5-Ingredient Recipes: Pasta Salad, 3 Ways

Here are 3 classic salads, re-created pasta style, made with 5 ingredients each.

Pasta salads may appear harmless or even good for you, but large portions of pasta, heavy dressings and high fat add-ins can ruin this picnic staple. Fresh ingredients, lots of vegetables, and a little portion control can make all the difference -- here are 3 classic salads, re-created pasta style, each made with 5 ingredients.

Caprese Pasta Salad

Serves: 8
6 cups cooked whole grain pasta
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Combine ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.

Nutrition Info Per Serving:

Serves: 8; Calories: 300; Total Fat: 13 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Total Carbohydrate:  32 grams; Sugars: 4 grams; Protein:  15 grams; Sodium: 214 milligrams; Cholesterol: 18 milligrams; Fiber: 3 grams

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Serves: 8
6 cups cooked whole grain pasta (such as Barilla Plus)
12 ounces grilled or roasted chicken breast, diced
2 cups diced cucumber
2 cups diced romaine lettuce

Combine ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.

Nutrition Info Per Serving:

Serves: 8; Calories: 323; Total Fat: 12 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 31 grams; Sugars: 2 grams; Protein: 22 grams; Sodium: 181 milligrams; Cholesterol:  40 milligrams; Fiber:  3 grams

Cobb Pasta Salad

Serves: 8
6 cups cooked whole grain pasta
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
2 cups chopped tomato
2 cups diced avocado

Combine ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.

Nutrition Info Per Serving:

Serves: 4; Calories: 301; Total Fat: 10 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 43 grams; Sugars: 11 grams; Protein: 11 grams; Sodium: 363 milligrams; Cholesterol: 7 milligrams; Fiber: 6 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Keep Reading

Next Up

Best 5 Pasta Salad Recipes

Check out Food Network's best-five pasta salads to find top-rated classic and dressed-up creations from some of your favorite chefs, like Giada and Ina .

Recipe of the Day: Paula's Italian Pasta Salad

Paula Deen's savory pasta salad is the perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken or ribs and it's ready in less than 30 minutes. Get the recipe.

One Recipe, Two Meals: Summery Pasta Salad

Pasta salad: always a winner, always a fan.