Seven Healthy Summer Pasta Salad Recipes

Make a classic summer side dish a little healthier with these ideas.

Summer’s here, and that means it’s time to break out the grill and fire up some warm weather staples. And what’s a more classic summer side dish than pasta salad?

Many pasta salads, however, are weighed down with mayonnaise and other heavy ingredients. To lighten up your next summer gathering, we found seven healthy pasta salad recipes that won’t leave you in a carb coma.

1. Pesto Pasta Salad
via Happy Healthy Mama

This simple pasta salad recipe uses whole grain pasta for a hearty dose of fiber. The homemade pesto even sneaks in spinach in addition to basil, giving you a few extra nutrients.

2. Tropical Chicken Bowtie Pasta Salad
via Yummy Healthy Easy

Pineapple and mandarin oranges give this pasta salad recipe a fruity, tropical flavor. We recommend replacing the coleslaw dressing with Greek yogurt for added protein.

3. Mediterranean Pasta Salad
via Gimme Some Oven

Mediterranean favorites like olives, cucumbers, and feta cheese come together in this recipe. A homemade lemon-herb vinaigrette brings it all together.

4. Healthy Southwest Pasta Salad
via Ambitious Kitchen

This flavorful recipe is made with lentil-quinoa pasta and is packed with strong Southwestern seasonings such as chili powder and chipotle peppers. The dressing uses Greek yogurt and avocado for a creamy touch.

5. Orzo Pasta Salad
via Girl Gone Gourmet

Chickpeas add plant-based protein to this pasta salad, and a simple blend of balsamic vinegar and olive oil keeps the flavor profile light and bright.

6. Asparagus and Arugula Pasta Salad
via Gimme Some Oven

Get your daily dose of greens with this recipe. Arugula serves as the base of this salad, while asparagus, whole wheat pasta, and goat or feta cheese make up the rest of the hearty meal.

7. Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta
via Salt and Lavender

Grill as many summer vegetables as you like, then add some fusilli and fresh herbs. For a fresher, more flavorful taste, sub the garlic powder for fresh garlic.