Pasta salad is a staple of picnics and delis, but doesn’t have a reputation for being particularly healthy thanks to high salt content and heavy carbs. With this recipe, though, we can slim down the classic dish by using whole wheat pasta and pesto dressing.
Key fat-burning ingredient:
Whole-wheat pasta: Pasta has a bad rap because it’s basically all carbs. But the truth is, consuming whole grains like pasta takes time to digest, which in turn helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents belly fat storage.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Kara Lydon, R.D., @ The Foodie Dietitian
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Makes 12 servings
- 16 oz whole wheat fusilli pasta
- 2 cups basil leaves
- ¼ cup hemp oil
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ½ tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 8 oz cherry sized-mozzarella balls, quartered
How to make it
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook for 12-13 minutes or until desired texture. Drain and rinse under cold water.
In a food processor, add basil, hemp oil, Parmesan cheese, hemp seeds, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper and pulse to combine.
In a large serving bowl, toss pasta with pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese until pesto evenly coats the pasta. Serve at room temperature.