New Jersey Bariatric Center
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NJBC Eats: High Protein Pasta Salad

By Karen Kelly, R.D. | September 4, 2020


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
Karen Kelly, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Sparta and Totowa, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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