Sprinkle with chopped basil or Italian parsley, if desired.
This pasta salad is lighter than you would expect, and full of Italian flavors. We wouldn't want to be too full to enjoy our fun picnic date.....
Don't forget to take a large blanket to sit on. Waterproof is nice is the grass is damp.
A couple of pillows for lounging around.
A throw blanket just in case the temperatures drop. Also good for snuggling. 😉
Sunscreen if you plan on being outdoors for an extended period of time.
A Frisbee, or other toys for playing between courses.
And of course, a big basket to carry your goodies.
A cutting board or tray is handy to keep your food from falling over in the uneven grass.
You might want to also bring along some bottled water to keep from getting dehydrated.
more delicious pasta salad recipes:
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Antipasto Salad
- My Original Italian Pasta Salad
- Hawaiian Potato Salad - yes it does have pasta as well
Our Cancer picnic recipes:
- Turkey on Ciabatta with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli, Arugula, and Provolone
- Cherry Lemonade
- Tropical Cantaloupe Salad
Healthy Italian Pasta Salad
- 1/2 pound pasta of your choice cooked,drained and rinsed, (I used Barilla Plus Rotini)
- 1 medium zucchini thinly sliced
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced olives
- 3 green onions chopped
- 1/2 cup Italian Dressing
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving.
- If pasta seems dry, add additional dressing.