ThePostGradGal takes on Healthy Pasta Salad

Slightly jealous at people’s food- photography skills. What this pasta salad lacks in beauty, it makes up for in taste.

Happy Monday, everyone! I attended a Lunch and Learn event last week at work where catered box lunches were provided. In that box was an amazing cup of pasta salad, something I very rarely treat myself to having. Keeping in mind how simple pasta salad can be to make, I wanted to give it a try for my lunch this week.I sought to keep the recipe light, yet filling, and without breaking the bank, so I made some tweaks to an amazing Pinterest recipe from fellow blogger, Love Grows Wild, to make the pasta salad it even healthier, without compromising any flavor! Check it out below.

ThePostGradGal Pasta Salad

Lovingly adopted from a recipe from Love Grows Wild

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 16 oz box of Ronzoni Garden Delight Tricolor Rotini
2 cups Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing (more or less to taste. I’d go less next time.)
1 5 oz package of Hormel Turkey Pepperoni Slices
1 8 oz Boar’s Head Colby Jack Cheese Wedge, cubed
1 10 oz package of grape tomatoes, halved
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 medium size red bell pepper, finely diced
1 medium size yellow bell pepper, finely diced

Instructions:

  1. Boil pasta according to package directions. Consider using the timing that they recommend for al dente. For me, it was about 8 minutes. In hindsight I could have taken it off a minute earlier.  Drain and gently rinse pasta in cold water to stop the pasta from cooking further.
  2. Chop all vegetables, pepperoni and cheese and place in bowl. Add cooked pasta and pour the dressing over the top. Gently toss to fully coat the salad with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

It’s that easy! You’ll see I used turkey pepperoni to cut down on fat, veggie rotini pasta to get an extra serving of veggies, and added red and yellow bell peppers for an added kick. Make sure you do not overcook the pasta so it doesn’t fall apart when you fold in the remaining ingredients.

Next time, I’ll probably use less dressing. A little goes a long way! Also, be sure to check out the ingredients of your Italian dressing. You may gravitate to the Lite or Fat Free versions, but if you take a peek, the dressing is loaded with sugar and corn syrup to accommodate for the lower fat — and we don’t have time for that! The original version of the Italian dressing has good fats from the oils that it uses, so just enjoy in moderation. Cheese may not be the healthiest thing on the list, but sometimes, you just gotta Treat. Yo. Self. 🙂

What would you add? Are you going to give this a try? Let me know in the comments below.

Have an amazing week!

XO,

The Post Grad Gal

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