Christmas Pasta Salad

Christmas Pasta Salad is a simple yet healthy pasta salad festive enough for the holiday table, featuring broccoli and cherries.
Christmas Pasta Salad

Christmas Pasta Salad

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Having something healthy for the holiday table is always a plus. I remember being in a group conversation once where someone was talking about people on low-calorie diets and what to serve them, and someone else had dryly replied: “Just make them the special and high calorie foods. It’s what they really want anyway.” I thought it was odd that someone would assume that another person really, deep down, wanting something different from what they said they would like to eat.

And not long ago, someone was asking about some type of healthy salad they could serve for Christmas. I had mentioned a salad I had seen somewhere online that had pasta and broccoli in it and looked quite festive and delicious. Unfortunately, there was no recipe attached. Just a photo.  I made a note to put a salad together like that for my own family, because I had liked the look of it. I know that photo had pomegranate arils in it, and while I liked that, I succumbed to the cherries I spotted at the market, nice and deep red in color. And actually, other than the broccoli and pasta, not much is the same at all as the original. And I wouldn’t know what kind of dressing they used. But mixing up a nice fruity vinaigrette was not a problem for me.

And this really is pretty easy and quick to make. The bulk of the prep time is boiling off the pasta. Just use your pasta package directions on that. And the broccoli, to blanch it, drop the florets into boiling water for one minute, then immediately drain off and add to ice water. It takes out a bit of the “raw” flavor and really brightens up the green.

From there, just refrigerate the salad until it is cold. It keeps a few days as well, so you can make this up in advance. The cherries you can use a cherry pitter on. I seem to have boxed mine up with canning supplies from summer, but these were easy enough to slice with a small knife and cut out the pit. Don’t put them in whole. Biting down on one of those can set you up with an extra dentist appointment. 😉

Have wonderful holidays! I am winding down for the year, and beyond this, I am not sure how many posts I will get up before Jan. 1. I do have an end of year roundup I do the last week as in previous years. So besides that, if you don’t see me, look for me on Sunday Jan. 3 when I kick off Sunday Supper month with other Tastemakers with a really good recipe for Huevos Rancheros, in the spirit off starting off the new year, as well as your day, in the right way with a good breakfast. That one is going to be fun!

So until I see you next, stay safe, stay happy and bon appetit!


Christmas Pasta Salad

Christmas Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Christmas Pasta Salad

  • 2 cups dry farfalle pasta, cooked and drained
  • 5 ounces fresh broccoli florets, blanched
  • 5 ounces fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup shelled toasted pistachios


  • 6 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1  teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Whisk together vinaigrette and toss with other ingredients
  2. Refrigerate a couple of hours.

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