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Picnic Pasta Salad

Picnic Pasta Salad

Photo: Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post


This colorful, whole grain, picnic pasta salad, chock-full of vegetables and fresh mozzarella cheese in an herb-garlic vinaigrette dressing, earns its name because of the way it holds up in a cooler pack –there is nothing in it that gets mushy or wilts–making it ideal for toting to a picnic, or for a lunchbox for work or school.


Picnic Pasta Salad



8 ounces whole grain fusilli pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
½ pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cup cooked, chilled, coarsely chopped broccoli
6 ounces fresh, part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼- ½ -inch dice



Cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl, toss with 1 teaspoon of the oil, and allow it to cool completely.

In a small bowl whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, vinegar, oregano, basil, garlic, salt and black pepper.

Add the bell pepper, tomatoes, broccoli, mozzarella and dressing to the pasta and toss to combine.


Makes 4 servings

Serving size 1 ½ cups

Per serving: Calories 450 ; Total Fat 21 g; (Sat Fat 6 g); Protein 21 g; Carb 47 g; Fiber 7 g; Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 590 mg, Total Sugar 3 g (Added Sugar 0 g)

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