Recipes Health Conditions Cancer Prevention Multi-Color Mediterranean Pasta Salad By Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN, at Savor Health | Reviewed by a board-certified physician Updated May 01, 2017 Share Pin Email Print Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN More in Recipes Health Conditions Cancer Prevention Diabetes High Blood Pressure High Cholesterol Celiac Disease Heartburn IBS Inflammatory Conditions Alzheimer's Prevention View All Courses Ingredients and Allergies Nutrients Vegetarian Vegan Calorie Counts Kid Friendly Recipe Nutrition Calculator View All (51 ratings) Total Time 30 min Prep 15 min, Cook 15 min Yield 6, 1.5 cup portions (361 cals) Pasta salad is easy to make in bulk and pack for lunch, take on a picnic, or bring to a potluck. All you have to do is boil some pasta and chop up a few raw vegetables. The more colors you can add to the salad the better.Red foods like red bell peppers and tomatoes contain a phytochemical called lycopene, which may have an anti-inflammatory affect on the cells lining the heart and blood vessels, and may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer among other cancers such as breast, lung, bladder, ovarian, and colon.Ribboned basil leaves perfume the entire salad, so only a touch of olive oil and white wine vinegar are needed to make everything come together. To give this pasta salad more staying power, add beans for protein and feta cheese for fat and flavor. Ingredients 8 ounces cavatappi or other dry pasta such as fusilli or bowtie 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped 1 medium yellow or orange bell pepper, finely chopped 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 small zucchini, finely chopped 1 small red onion, finely chopped 1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons 4 ounces block feta cheese, cut into small cubes 1, 15-ounce can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar salt and pepper, to taste Preparation Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.In a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients with the cooked and cooled pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.Ingredient Variations and SubstitutionsCavatappi is a helix-shaped pasta that is great for pasta salad as it can catch the vegetables, herbs, and dressing with it's shape. Other great pasta salad shapes include fusilli or bowtie pasta. You can use whole wheat pasta for extra fiber, or even a mix of whole wheat and white pasta for color, flavor, and texture variation. For a gluten-free, high protein and fiber variation, try quinoa instead of pasta.This recipe works great with chickpeas instead of white beans. Play around with the vegetables—you could use fresh or frozen peas, fresh corn, chopped spinach, or finely chopped broccoli. For the cheese, you could use a cubed ricotta salata, fresh mozzarella, or goat cheese, or try shredded Parmesan instead of the feta.The possibilites are endless, but the main idea is to fill your pasta salad with loads of fresh colorful vegetables and herbs, a little plant-based protein, and some healthy fats.Cooking and Serving TipsTo store a bunch of fresh basil, place into a mini jar or vase and fill with water like you would a bouquet of flowers. Place a large plastic or zipped bag over the basil leaves. This helps keep the basil leaves fresh so they do not brown immediately. Leftover basil can be used to make pesto or salad dressing, and the leaves offer a nice zing when added to sandwiches.To cut the basil into ribbons, a technique known as a chiffonade, stack two to three basil leaves on top of each other and roll them up tightly. Thinly slice the leave perpendicular to the roll. Rate this Recipe You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating! Show Full Article Up Next Up Next Recipe Yummy Late Summer Mediterranean Vegetables Up Next Article 5 Amazingly Easy Diabetes Lunch Choices Up Next Article 5 Diabetic-Friendly Vegetable Platter Ideas Up Next List What Diabetic Pasta Substitutes Are Available?