Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 30 minutes
Bacon, fresh spinach and sweet cherry tomatoes mingle in a light, creamy ranch-like dressing in this warm pasta salad. We cut the carbs and increased the protein by using garbanzo-based pasta, a blend of vegan mayonnaise and plain yogurt instead of ranch dressing to reduce the fat and upped the nutrients with spinach instead of iceberg lettuce.
BLT Summer Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces (227g) garbanzo bean short pasta (like Banza cavatappi)
- 4 slices thick, center-cut, nitrate-free bacon, chopped (5 ounces/142g)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups (284g) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (59ml) vegan mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup (118ml) plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 (5-ounce/142g) bag baby spinach, stems discarded
Cook the pasta in a large pot according to package instructions.
While the pasta water is heating up, make the sauce. Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate, discard the drippings but leave browned bits in the pan.
Put the olive oil in the pan and place over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and garlic and sauté, scraping up the browned bits in the pan, until the tomatoes are tender, 4 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt and vinegar. When the pasta is done, drain it and rinse with hot water. Drain well. Add the pasta, bacon, tomato mixture and spinach to the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat. Serve warm.
Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 1 cup/205g
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 245; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 59mg; Sodium: 309mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 10g
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