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Add More Veggies to Your Pasta & Potato Salads

Add More Veggies to Your Pasta & Potato Salads

We all need to add more veggies to our diets. Why not add them to foods you already love? Pasta and potato salads are delicious summer picnic go-tos. Why not veg-up your favorite pasta or potato salad recipe with even more veggies for your next summer gathering?

You can’t go wrong with this Very Veggie Picnic Pasta Salad. This is a full-proof recipe that you can easily modify to suit your taste or whatever produce you happen to have on hand.

This easy and versatile recipe also helps you learn about zero waste cooking. When you use ingredients you enjoy, you’ll have less leftover! In addition, when you can sub in and sub out ingredients, you use more of what you have on hand, thereby wasting less food.


  • 4 ounces spring pasta
  • 1 pre-bagged mixed cabbage salad kit
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli (including stems – slice thinly)
  • 1 ½ pints grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 (2.5 oz) can sliced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (or shaved parmesan)

Add More Veggies but Use What You Have

You can use any pasta shape you love. If you don’t have sunflower seeds on hand, add chopped nuts or another seed. Switch the veggies up or work around what you have in your fridge. This same strategy works for your potato salad (which classically includes potatoes, mayo, celery, onion and egg). ADD a variety of veggies to it to add color and more nutrition.

  • Dice or chop other vegetables into it: Spinach, celery, red onion, zucchini, bell peppers, kale, shredded carrots, jarred/canned artichoke hearts, roasted eggplant, frozen peas
  • Don’t love olives? Skip them and add sliced or chopped pickled peppers
  • Add a can of drained and rinsed chick peas or cannellini beans for more protein and fiber

My recipe includes using a bagged chopped salad kit which comes with dressing. If you aren’t using the bagged salad, you can use any vinaigrette style or creamy dressing that you like. Or simply olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper. Keep in mind that some veggies will create some water, so use less dressing than you think you need before refrigerating. When you’re ready to serve it you can add more if desired.

Let me know if you try it, and share your variations in the comment section!