As we head into Labor Day weekend, many will be firing up the grill and enjoying a few side dishes that include pasta. If you plan on making pasta salad, here’s a healthier version that includes more veggies and reduces the amount of pasta. A bean-based pasta like Banza is a great option in this recipe because it’s packed with protein. 


Related: Stuffed Burgers


  • 1 lb bean based pasta
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 bell peppers diced
  • 1 peeled cucumber diced
  • ½ cup pitted olives
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and add to a large bowl
  2. Add cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, olives and basil leaves.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together dressing ingredients
  4. Pour over pasta, and vegetables
  5. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve
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    By: Karen Kelly, R.D.

    Registered dietitian Karen Kelly is available for nutrition counseling every Tuesday in our Springfield and Hoboken locations. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and the College of Saint Elizabeth where she received her registered dietitian degree. Karen found her true calling by helping people make better nutrition choices to improve their health. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association, the New Jersey Dietetic Association, Nutrition Entrepreneurs, Nutrition in Complementary Care as well as Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition.

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