Healthy Alternative to a Barbeque Favorite

By Kerry McKenney May 24, 2018

The school year is about to end and Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, so that means cook-out season has begun!  I love cooking out and enjoying all the dishes at a pot luck outside while the kids run around and enjoy the sun.  I love a good macaroni or potato salad, you can always sign me up for seconds.  But let’s face it, the mayo and sour cream filled dishes can be quite unhealthy. I found this delicious, light and colorful pasta salad recipe as a great alternative to the traditional side dish recipes.  It’s chock full of fresh veggies and the dressing only has simple ingredients you probably have on hand.  You will not have to buy a full jar of mayo for this recipe!   It is a very versatile recipe as ingredients can be added or omitted as you please.  I used purple spring onions because the farmers markets have an abundance of them right now.  We like to use the green rotini noodles that have vegetables in them, but you can use any pasta you like.   One thing you should definitely stick to is letting it sit in the fridge overnight, it was much better the next day.  Enjoy!

Garden Vegetable Pasta Salad


For the salad:

2.5 cups uncooked pasta

20 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 green zucchini, thinly sliced

1 yellow zucchini, thinly sliced

1 broccoli crown, chopped into small florets

½ red onion, sliced

½ red bell pepper, sliced

For the dressing:

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (the juice from half a lemon)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ clove garlic, minced (I used garlic powder made from my mothers garden)

½ teaspoon salt

pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, chop the vegetables into salad sized pieces.

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.

When the water comes to a boil, cook the pasta for 6 to 9 minutes until it's al dente. Drain the pasta.

Stir about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil into the pasta to prevent it from sticking together and set aside the pot to cool, uncovered.

Add the dressing and all of the vegetables to the pot. Toss to mix it all together and then transfer to a serving bowl.

You can serve it immediately, but it tastes best if you let it marinate in the fridge overnight.