Healthy Recipe: Tuscan Penne Pasta Salad

By Bethany Gentile, BU Dietetic Intern

Love pasta? Want to try something new? We swapped out traditional white pasta noodles in this salad for Whole Grain penne. Whole grain pasta adds fiber, vitamins and minerals and keeps you fuller longer as a complex carbohydrate. Look for the Whole Grains Council 100% Whole Grain/Excellent Source stamp of approval when shopping for pasta.

whole grain stamps 31 gr

Bionaturae Whole Wheat Pasta, Trader Joes 100% Whole Wheat pasta and Ronzoni’s Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat pass our taste test. Stir fried with vegetables and a lean protein this makes a fantastic lunch or dinner!

Tuscan Penne Pasta Salad

Makes 4 Servings


½ lb (8oz) whole wheat penne
1 cup peas
1 cup cut asparagus
1 cup cut red bell pepper
1 bag (10 oz) spinach
¼ cup sundried tomatoes
2 tablespoons onion
½ clove garlic
¼ cup fresh basil
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt and dash black pepper



1.     Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper.

2.      Prepare the pasta al dente, according to the package instructions.

3.      Wash and cut peppers and asparagus. Sauté peppers, onions, asparagus with drop of oil (and garlic if desired)

4.      Heat peas and spinach (microwave or stovetop).

5.      Strain the pasta and promptly add peas, spinach, peppers, asparagus, onion, sun dried tomatoes, and the dressing. Stir to combine well.

6.      Allow the pasta salad to cool before adding the basil and parmesan.

Enjoy this with a heart healthy protein source such as grilled chicken breast or tofu for a complete 1+2+3 meal.


Recipe modified from Tuscan Penne Pasta Salad recipe found on

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