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Healthy Italian Pasta Salad

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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…..

Light and delicious Healthy Italian Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish | cookingwithcurls.com

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!

Italian Dressing | cookingwithcurls.com

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…..

Healthy Italian Pasta Salad bowl cookingwithcurls.com

along with the sliced olives, green onions, tomatoes, and cooled pasta. Add 1/2 cup of Italian Dressing, and toss to combine…..

Healthy Italian Pasta Salad mix cookingwithcurls.com

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…..

Healthy Italian Pasta Salad | cookingwithcurls.com

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…..

Cooking with Astrology #Cancer | cookingwithcurls.com

Picnic Tips:

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.

Cooking with Astrology Cancer Picnic | cookingwithcurls.com | Italian Pasta Salad, Cherry Lemonade, Tropical Cantaloupe Salad, and Turkey on Ciabatta with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli

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:

Our Cancer picnic recipes:


Healthy Italian Pasta Salad | cookingwithcurls.com

Healthy Italian Pasta Salad

This Healthy Italian Pasta Salad is perfect for summer cookouts and picnics. It's light and flavorful, so it won't weigh you down!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pasta, salad, italian, recipe, zucchini, healthy,
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 324kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson


  • ½ 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
  • ¼ cup sliced olives
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • ½ 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.


The pasta will soak in the Italian Dressing as it chills. You may need to add additional dressing if it is too dry.


Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 494mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5875IU | Vitamin C: 17.5mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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    1. Wait, there is provolone on the sandwich! The sun-dried tomato aioli is similar to pizza sauce, lol. You could always add mozzarella to the Italian pasta salad as well. 😉 I will definitely keep that in mind for next year!!

  1. You post some of the best recipes. I found this one over at Cast Party Wednesday. Have a wonderful day!

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