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

Leave a Comment

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  • Kathy

    I have everything to make this except agave. Can
    you recommend a healthy substitute?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      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.

  • 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!


  • Julie @ Table for Two

    I love a good pasta salad and it’s great how you lightened this up!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m so glad you found my blog and I’m happy to hear you love it :), thanks for your comment Julie!

  • 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?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      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.

  • 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!

  • Charul @ Tadka Masala

    This salad looks absolute yumm! I am sooo making this one, very sooon.