15 Cool Pasta & Grain Salads

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15 Cool Pasta & Grain Salads

Pasta and grain salads make excellent sides, combining whole grains and veggies into one convenient dish! From picnics to potlucks, grain and pasta salads are always crowd favorites. Depending on how big your portions are, you can enjoy these recipes as an entrée or a side.

PASTA SALADS

1. Lemony Orzo Veggie Salad with Chicken| Cooking Light
This colorful orzo and chicken main-dish salad is packed with an assortment of chopped fresh vegetables and tossed with a tangy lemon dressing. It’s a great use for leftover or rotisserie chicken. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1¼ cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 281; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 26mg; Sodium: 301mg; Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 16g

2. Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad| Food Fanatic
Savory bacon and tomatoes come together in this BLT-inspired orzo pasta salad. Just add crunchy cooked bacon, diced ripe tomatoes and orzo, and toss in a red wine vinaigrette—yum! Recipe makes 2 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 240; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 16mg; Sodium: 629mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 6g; Protein: 9g

3. Lemon Asparagus Pasta Salad| Peas & Crayons
Enjoy a refreshing pasta salad tossed in a tangy lemon vinaigrette! Light ingredients like asparagus, pasta, cucumbers, peppers and feta cheese debut together in this salad. Recipe makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 287; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 11mg; Sodium: 219mg; Total Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugars: 2g; Protein: 6g

4. Roasted Vegetables & Goat Cheese Pasta Salad| Clean Eating
This go-to pasta salad is hearty and delicious served cold (but great warm, too). If your kitchen is getting a bit too stuffy for your liking, head outdoors and take this recipe with you: You can also make the whole thing outside on your grill! Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 191; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Carbohydrate: 29g; Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 9g; Sodium: 163mg; Cholesterol: 8mg

QUINOA SALADS

5. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad | Hummusapien
Check out this Mediterranean quinoa salad! The meatless dish pairs fluffy quinoa with crispy vegetables like cucumber, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Recipe makes 5 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 383; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 12mg; Sodium: 674mg; Carbohydrate: 43g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 12g

6. Apple & Quinoa Kale Salad| The Wheatless Kitchen
This crisp, refreshing apple and quinoa kale salad is equal parts sweet and earthy. Perfect for lunch or dinner, the generous serving size will fill you up without weighing you down. Recipe makes 2 servings of 1 entree-size salad each. Since the recipe is for an entree-size salad, we suggest halving the serving size for side salads—nutrition information is for a side salad (i.e. 4 servings).

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 270; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 10g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 181mg; Carbohydrate: 25g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 5g

7. Honey Lemon Quinoa Chicken Salad| The Honour System
Play with sweet and sour flavors by making this honey lemon quinoa chicken salad. Nutritious quinoa gets an exciting makeover with a recipe that delivers a mustard kick, lemon zing and peanut crunch. Recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 419; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 60mg; Sodium: 130mg; Carbohydrate: 47g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 32g

8. Apricot Quinoa Summer Salad | Nutrition Stripped
This gluten-free quinoa summer salad is filled with sweet antioxidant-rich apricots and refreshingly cool cucumbers. Bursts of citrus, fresh herbs and earthiness from nutty almonds create a great balance of flavors for an amazing side dish. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 side salad each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 255; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 380mg; Total Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 7g

 

COUSCOUS SALADS

9. Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad with Tomatoes| Skinnytaste
Plump pearled couscous is a great alternative when you get bored of ordinary pasta. Dress it up with plenty of fresh asparagus and tomatoes so that you don’t miss your veggie kick! Recipe makes 5 servings at 1 heaping cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 170; Total Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 10mg; Total Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 0g; Protein: 6g

10. Chilled Black Bean Couscous Salad| Kim’s Cravings
Instead of making a hot meal for meatless Monday, try this refreshing, chilled black bean couscous salad. Cooked couscous is tossed with veggies and beans and chilled in a vinaigrette sauce. You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate for the next day. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 455; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 22mg; Sodium: 330mg; Carbohydrate: 73g; Dietary Fiber: 12g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 19g

11. Roasted Eggplant Couscous Salad | Erren’s Kitchen
Roasted eggplant gives a smoky flavor to this Mediterranean-inspired salad. Eggplant is tricky business for picky eaters due to its bitter tinge. If you have time, try salting the eggplant and mopping off the bitter juices before roasting. Recipe makes 4 servings. Nutrition info is for preparing the salad with ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 311; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 8mg; Sodium: 530mg; Total Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 8g; Protein: 4g

RICE SALADS

12. Brown Rice & Chickpea Salad | Cooking Light
If you have leftover brown rice, make this simple salad. Fluffy brown rice, tender chickpeas and sweet cherries are tossed in a yummy vinaigrette. Make a batch ahead of time, and you can have a convenient grain salad bowl for lunch. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 391; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 7mg; Sodium: 348mg; Carbohydrate: 52g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 11g

13. Chicken & Brown Rice Bowl | MyFitnessPal’s Original Recipes
Pack a healthy, budget-friendly lunch using this recipe for a chicken and brown rice bowl. Grilled lean chicken is served alongside a portion of brown rice tossed with celery, onion, peas and carrots that are dressed in a lemon-mustard sauce. It’s a zingy meal filled with protein and fiber to fuel you till dinner! Recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 388; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 79mg; Sodium: 363mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 30g

14. Wild Rice & Edamame Salad| Chow
Take a dive on the wild side with this fast, healthy and surprisingly addictive salad. It’s a light go-to option for events like barbecues, potlucks and picnics. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 heaping cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 364; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 540mg; Total Carbohydrate: 39g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugars: 13g; Protein: 11g

15. Three Bean Wild Rice Salad | Mom On Timeout
If you love beans, you’ll really love this three-bean wild rice salad featuring kidney, black and garbanzo beans. This is a great way to use up your haul of canned beans and meet about half your daily fiber requirements in one meal. Recipe makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 412; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 316mg; Total Carbohydrate: 73g; Dietary Fiber: 16g; Sugars: 18g; Protein: 18g

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MyFitnessPal's Featured Recipes
MyFitnessPal's Featured Recipes

MyFitnessPal’s Featured Recipes are simple dishes that showcase just how delicious healthy foods can be. Look for the nutrition information at the bottom of the recipe or log it directly in MyFitnessPal by clicking on the “Log It” button. Scroll through our entire collection or explore: Low-Carb • High-protein • High-fiber • Gluten-free • Dairy-free • Vegetarian • Vegan

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