Spinach, Feta and Bean Pasta Salad is a great healthy side dish for all your BBQs this summer! Light and full of zesty flavor, the perfect accompaniment to just about anything you serve!
I found the inspiration for this salad over at BHG.com. I've been a Better, Homes and Gardens recipe fan for as long as I can remember. Pre-internet days (yes, I know I am dating myself here) I would always look forward to browsing through the magazine's recipes, immediately turning to the back and reading forward (because the recipe were always in the back!). I had a subscription to BHG for a long time and then when I stopped getting them at home, it was the first publication I would pick up to read in the kid's orthodontist office! I would always find something delicious to put on the menu and the office staff was happy to make copies of the recipes for me to take home. Haha! My kids are all out of braces now and these days, I find most of my recipe inspirations online and I've sort of lost touch with all those wonderful BHG recipes I loved. But...good news!! Did you know that BHG has a huge selection of online recipes on their site? That's just where I found the recipe that inspired this salad.
This pasta salad is a wonderful combination of flavors and the best part is, that is is a healthy choice! The recipe as written here is a meatless dish, but I had grilled some chicken the night I served this as a side, and chopped up the leftover couple of pieces of grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast then added it to the leftover pasta salad for a great light lunch the following day!
Let's talk a minute about feta cheese. Please know that not all feta is created equal. You pretty much get what you pay for with feta, so splurge a little for a good brand. You will find good feta is salty and very creamy and without that dry bite some lesser brands are known for. The brand I used was stored in a brine and came already cut into cute little cubes. Can you use the reduced fat feta here? Sure. But it won't be as delicious. Just sayin!
You need to make this salad!
Spinach, Feta, and Bean Pasta Salad
Zesty pasta salad with fresh spinach, tangy feta cheese and white beans perfect accompaniment for just about anything!
- juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 TBS Dijon mustard
- 1 TBS fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 oz. organic baby spinach
- 1- 15 oz can of Navy or Cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 - 12 oz. box medium sized shell pasta, white whole wheat variety, cooked to al dente, rinsed in cold water and drained
- 4 oz. crumbled Feta cheese (I used cubed)
- In large bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, oregano, Dijon, thyme, granulated sugar with a whisk and whisk until combined. Taste for salt and pepper, and add as you like.
- To the dressing, add spinach, beans, red onion, black olives, grape tomatoes, and cooked pasta. Toss well in dressing.
- Add in the feta, and toss gently. Taste again and adjust salt and pepper as you like. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Can add more olive oil if salad seems dry after refrigeration.
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Total time: 10 mins.
Tags: pasta, salad, Dijon, spinach, beans, feta, lemon, side dish
Servings - 12 Serving Size - approx. 1 cup Points Plus per Serving - 6 Points+
Calories - 211.1, Total Fat - 8.7g, Carb. - 30.3g, Protein - 6.9g, Fiber - 6.1g
Adapted from BHG.com
Renee's Notes: This is a great salad choice! It's got bold flavor without being too pushy. I'd like to shout out the brand of feta I used, but I can't remember what it was called. It came in a blue container and it was stored in a brine. Inside was a little blue basket that drained the brine off the oh-so-creamy feta cubes. It was excellent and really made this salad great! This is going to be one of my "go to" dishes when I need to bring a dish along for summer get togethers this year. We all enjoyed it!
You might also like these summer salad recipes!
|Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad|
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