Lightened-Up Italian Pasta Salad

I love combining salad and pasta and making “lighter” versions of pasta dishes, or more satisfying versions of salads – depending on how you look at it. I have posted about a Greek Salad Noodle Bowl before, and today I wanted to change it up Italian-Style. I have recently started testing whether I am able to have dairy products again (I haven’t dared to try pure milk), so I used a cottage cheese base for my dressing. I love cottage cheese!

When you to Italian restaurants and order an Italian salad, you normally get a huge heap of salad in very creamy dressing, along with high-fat cheese, eggs, and some ham. I figured I would be satisfied with a cottage cheese dressing and some eggs…and I was so right. There was no need for extra cheese or ham today (I prefer those on top of bread anyway), and the pasta (whole-spelt spirellis) proved to be the satisfying addition to my salad.


Oh yes, and I added some peas as well! Very strange for Italian salads, I guess, but I wanted to make this a bit creative…and I was out of tomatoes. 🙂

This salad is perfect for using up left-overs:


I’m sensitive to dairy, but tried out a bit of cottage cheese in my dressing today. I was alright, but am still trying to avoid it at large…


I love arranging all my ingredients in a large bowl before tossing. It’s kind’a weird, ’cause really, what’s the point?


Feel free to experiment with adding different veggies…I am sure this would be great with tomatoes, as mentioned above, or maize instead of peas.

I also had 2 hard-boiled eggs for protein, and, I gotta say, I was full in a great way after having this huge serving of healthy salad!


As you can see, I sprinkled some salt and paprika on my eggs – completely optional, of course,  but I recommend it!IMG_1871

Lightened-Up Italian Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 1/2 Tbs. cottage cheese
  • 2 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Italian herb mix
  • 1 cup cooked pasta
  • 1 cup chopped leafy greens
  • 1/3 cup cooked peas
  • 2 inches cucumber, sliced
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • balsamic reduction for garnish (optional)


1. In a bowl, mix together the first four ingredients for your dressing.

2. Chop your lettuce, slice the cucumber, and add to the salad bowl along with the precooked pasta and peas.

3. Mix together thoroughly, then serve drizzled with some balsamic reduction, if you like.  Enjoy with 2 eggs for more protein.

You could also toast some sunflower seeds and sprinkle them on top for more crunch! This salad is open to loads of options! I just thought of artichokes…IMG_1872

There you go then, that’s it. I’m sorry there is no vegan version of this one…but for all you vegetarians out there, I truly recommend this feel-good lightened up salad! After all, aren’t we all getting ready for warmer weather and lighter food these days?


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