What makes this pasta salad “healthier” is the homemade Italian dressing. I used to loooove making my mom’s pasta salad recipe, but since we started eating healthier I just had to change it up a little. There were only 3 things I had to adapt in this recipe; I used whole wheat pasta instead of white, I made my own Italian dressing instead of store-bought, and I omitted the salami. I chose to keep the provolone cheese, which is the healthier choice of the two proteins that mom uses. Very easy fixes to make this a healthy pasta salad!
I was a little nervous about making my own dressing, but I got the help of Bill, who is the master dressing maker in our house. He experiments with his salad dressings more than I do for our lunches, so he helped out a lot with the vinegar to oil ratios.
- 1 pound whole wheat fusilli, cooked according to package directions, then rinsed under cold water
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ clove garlic, grated
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound provolone cheese, cubed into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1-2 cups green onions, depending on preference, thinly sliced
- 1 14.5 ounce can black olives, halved
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- In a medium bowl add vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic, honey, salt, and pepper. Add olive oil slowly to the bowl while whisking.
- Place cooked, drained, and rinsed pasta in a large bowl and add only half of the vinegar and oil dressing. Cover and refrigerate the remaining half until later. Then, to the bowl add the cheese, tomatoes, green onions, olives, lemon juice, and basil; stir gently until combined. Cover and chill completely. Just before serving, add the remaining dressing mixture.*
You may also like: