Fruity pasta salad

    47 min

    Pineapple and pear give this salad a sweet accent, while a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar on the mixed salad leaves adds a delightful piquancy. With lean ham, a well-flavoured cheese, fruit and vegetables all adding their own nutrients to balance the pasta, the result is a marvellous dish for lunch or supper.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 340 g (12 oz) mixed coloured pasta shapes
    • 50 g (1 3/4 oz) fine green beans, topped and tailed
    • 100 g (3½ oz) full-flavoured cheese, such as mature Cheddar or Leicester, diced
    • 150 g (5½ oz) lean cooked ham, diced or cut into fine strips
    • 100 g (3½ oz) peeled fresh pineapple, diced
    • small onion, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
    • 3 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
    • ½ tsp chopped piccalilli or pickled gherkin, or to taste (optional)
    • 1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
    • 1 tsp caster sugar, or to taste
    • juice of ¼ lemon, or to taste
    • cayenne pepper (optional)
    • 125 g (4½ oz) mixed salad leaves, such as endive, lamb's lettuce, chicory, rocket, watercress or Japanese mizuna
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil (optional)
    • ½ tsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
    • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped walnuts
    • 2 tbsp dried cranberries (optional)
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:35min  ›  Cook:12min  ›  Ready in:47min 

    1. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water, then drain again.
    2. Cook the beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes or until bright green and just tender, but still crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water, then drain again. Set aside.
    3. Combine the cooked pasta with the cheese, ham, pineapple, onion, mayonnaise, yogurt, piccalilli or gherkin, pear and sugar. Add a little extra piccalilli or sugar, if liked. Mix well, then adjust the flavour of the dressing with lemon juice, seasoning and
    4. Dress the mixed salad leaves with the oil, if using, balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Divide the dressed leaves among 4 plates and top with the pasta mixture.
    5. Arrange the green beans, walnuts and dried cranberries, if using, around the leaves and serve immediately.

    Some more ideas

    Omit the piccalilli or gherkin and instead season the pasta with a sprinkling of curry powder, stirring it in well. Sprinkle with cashew nuts instead of walnuts. * Reduced-fat mayonnaise can be used instead of the traditional type. * Use 1 can chickpeas, about 400 g, well drained, instead of ham. * Use 3 slices canned pineapple in natural juice, drained and diced, instead of fresh pineapple.

    Plus points

    Cheese is a good source of protein and a valuable source of calcium, phosphorus, niacin and vitamin B12. * Using a strongly flavoured cheese, such as mature Cheddar, means that less is required for flavour in the dish, thus keeping the total fat content down.

    Each serving provides

    calcium * B1, B12, C, E, niacin, copper, selenium * A, B6, folate, iron, potassium

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    Reviews in English (1)


    I forgot the green beans and didn't have any pears or cranberries, but it still tasted delicious. The combination of flavours is just right and it is one of those dishes that tastes far nicer than you expect it to. My husband loved it as well and I will definitely make this again.  -  09 Sep 2016