Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes

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This lighter version of Macaroni Salad with tomatoes and black olives is the perfect side dish for any summer BBQ.

This lighter version of Macaroni Salad with tomatoes and black olives is the perfect side dish for any summer BBQ.
Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes

When the weather starts to warm up, you can find me outside, taking advantage of the sunshine. I especially love a good outdoor summer BBQ, and this creamy Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes is perfect for the occasion. It’ll definitely be a hit. Some other delicious macaroni salads that you should try are this Summer Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes and Zucchini, BLT Macaroni Salad, and Mayo-less Tuna Macaroni Salad.

This lighter version of Macaroni Salad with tomatoes and black olives is the perfect side dish for any summer BBQ.

This tomato macaroni salad recipe is my favorite way to make it. I use light mayonnaise and less of it than most recipes to cut calories. I don’t add any sugar, but I do add tomatoes, onions, and black olives for more nutrition. You can also use whole wheat pasta for more protein and fiber or gluten-free macaroni for a gluten-free salad.

Macaroni salad is great with any grilled meat topped with my homemade BBQ sauce. Some of my other favorite side dishes for BBQs are Lemon-Parsley Potato Foil Packets, Corn Tomato Avocado Salad, and Potato Salad with Apples.

This easy macaroni salad is excellent for parties. You can make it the day before to save time the day of your event. All you have to do is cook the pasta and then stir everything together. I usually mix the summer tomatoes in with the other ingredients in a bowl while the pasta cooks. The tomatoes release their juice and make the sauce creamy and saucy.

Should you rinse pasta before making macaroni salad?

Yes, it’s best to rinse hot pasta with cold water before making macaroni salad. Typically, if you’re eating your pasta cold, like in a pasta salad, you’ll want to rinse it with cold water right after it’s done cooking. The cold water stops the cooking process, cools off the pasta, and helps prevent the noodles from clumping together.

This lighter version of Macaroni Salad with tomatoes and black olives is the perfect side dish for any summer BBQ. pasta salad

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This lighter version of Macaroni Salad with tomatoes and black olives is the perfect side dish for any summer BBQ.
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4.93 from 14 votes
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Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes

4
4
4
SP
125 Cals 3.5 Protein 21.5 Carbs 3.5 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Yield: 7 servings
COURSE: Salad, Side Dish
CUISINE: American
This lighter version of Macaroni Salad with tomatoes and black olives is the perfect side dish for any summer BBQ.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz uncooked elbows, wheat or gluten-free
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Hellmann's light mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2.5 oz sliced black olives
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  • Drain and rinse under cold water.
  • In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, tomatoes (and any juice from the tomato), olives, onion, garlic powder, oregano salt and pepper. Mix well.
    tomatoes, black plives and red onion in a bowl
  • Add elbows and mix well.
    tomatoes and mayo in a bowl

Nutrition

Serving: 3/4 cup, Calories: 125kcal, Carbohydrates: 21.5g, Protein: 3.5g, Fat: 3.5g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 2.5mg, Sodium: 165.5mg, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugar: 0.5g
Blue Smart Points: 4
Green Smart Points: 4
Purple Smart Points: 4
Points +: 3
Keywords: Macaroni Salad, Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes, pasta salad, quick summer salad, summer salad

 

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92 comments

  1. made this. It was good. We had some leftover ahi tuna turned that into tuna fish to go on top..Perfect

  2. This salad is delicious and so easy to make. I’m not on WW but saw this recipe and knew we would love it. The red onion comes through so nicely. I added 1/2 diced red pepper as I needed to use it. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  3. Love your rcipes.

  4. Very easy to make. Great to have in the fridge for lunch or a quick side for dinner. Will be having it with some ribs tonight.

  5. Delish! Even my very picky husband loved it went back for seconds and thirds. We don’t like olives so I just added some extra salt, bell pepper and some cucumbers! Will deff make again! 

  6. Is there a substitute for Mayo? Looking for a healthier alternative. Thanks!

  7. I do not have fresh oregano could I sub for dried.

  8. That’s all I use in pasta salads….Way better than black olives as they have a lot more flavour 🙂 You will enjoy!

  9. I thought this was a little bland. I added cucumber. I’m glad I did. It was better the next day. It was quick to make. I will probably make it again.

  10. Forgot to rate this, “5”

  11. Made this today. It was excellent! Thanks for the recipe!

    My wife wants me to replace the olives with red peppers next time.

    BTW, my first time using Hellmann’s light mayonnaise. Loved it!!

