Pasta salad is such a summer staple. It’s perfect for an easy lunch or a side dish for dinner. We grow basil every summer, so we always have a ton to use up. Caprese salad is one of our go-to recipes. I used caprese as the inspiration behind this Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta Salad. The idea is not innovative, but the ingredients I used are MUCH healthier than any heavily dressed or creamy pasta salad: high protein LENTIL pasta and greens.
I started out the basics: fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. I used red lentil pasta as the base of this pasta salad to ramp up the protein content while at the same time, making it gluten-free so that people with a wide range of dietary needs can enjoy it. I used Ancient Harvest Pow! Red Lentil Rotini, but I also recommend Trader Joe’s Red Lentil Pasta. I also added some fresh spinach to include more vegetables and enhance the nutritional content. Finally, I dressed it very simply using a few tablespoons of store-bought pesto. I also linked to one of my favorite homemade pesto recipes if you prefer to use homemade. This is BUSY girl, healthy world—which means I don’t always have time for that (and I know a lot of you don’t either!).
I LOVE that pasta salads are meal-prep friendly. You can make the recipe on a Sunday night and have it ready to go for lunch all week. With 26 grams of protein per serving, this truly is a pasta salad you can feel great about eating! If you make this Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta Salad with lentil pasta, let me know by leaving a comment. Make sure you are following on Instagram for more healthy food and lifestyle inspiration.
Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes
1, 8 ounce package red lentil pasta (I used Ancient Harvent Pow! Red Lentil Rotini)
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese balls
2 tablespoons pesto, store bought or homemade
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.
Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and pesto. Toss to coat.
Stir in the chopped spinach and chiffonade basil.
Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container for up to five days.
Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 395 Fat: 41g Carbs: 15g Protein: 26g Sodium: 200mg Sugar: 5g
*Nutrition information is based on the products I used personally in this recipe. Different products may yield slightly different information.