Salad can be boring if you don’t find one you enjoy, can’t it? My favourite salad by far is a pasta salad, more specifically a tomato and mozzarella pasta salad.
Of course, when you are trying to eat healthily that isn’t always as easy due to the dressings and mozzarella but here is a recipe for a healthy tomato and mozzarella pasta salad you can enjoy.
Easy steps to make the tomato and mozzarella pasta salad
Firstly decide if you are making the full recipe, or as described above, half the dressing recipe and set your ingredients out to be sure you have everything.
Whisk together the oil, Italian seasoning, granulated sugar, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
Add the diced onion to the dressing and set aside.
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions in well-salted water then strain using a colander and dunk into an ice bath to cool the pasta down quickly.
This works because otherwise the residual heat in the pasta keeps cooking it and can make it sticky.
Using a second mixing bowl add the cooled pasta shapes to this bowl and have your other ingredients chopped, if you have not done that already.
Add the mozzarella, cucumber and tomatoes to the pasta then pour over the dressing and red onion mixture.
Mix the tomato and mozzarella pasta salad together carefully using wooden spoons or salad servers.
Chill the tomato and mozzarella pasta salad in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
After 30 minutes of chilling the pasta salad will be ready to serve. If you make this recipe the night before and you are enjoying it for lunch simply leave it in the fridge until lunchtime.
It will keep well for up to 5 days in the fridge with fresh ingredients, if some of the ingredients you have used were reduced or past their best it may not last as long.
Tips to make this pasta salad on a budget
If you are on a tight budget then don’t panic this is a really easy cheap recipe to make. Here are a few changes you can make to reduce costs.
Use the cheapest mozzarella or buy it reduced and freeze it until you need it. Frozen mozzarella takes around 12 hours to defrost in the fridge, sometimes quicker for smaller packs.
Cherry tomatoes that are a bit soft as they are over-ripe work well in this recipe so if they are reduced but still good enough to eat you can use them for this recipe.
Italian seasoning is not an essential buy, if you have cheap mixed herbs these will work just fine.
Don’t worry about expensive pasta, choose pasta you like and have it in the cupboard, if you have a few ends of packets, all different shapes that is fine too!
As a cheaper alternative if you do not have kosher salt simply use table salt. The difference in taste is minimal.
Some people profess to tell the difference between cheap olive oil and more expensive olive oil. Use whatever you have and can afford.
Just Average Jen is an independent blog. It is not connected with any weight loss plan. None of the contributors have received training from them or worked for them.
It is the reader’s responsibility to check nutritional values, such as Slimming World syn values and WW points. Additionally, they must check any other allowances, as any given are approximate.
Enjoying this pasta salad on a diet
If you follow Slimming World, Weight Watchers (WW), Noom or any other weight loss plan this is a great recipe to try.
It is of course important to check yourself for any plan you follow and remember all nutritional information and ingredients are found in the recipe card below.
What about Slimming World?
This Slimming World tomato and mozzarella pasta salad recipe is not low in syns but it can easily be made to be lower in syns so don’t panic.
Also, remember that you have a syn allowance every day so why not use it on meals you enjoy?
The approximate syns in this recipe are calculated as follows:
120 ml Olive oil is 48 syns (6 syns per 15ml)
0.5 tsp sugar is half a syn (1tsp = 1 syn)
110 g Mozzarella is 8 syns (alternatively 70g is your healthy extra a choice)
The total syns for this recipe is 56.5 syns (approx) or around 14 syns per portion.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the syns in this recipe and still enjoy it.
Use half the dressing recipe so the salad has less dressing but is only 7 syns per portion.
Use a fat-free syn free salad dressing instead to eliminate most of the syns leaving just 2 syns per portion for the mozzarella.
Enjoy the tomato and mozzarella pasta salad as a side dish and instead have half the portion at 7 syns (or 3.5 if you halve the dressing used too!) and add some other items like mini quiches, leafy salad or roasted vegetables.
More recipes you might enjoy
I have lots of tasty pasta recipes, why not take a look and see what else you can make? Many are low syn or syn free including a fruit pasta salad and chicken and bacon carbonara.
If you have enjoyed making this recipe on a budget but would like more budget-friendly healthy meals then check out my budget recipes guide including tomato soup, homity pie and curries.
Are you, like me, a vegetarian? I have a whole selection of recipes just for you! Check out my vegan and vegetarian recipe guide.
This is a perfect recipe to make for one by making half the recipe and having some today and some another day. If you struggle to cook for one check out my meal plans for one and see if that helps.
If you like dips then be sure to check out my dip directory full of all my tasty dip recipes perfect for any BBQ or party!
The selection includes a vegan red pepper dip, spicy lentil dip, coleslaw, tangy chilli salsa and red pepper houmous.
You might also like to check my BBQ guide and see if there are any new BBQ foods you might not have considered before like falafel burgers, pork burgers, cajun chicken and sticky chicken.
I also have a guide to healthy meat choices if that helps too.
If you go to a Slimming World group and need ideas for foods for a taster session or perhaps you are organising a healthy party then my taster ideas article has lots of good ideas you may find helpful!
A few other recipes I think you will love are:Print
Easy pasta salad recipe
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 50 Minutes
- Yield: 4 Portions 1x
- Category: Salad recipes
- Method: Easy hob recipe
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Low Calorie
An easy and tasty pasta salad you can make at home for an easy lunch, family meal or even as a side dish for a BBQ
For the dressing:
120ml olive oil
60ml red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta salad:
1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
225g dried pasta, such as fusilli
225g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced
110g fresh light/low fat mozzarella drained and chopped
coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional
Mix up the dressing first and add the diced red onions to the dressing
Cook the pasta for 12 min in boiling heavily salted water.
After draining, dunk the strainer of pasta in an ice bath (equal parts ice and water in a large bowl) and get it cold fast!
Mix and chill the salad for at least 30 minutes
Pasta salad keeps well in the fridge for about five days, so it can easily be made in advance.