This delicious pasta salad is a lighter take on your favorite summer side dish that is loaded with fresh veggies and crunchy bacon all tossed together with a sweet basil vinaigrette for a meal that is both healthy and comfort food all in one!
Let’s talk pasta salads.
I mean they are basically the staple side dish to any summer cookout so having the perfect recipe in your arsenal is absolutely essential. Here’s the thing though, most pasta salads are filled with tons of mayo, cheese and sugar which, let’s face it, aren’t exactly the calories we’re trying to consume while dusting off our summer wardrobe. That’s why I love mixing in fresh veggies and herbs along with the noodles for a delicious side dish everyone can feel good about eating! So skip the mayo and try this Loaded Veggie Pasta Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette!
Oh and did I mention there is bacon? 😉
For this recipe I substituted half the amount of spaghetti noodles typically called for in pasta salads with spiralized zucchini noodles. Not only do they add more nutrition and a delicious crunch to the overall dish, but it’s also the perfect way to introduce zucchini noodles to newbies because you can barely tell they have been mixed in! I know I’ve said this before, but my hubby still doesn’t get “zoodles,” probably because he loves his pasta so much, but serving them both together allows him to have the best of both worlds! They also make this dish much lighter in calories and full of gorgeous color!
Safeway made it SO easy to throw this pasta salad together in no time thanks to their Signature line of products. I mean we’re talking over 4,000 different items, everything from soups to fresh produce, coffee to juice, fresh baked bread and various pasta sauces, chicken and other quality meats, along with paper goods, laundry products and so much more! Basically you can get all of your quality staple pantry items at super affordable prices in one store!
Don’t have a local Safeway? That’s okay because you can shop for these products at ALL Albertsons family of grocery stores, including ACME Markets, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Jewel-Osco, Tom Thumb, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Express, United and Carrs/Safeway.
The Signature family of brands includes 6 different sectors – Signature SELECT™, Signature Kitchens®, Signature Farms®, Signature Cafe®, Signature Home™ and Signature Care™, and everything is 100% guaranteed or they will happily give you your money back! You may remember my delicious One Pot Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup that I made using Safeway’s wide variety of products or when I met Tiffani Thiessen at their Signature Brands launch event. They truly have something for everyone!
Another thing I just love about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can add as little or as many veggies as you’d like and this pasta salad also tastes delicious hot OR cold! I can’t begin to tell you how convenient this can be when bringing this dish to a cookout or picnic because even if the pasta salad doesn’t stay warm, you still get the same great taste. You could even bring this in a cooler and simply serve it cold from the start if you prefer!
Now we have to talk about this dressing. You guys this sweet basil vinaigrette is so flavorful and completely makes this recipe. It also couldn’t be any easier to throw together! Simply place all the ingredients into your blender and voila – a light and fresh dressing that tastes so much better than any mayo-based sauce you might find in traditional pasta salads. The mixture of fresh basil with the olive oil, Dijon mustard and drizzle of honey is both tangy and sweet while the crunchy bacon added on top just gives it that comfort food feel we all know and love!
So bring this loaded veggie pasta salad to your next cookout this summer and enjoy it without all the added guilt! As always, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to share your delicious photos on Instagram or Twitter and hashtag #eatyourselfskinnyrecipe so I can see all the delicious food you are eating!
- 8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
- 2 medium zucchini, spiralized
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas, thawed
- 1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. minced shallots
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While the water is boiling this is when you can make the vinaigrette: combine basil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, shallots, salt and olive oil in your blender and blend for about 30 seconds to a minute; set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle olive oil and sauté garlic, peas and asparagus until garlic is fragrant and veggies are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then add zucchini noodles and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl toss together warm spaghetti, zucchini noodles, veggies and Parmesan cheese with the basil vinaigrette. Top with crumbled bacon, serve and enjoy!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons Companies. The opinions and text are all mine.