How many calories … in pesto pasta salad?

There’s something so nostalgic and utilitarian about a deli. Whether you hit the real deal for pastrami on rye or slip into a modern version for couscous-black bean salad and quiche, both share a common denominator in that they can be caloric landmines.

So, if you find yourself at a deli for lunch trying to select a healthful option and you reach for the pesto pasta salad, think first. How many calories do you think are in a 1/2-cup serving?

(a) 215
(b) 300
(c) 340
(d) 425

Answer: (c) 340 calories

What if you were deciding between a tuna salad or that pesto pasta salad? Yes, tuna salad contains mayonnaise but the same 1/2-cup serving actually has about 110 calories less than the pasta salad. Remember, you’ve got ground pine nuts and oil in that pasta. So, choose the tuna salad instead.

But if your taste buds are craving the carb concoction, there are some simple ways to order it a little healthier. See if the deli has whole-wheat pasta, which offers more fiber. Also look for pasta salads with more veggies (hi, it’s a salad).

Author by Kristi Anderson