  12. Just made this tonight. Followed recipe with the exception of: used Kalamata Olives(all I had)used Orecchiette pasta(had it in pantry)large cherry tomatoes on the vine(again what I had)used Dukes Mayo(all I use). Put in fridge to thicken up and add one slices scallion. Husband grilled burgers. 
    Great meal, great salad. Thanks. 

  13. This was delicious! It’s a great pasta for the summer!

  14. Don’t skip the oregano! I am not a fan of oregano and was going to use another herb, but my family convinced me to try the recipe as it was written. I am so glad I did. The oregano adds the right note to it. This is such a simple, tasty recipe. I will definitely make this again!

  15. So simple and so delish. Will definitely be a staple this summer. 

  16. Really nice, light salad. Enjoyed it. Would like to try adding some cucumbers to the salad next time.

  17. This salad looks amazing, olives are not a huge hit in my house, any substitute you can recommend, or others have tried?

  18. Won’t the points for purple be a lot less if you use whole wheat pasta?

  19. How would this taste using Kalamata olives? 

  20. Are the leaves in the top picture fresh oregano? It looks easy to prepare. Thanks.

  21. Hello,
    I put this recipe in my WW app to see if the points would be different using 150 Calorie Hy Vee white noodles. Could someone do the same and make sure I am doing it right? It came up same points I would rather have white noodles than whole wheat. Thanks

  22. Hi! Do you recommend any kind of gluten free pasta that tastes good cold? Thanks so much!! 

  23. Can you confirm the calories per serving please? The nutritional information below the recipe does not indicate the calories. Thanks!

  24. This salad was amazing! 

  25. This was really good. My husband grilled some steak last night and I was looking for a salad to go with it and this was perfect. Thank you.

  26. Just made this (tripled to go with mine & BF’s lunches) and it really is delicious! Didn’t change or add anything, though I think I added a bit too much red onion. Still really good, can’t believe the low points!

  27. Is this salad served cold or hot?

  28. Seemed a little bland to me… maybe try apple cider vinegar next time or miracle whip for a little more zing.

  29. I put it in a recipe calculator. It is around 106 calories per serving.

  30. What are the calories per serving?

  31. My husband and I loved this!! So simple yet so delicious! Thanks Gina!

  32. How much calorie would this meal be?

  33. Turkey pepperoni would be a perfect add in along with some diced up Lite String Cheese!!!!

  34. Am I missing something? I do not see the calories.
    Looks amazing though

  35. I made this followed it to the T. it is soooooooo good!

  36. I'm trying this recipe tonight, but am not a fan of olives…so I'm substituting scallions. I'm so excited!!

  37. Emily – It may lower the points. So jealous! Wish I had a lot of free time!

  38. Would using fat free mayo make a difference with points?

    I just discovered your blog and am in heaven! I am a teacher, so I have A LOT of free time on my hands right now… so, my summer plan is to cook my way through your blog! 🙂

    -Emily

  39. Gina, do you know how this recipe translates into calories per serving? Thank you!! I'm so excited that I found this website!! 🙂

  40. I made this last night for dinner, everyone but my 10 year old loved it. I will for sure be keeping this in my recipe box………

  41. So it's 4 Points plus per serving, using WW NEW system? I love this recipe, but didn't know how much it was Points +

  42. I came up with 4 points under the PointsPlus system

  43. I would like to try this recipe as it looks amazing, but I'm wondering if anyone knows the carbs per serving on this..Thanks!

  44. I made this dish and it was soooo delicious! I've also made the Avacado Mango Salsa, Baby Red Potato Salad, Holy Slaw,& the Southwestern Salad. I'm in heaven!
    Thanks so much for these great recipes. I will be trying many others in the near future.

  45. I can't wait to try this one. Thanks so much for all these wonderful recipes.

  46. I'm not sure how canned shrimp would effect the points, you'd have to check on your recipe builder.

    Anonymous- Good for you for changing your eating habits to a healthier one. You can now have a new hobby, lightening up your favorite recipes!! Thanks for leaving a comment!

  47. I love this salad. I knew I would just from the photo, but it taste even better than it looks!
    I am not on the weight watchers program, but stumbled on to this site due to health issues. Time and habits have caught up to me and I must really make a change in lifestyles. At first this felt like such a punishment.Food not only brought me comfort by eating, but also sharing my talents in the kitchen with others. One of my "hobbies " was searching out and trying new recipes. Thanks for this site and allowing me to still have fun AND be healthy!

  48. I LOVED this recipe!! I used Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne, instead of regular elbow. I also used Fat Free Mayo, saving me a point. And I saw a comment on here to try Italian seasoning in place of oregano. Awsesome! I got my guilty pleasure and I took for a BBQ for the 4th and everyone loved it!!

