Summer may be slowly creeping towards fall, but I’m embracing all the fresh flavors and vegetables I can still get! Just in time for Labor Day parties, I have your perfect go-to dish.
With gorgeous and crisp colors like this, how can you go wrong?
This pasta salad is super simple but incredibly tasty. The zingy, slightly sweet dressing is the perfect accompaniment to the veggies, beans and pasta. Even for someone like me who doesn’t always love vegetables, it’s a sneaky way to get something healthy on my plate.
With lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals, plus protein and carbs, this Easy Mediterranean Summer Pasta Salad is sneaky-healthy indeed. At just over 200 calories per cup, you can eat this as a snack, or even a mini-meal itself. Or, pair it with lean meat like grilled chicken or turkey burgers for a delicious, rounded out, diet-friendly meal.
• ¾ cup dry mini farfalle pasta
• ½ small red onion, sliced
• 3 small roma tomatoes, chopped
• 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
• 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
• 1 – 15oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed
• Feta cheese (optional)
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• ½ cup red wine vinegar
• juice of ½ lemon (about 1/8 cup)
• 1 tbsp. minced red onion
• 1 tsp. oregano
• ¼ tsp. garlic powder
• 1 tsp. sugar
• salt & pepper to taste
Bring water to boil to cook your mini farfalle pasta.
(Psst, I like these mini guys because it seems like there’s more pasta than there really is. I can get a piece with every bite of veggies!)
While pasta is cooking, start to chop—chop—chop!
Slice up your red onion, tomatoes, cucumber and orange bell pepper into bite-sized pieces. You don’t want to cut the veggies too small, or your leftover salad could get soggy.
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans, then combine with veggies.
Make your salad dressing: Combine all ingredients in a shaker (I use an old-fashioned mason jar) and mix well.
Once pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse with cold water until it’s cool. Combine with veggies, pour dressing over top, and mix to combine everything.
You can eat this right away, but the longer you let the pasta salad sit, the better the flavors meld together.
Top with a sprinkling of feta cheese, if desired.
Yields about 7 cups, 215 calories per cup (without cheese)