I see pasta salad and I think carbs. Stuff it full of veggies and some good lean ham and look what happens! Still carbs, I won’t lie. But fewer carbs! Totally doable. Why did I wait so long. A gorgeous, colorful, EASY Italian pasta salad for your next picnic. Happy family AND happy macros.

Favorite Italian Pasta Salad with ham from www.lillieeatsandtells.com

This Italian Pasta Salad makes a great side dish, but has enough protein to be the main dish if you want. You can always double up on the ham to make it even more hearty, or add another lean protein like grilled chicken! My favorite.

Italian Pasta Salad Recipe by www.lillieeatsandtells.com

How to Make Italian Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • White balsamic vinegar* (60 g)
  • Garlic, minced (or frozen cubes)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Olive oil (15 g)
  • Cavatappi pasta, cooked according to package directions**
  • Bell pepper, diced (240 g)
  • Cucumber, diced (240 g)
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved (300 g)
  • Red onion, diced (240 g)
  • Deli ham***, chopped (220 g)
  • Mozzarella, grated or chopped small (56 g)
  • Parmesan, shredded (28 g)
  • Parsley, chopped (20 g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
mixing Italian Pasta salad found at www.lillieeatsandtells.com

Directions:

In a large serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in your olive oil while whisking rapidly. Add in all of your remaining pasta-salad ingredients and toss well!

A Few Things to Keep in Mind…

If you have a fruit infused white balsamic like my favorite Baker and Olive white balsamics, use it!  I love lemon, peach, pineapple, elderflower, grapefruit… you can’t really go wrong! They’re naturally sweet from the aging process… no added sugar, and only 3 carbs per tablespoon. I can’t live without them. Seriously.

Below, in notes, you can find macros using regular pasta, Banza Chickpea pasta, or Barilla protein pasta. The official macros below are for the PROTEIN Pasta.

This is calculated using a black forest ham from Trader Joes that is 2 fat, 4 carbs, and 23 protein for 110 g. Feel free to use any deli ham, but if you’d like the macros to stay true, just be sure and find one that’s similar! I debated bulking up the protein with double ham, but I figured you can also choose to do that to your bowl! And sometime we like to toss in grilled chicken too if we’ve got it on hand. Personally, I’m going to be piling it into a bowl with arugula and extra protein to make it huge! Per usual. Ha.

And as for the cheese: I did not use low-fat. You can — but don’t invite me over.

If you do decided to add an extra portion of protein, try adding either of these lean options:

Balsamic Herb Grilled Chicken – Lillie Eats and Tells

Easy Blackened Chicken Tenderloins – Lillie Eats and Tells

Wanting more? Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram if you aren’t already! Enjoy!

Italian Pasta Salad

This Italian Pasta Salad is bound to be a new favorite. It's Cavatappi pasta base piled with veggies, cheeses, and of course, ham, is full of flavor and macro friendly.
5 from 1 vote
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 288 kcal

Disclaimer: the grams I’ve listed manually after each ingredient are accurate for a single recipe, but they will not multiply if you choose the 2x or 3x option. Please make sure and multiply on your own!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar* 60 g
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (or frozen cubes)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 g
  • 8 oz Cavatappi pasta cooked according to package directions**
  • 2 cups bell pepper diced (240 g)
  • 2 cups cucumber diced (240 g)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved (300 g)
  • 2 cups red onion diced (240 g)
  • 2 cups deli ham*** chopped (220 g)
  • ½ cup mozzarella grated or chopped small (56 g)
  • ¼ cup parmesan shredded (28 g)
  • ½ cup parsley chopped (20 g)
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in your olive oil while whisking rapidly. Add in all of your remaining pasta-salad ingredients and toss well!

Notes

  • Here are the macros using regular pastas, Banza Chickpea pasta, or Barilla protein pasta. The official macros below are for the PROTEIN Pasta.
  • 6 servings, 311 g per serving
    • Using Barilla Protein Pasta: 288 cal, 37.8c, 6.8f, 19.1 p, 5.6 fiber
    • Using Banza pasta 288 cal, 33.8 c, 8.5f. 20.4 p, 7.6 fiber
    • Using normal pasta: 295 cal, 40.5c, 6.8f, 17.1p, 3.6 fiber
      If you are using My Fitness Pal: Search “Lillie Eats and Tells Italian Pasta Salad **classic pasta, banza pasta, or protein pasta
  • This is calculated using a black forest ham from Trader Joes that is 2 fat, 4 carbs, and 23 protein for 110 g. Feel free to use any deli ham, but if you’d like the macros to stay true, just be sure and find one that’s similar!

Nutrition

Serving: 311gFiber: 5.6gCalories: 288kcalFat: 6.8gProtein: 19.1gCarbohydrates: 37.8g
Keywords ham, italian, pasta, salad

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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Comments

  1. I’m sitting enjoying this pasta salad for lunch so I thought I needed to write a review! I love that this salad is full of veggies with just enough pasta to give it the feel of pasta salad, but not so much that it feels heavy. I love Lillie’s flavorings and this one is no exception. Perfect to make for dinner one night with Apple Cider Grilled Chicken and then enjoy the leftovers for lunch throughout the week!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for the first time and ended up having it 5 days in a row. SO good! Always love the combination of flavors in Lillie’s recipes. I love a good warm/cold salad so I add the pasta in warm but can confirm this is great if you make a big batch and want a cold salad for leftovers too!

  3. Made this over the weekend for lunches this week to serve with arugula and grilled chicken, delicious! question – should i have weighed the pasta dry or cooked? I used 8 oz of dry pasta…. hope i didn’t mess that up!