  49. What if u added a can of shrimmp? How does that effect the points?? Thanks

  50. I just "discovered" this site and tried this recipe almost immediately as an accompaniment to grilled portabella burgers. It was a very nice alternative to the usual unhealthy BBQ side dishes, and my partner didn't even notice that it was specifically low-calorie. I look forward to more of your recipes!

  51. I am trying this recipe this weekend for my family that is coming into town!!! I am excited!

  52. Since points and calories are calculated based on oz, this is the standard. I'm assuming you don't have a food scale. I recommend buying an inexpensive one, so helpful!! Generally 2 oz uncooked is 1 cup cooked pasta. So this is about 3 cups of cooked elbows. Hope that helps.

  53. I always have trouble when you use oz with pasta and other ingrediants. it would be helpful to know how many cups or tbsp to use.

  54. They sell it in the pasta section of the supermarket by me. I'm not sure if it's available everywhere.

  55. Where would I get the Dreamfields and Ronzini SmartTaste high fiber pastas?

  56. @Anonymous on 5/24/10 – 6 oz is 3/4 cup liquid measurement. Perhaps the 6 oz referred to in the recipe is by weight.

  57. 6oz is only 3/4 of a cup.

  58. As long as it's 3 points for 2 oz uncooked, should be good. Dreamfields or whole wheat also work fine.

  59. Hi! great recipe, and I'd really like to try it, but I can't find the elbow pasta in the smart taste that you recomended. Are any of the others equal substitutes? The one I bought was 180 cals. 7 grams fiber and 0.5 grams fat per serving. It was also smart taste, but it was a different kind.thank you!!!!

  60. That's great! No need to be on WW to make any of my recipes.

  61. My gosh, I just love your blog. I don't follow WW but your recipes are all so tasty and healthy. Thank you.

  62. This makes me think of Summer, I can't wait!!

  63. Just made it tonight and paired it with some turkey burgers and fruit! Excellent light side dish…the oregano especially gives it a nice unique kick away from the usual cold pasta salad. Loved it! Thanks!

  64. Loved this recipe!! Simple, light, easy to make! A great addition to any meal.

  65. @ Anonymous – Yes, 6 oz dry is 1-1/2 cups dry elbows which yields about 3-3/4 cups cooked.

  66. This looks so yummy — love your site! One question…. is this one really supposed to be 6 oz (3/4 cup) dry pasta for serving 7? Thanks!

  67. I loved it.One of my friends made it tonight and it was to die for. I am so making it tomorrow. Just amazing that it is so good and yet healthy for ya.

    Thank you so much Gina.

  68. I just made this today, it's fantastic. I also added some diced cucumber and used italian seasoning instead of just oregano.

  69. I like adding more free green veggies in this without adding more points!

  70. Thanks so much for this recipe. It's a huge help for those pasta cravings, and is just delicious without the high points…
    I have to refrain from making it too often 🙂

  71. i made this for a memorial day bbq and it was a HUGE hit!! there were 4 women who watch points, but the guys loved it just as much!
    gabbie

  72. wow! Great job at point-skimming! This looks fantastically satisfying without the burdening points!
    Thanks! I hope you enjoy the long weekend!

    • My husband cannot eat pasta due to a surgical procedure, cannot digest pasta well. Does anyone have viable pasta substitutes for these wonderful pasta salad recipes? Thank you for any ideas!

  73. Looks wonderful and light. I still love the old fattening kind that my Mom used to make, but I bet if I made this one I’d like it too. Nice to have the lighter options.

  74. Looks so good!

  75. Great picnic side and I love how precise you are with points!

  76. The olives and tomatoes look great…nice colors.

  77. This looks so good! Great recipe for the up-and coming Memorial Day weekend!
    🙂 thanks!

  78. Looks great! I fool my family with the Dreamfields pasta all the time, too!

  79. @ erica, you can always omit the olives.

    @kat, i will have to try that brand. my family is picky with pasta too and they had no idea I switched pasta on them. I wish I liked whole wheat pasta but I would be lying if I said I did. Thank God for all these great high fiber pastas!

  80. That looks great – I will have to try this one for sure.

    I’m not sure how points are calculated, but I like using Fiber Gourmet Pasta, which has a load of fiber but doesn’t taste like it – tastes like regular pasta! Even my picky son can’t tell it isn’t his regular pasta (and he won’t touch anything that is whole wheat).

  81. I don’t love black olives, but yor sald looks wonderful!