Lighter Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad


I’ve always loved this type of pasta salad but didn’t realize how much fat was in it until I went to make it. I rarely like to use a lot of mayo in anything, I’ll do what I can to make substitutions because I’d rather save those calories for dessert, of course :). I did what I could to make the original recipe healthier, but I just couldn’t leave out the bacon (if you’d like you can reduce the amount by half or even omit it. If you do choose to omit it, I would recommend replacing some of the pecans with salted pecans so you’ll still get a lightly salty bite from those).  Many of you are probably familiar with this salad, which is good because when you try this version you won’t really notice much difference between the two versions. You’ll only notice that this ones not so heavy and it’s healthier for you. Enjoy!

lighter broccoli, grape and pasta salad | Cooking Classy

lighter broccoli grape pasta salad


Lighter Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 8 oz bow-tie pasta , cooked to al dente according to directions listed on package
  • 1 1/2 lbs broccoli , crowns chopped into small pieces and majority of stems discarded or reserved for another use (about 4 cups)
  • 2/3 cup low-fat or non-fat plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani non-fat)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (full fat)
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light agave nectar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cups grapes , chopped into halves
  • 1 cup toasted pecans , chopped
  • 8 slices bacon , cooked and chopped


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together plain Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, agave, salt and red onion. Place cooked pasta and chopped broccoli in a large mixing bowl and pour Greek yogurt mixture over top and toss to evenly coat. Cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap, transfer to refrigerator and chill 2 hours. Toss in chopped grapes, toasted pecans and cooked bacon just before serving.
  2. Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Southern Living via

lighter broccoli, grape and pasta salad | Cooking Classy


  • Charul @ Tadka Masala: This salad looks absolute yumm! I am sooo making this one, very sooon. June 2, 2013 at 9:21am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you do Charul and hope you love it :)! June 2, 2013 at 9:48pm Reply

  • angela @ another bite please: i love the lightened up version of this…i have not tried before with agave…and i love using agave so this is perfect for me…gotta love these kind of summer salads…thanks for sharing! June 2, 2013 at 8:42pm Reply

    • Summer: I agree about the agave. That’s a great substitute! August 22, 2013 at 3:46pm Reply

  • Jackie: Yum! I have never heard of this pasta salad before, but I do love grapes in salads. I cannot wait to try this! What else do you like to serve alongside this beautiful pasta salad? June 3, 2013 at 3:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: That’s a funny question because it’s like a pot-luck type of salad so that’s mostly when I’ve ever eat it, at big get togethers. It reminds me of summer and grill outs so when you are grilling chicken or burgers it’s a good side. June 3, 2013 at 10:00am Reply

  • Julie: I am new to your blog, but I already absolutely love it. June 3, 2013 at 5:15am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you found my blog and I’m happy to hear you love it :), thanks for your comment Julie! June 3, 2013 at 10:17am Reply

  • Bree {Skinny Mommy}: Looks perfect for a party–yummmm! June 3, 2013 at 9:24am Reply

  • Julie @ Table for Two: I love a good pasta salad and it’s great how you lightened this up! June 3, 2013 at 6:47pm Reply

  • Chobani: Wowza! Boy are we happy we stumbled across this. Thanks for sharing. Shoot us an email at amy.keefe[at]chobani dot com to chat!

    @Chobani June 13, 2013 at 10:38am Reply

  • Kathy: I have everything to make this except agave. Can
    you recommend a healthy substitute? March 18, 2014 at 1:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Maybe a brown rice syrup or sugar cane syrup. I probably wouldn’t use honey or maple syrup just because the flavor would be too strong. March 23, 2014 at 5:21pm Reply

  • Shelby O: Do you happen to have the nutrition facts for this. Gonna put it into myfitnesspal. February 6, 2015 at 6:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t have nutrition info for my recipes. February 7, 2015 at 4:53pm Reply

  • Jessica: Just wanted to let you know- I’m a biologist and have recently done some research on agave – while it is great as a tasty, mild flavored sweetener, it is actually very high in fructose. it’s basically nature’s version of high fructose syrup. fructose is not good for us because it has to be proccessed by the liver before it is used up and is stored as fat more easily than sugars which have a higher concentration of glucose. it also contributes to the fat which surrounds our organs which is a real health threat. plain sugar is actually lower in fructose so may be a better option, but maple syrup, honey, and stevia seem to be the best choices for natural sweeteners, especially for diabetics or those trying to lose weight. hope this helps! August 20, 2015 at 10:02am Reply

  • Laurie: Just wanted you to know we call this the CRACK SALAD. Very addictive. We also call it the FOUR HOUR salad. Estimate time from start to last dish washed. I have people request this salad and last night I took a triple batch to a church function and once again everyone wants the recipe. Thank you for posting it. February 12, 2016 at 11:59am Reply

  • Betty: Por favor pueden traducir las Recetas al Español
    gracias . August 25, 2016 at 9:02pm Reply

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