Lighter Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

June 1, 2013

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 :).

lighter broccoli, grape and pasta salad | Cooking Classy

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 pasta salad

Lighter Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad

Such a refreshing summertime pasta salad. Perfect for potlucks or as a side to grilled chicken.

Servings: 8
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
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
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Broccoli Pasta Salad
Author: Jaclyn
lighter broccoli, grape and pasta salad | Cooking Classy

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  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Shelby O

    Do you happen to have the nutrition facts for this. Gonna put it into myfitnesspal.