Quick and Easy Recipe: Healthy Pasta Salad

Enjoy this delicious and nutritious summer side dish

A healthy pasta salad in a bowl, including zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli and grated cheese.

Enjoy this delicious and nutritious summer side dish

When we think of typical summer side dishes, mayo-laden salads often come to mind. This whole-grain healthy pasta salad is packed with colorful garden vegetables. It is a fun and flavorful alternative to the not-so-healthy staples that often accompany family cookouts.

“Not only is this salad recipe low in fat and free of saturated fat, but it also features a colorful array of antioxidant-rich vegetables,” says Cathy Garvey, registered dietitian at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.


  • 1 pound whole-grain rotini pasta
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package (0.7 ounces) zesty Italian salad dressing mix
  • 2 tablespoons Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli florets
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta al dente. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water. Set aside. 
  2. In a skillet, cook the mushroom strips in balsamic vinegar over medium heat until softened. Add the zucchini, squash and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are softened. Remove from heat, add the remaining ingredients and toss. 
  3. In a large bowl, toss to combine the cooked pasta and the vegetables. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition facts

Serving size: 1 cup

Per Serving:

Calories: 157 Fat: 2 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 1 mg Sodium: 236 mg Carbohydrates: 29 g Fiber: 5 g Protein: 6 g

San Diego Health June 2021 Issue

This content appeared in San Diego Health, a publication in partnership between Scripps and San Diego Magazine that celebrates the healthy spirit of San Diego.

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