Pasta is one of the most versatile foods in the world. On its own, it is bland and quite tasteless, but these characteristics also make it the perfect ingredient for adding virtually anything to. It can suit vegetarian, vegan and even gluten free diets.
Despite pasta being branded as unhealthy in the past due to its level of carbohydrates, it is actually relatively healthy, with only about 131 calories per 100 grams. Also, depending on what you eat with your pasta, you can increase the health benefits, for example, a pasta salad that is full of green vegetables can be a healthy and filling meal. A healthy pasta salad will also leave you feeling less bloated than some other pasta dishes.
So, here are 20+ under 500 calorie healthy pasta salad recipes you can try at home:
Broccoli is said to have many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties on top of all its other nutritional benefits. This salad is only 343 calories per serving and quick and easy to prepare.
This vegetarian salad is only 480 calories per serving. The chick peas provide a great way to incorporate some protein.
At only 451 calories per serving, this pasta salad is perfect for those who love meat but want some healthier ways to include it in your diet.
For those who love the taste of guacamole, this creamy salad ticks all the boxes while only being 290 calories per serving. Avocado is also rich in nutrients, healthy fats and fiber.
Tuna fish has very high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce cholesterol in our blood vessels and arteries. This salad is quick and easy to make and only 275 calories.
Asparagus is a great source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E and K and many other nutrients, including iron and fiber. This salad is also only 474 calories per serving.
Kale is a well known superfood. It is low in calories and fat and high in fiber and iron, as well as a lot of other nutrients. This super healthy pasta salad is also only 390 calories per serving.
This colorful pasta salad is only 159 calories per serving. It is also suitable for vegans and full of healthy vegetables.
It can be tricky to find a shrimp pasta salad that is low in calories, especially a creamy one. However, this pasta salad is only 259 calories per serving.
10. BLT Pasta Salad
This salad is a lovely twist on the classic BLT sandwich, and at an astonishing 72 calories per serving, it’s probably healthier too.
If you’re a fan of the classic chicken caesar salad, then here it with a slight addition. The pasta also makes the salad more filling while only being 375 calories per serving.
Spinach is well known for its health benefits. It is high in iron and low in fat and cholesterol amongst many other benefits. This pasta salad is also only 230 calories per serving.
This vegetarian pasta salad is light yet packed with protein, perfect for a light lunch. It is also only 90 calories per serving.
Quorn sausage is a great alternative if you are vegetarian, or even if you just want a healthier alternative to meat sausage. This pasta salad is only 379 calories per serving.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high in vitamins and is a great source of protein amongst many other health benefits. This pasta salad is also only 414 calories per serving.
An Asian inspired pasta salad that is only 377 calories per serving. The cashew nuts in this salad are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Brussels sprouts are a great source of nutrients and vitamins, including vitamin C and potassium. This healthy pasta salad is only 127 calories per serving.
This filling pasta salad is a great way to use up some leftover beef. Plus, it is only 322 calories per serving.
This colorful salad is only 268 calories per serving. Walnuts are also a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
An Asian inspired pasta salad that is a slight alternative to the traditional pastas usually found in pasta salads. It is only 356 calories per serving.
At only 156 calories per serving, this colorful couscous salad is perfect for a summer day. The mango in the salad is full of vitamin C and fiber, while the black beans are rich in potassium and other nutrients.
With the versatility of pasta salads and how quick and easy they are to make, why don’t you use some of these recipe ideas to invent your own? You will be the go-to person at summer picnics!
Featured photo credit: Jamie Oliver via jamieoliver.com