I made this yummy lighter, healthier peas and ham pasta salad a couple of Sundays ago. It made a big batch, enough for several weekday meals and sharing with mom. Taking the time to cook a few dishes ahead on Sunday makes getting dinner on the table during the week so much easier.
I love good pasta salad, but many are packed with fat and 500 or more calories per serving, and are not always good.
Homemade pasta salad is usually ten times better, and a whole lot healthier, since you are in charge of what goes into it.
Most of the time I opt for pasta salads made with vinaigrette, since I automatically think of them as lighter and healthier. But it’s possible to make a lighter, healthier pasta salad with creamy dressing too.
There is a great article in this month’s issue (June 2013) of EatingWell with a step-by-step guide to making healthier pasta salads, as well as several interesting flavor combinations, that grabbed my attention. I opted to try the Peas and Ham Pasta Salad with Creamy Buttermilk Dressing, since I had all the ingredients needed on hand.
Packed with with protein and vegetables – mushrooms, peas, onion, diced ham, chopped hard-boiled eggs, chopped Cheddar cheese – and tossed in a creamy buttermilk dill dressing, it was satisfying and delicious.
- 4 cups cooked whole wheat elbow pasta
- 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
- 1-3/4 cups frozen peas, thawed
- ¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 1 cup diced ham
- 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs
- ½ cup diced cheddar cheese
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- In a large bowl combine the pasta, mushrooms, peas, onion, ham, eggs and cheese.
- In a medium bowl mash the clove of garlic and salt into a paste. Whisk in the buttermilk, mayonnaise, dill and vinegar until smooth.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
More Weight Watchers Friendly Pasta Salads
Pasta Salad with Blue Cheese and Arugula (Simple Nourished Living)
Simple Healthy Satay Chicken Pasta Salad (Simple Nourished Living)
Tomato, Basil and Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad (Weight Watchers)
BLT Macaroni Salad (SkinnyTaste)