Bow Tie Pasta Salad Without Mayo

Bow tie pasta is a type of short pasta that’s shaped like bow ties. It’s often used in salads and soups, but it can also be used in main dishes. Why make bow tie pasta salad without mayo? There are many reasons why you might want to make bow tie pasta salad without mayo.

Perhaps you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, or maybe you just don’t like the taste of mayo. Whatever the reason, this recipe is a great option for everyone.

Why Choose a Bow Tie Pasta Salad Without Mayo

When it comes to revolutionizing pasta meals, a bow tie pasta salad without mayo brings a healthier. Aside from the uniqueness of its bow tie form, it assures you fewer calories and fat.

Moreover, the secret to this unconventional culinary move? Simple: It’s all about choosing healthier alternatives for mayo without negotiating the creamy texture and enticing taste your palate adores.

So if you’re embracing an active lifestyle or are just generally diet-conscious, this pasta salad sans mayo makes a delightful dish that stands out in its health benefits and scrumptious flavor.

Ingredients for Creamy Bow Tie Pasta Salad Without Mayo

Whipping up our mayo-free bow tie pasta salad calls for some healthy ingredients. You round up bow tie pasta, greek yogurt for that luscious creaminess, ripe avocado, an assortment of fresh vegetables, and some herbs and seasonings.

yummy balsamic bow tie pasta salad without mayo recipe

Bow Tie Pasta

Forget the classic spaghetti or penne, bow tie pasta boasts a high surface area, perfect for soaking up flavors. This simple carb offers endless versatility and it’s the go-to champion in our creamy, mayo-less pasta salad recipe.

Greek Yogurt

The Greek Yogurt Swap presents a brilliant solution for crafting a creamy pasta salad sans the mayonnaise. This dairy product morphs the ordinary pasta concoction into a light yet satisfying side dish.

Pinpointing the secret ingredient behind its mayo-free success? It’s all in the tang and thickness of Greek Yogurt. This ingredient elicits a zesty pop while also lending the salad a silky texture for a moreish bite every time.


With its smooth, buttery texture and rich, almost nutty taste, the avocado plays an integral role in the bow tie pasta salad sans mayo. This green powerhouse brings out the creaminess that you would traditionally expect from mayo, but without any unwanted calories.

To truly maximize the benefits of avocado, ensure it’s ripe before you blend it into the creamy dressing for the pasta salad. A splash of lemon juice can also be used, preserving the green color, boosting the flavor.

Fresh Vegetables

Our vibrant bow tie pasta dish takes on a new nutritious dimension when we sprinkle in some fresh vegetables. A burst of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, veggies not only accentuate the pasta salad’s taste but adorn it with nature’s bounties.

Think peppy bell peppers, juicy cherry tomatoes, crispy celery, and crunchy carrots. Their flamboyant colors, aroma, texture, and flavors play well with the creamy dressing and pasta, making every bite a feast to savor.

Herbs and Seasonings

Ensuring your bow tie pasta salad without mayo bursts with flavor hinges largely on your choice of herbs and seasonings.

Fresh homegrown herbs like basil, parsley, and mint bring a whole new level of zest to the mix, infusing every bite with their unique essence. Meanwhile, don’t shy away from piquant spices like cumin, paprika or pepper.

Whether it’s a hit of chili for some kick, a sprinkle of oregano for a touch of warmth, or a hint of garlic for rustic savouriness, your seasoning will determine the overall success of your salad!

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Creamy Bow Tie Pasta Salad Without Mayo

Cooking the Pasta

The first part of this recipe involves cooking the pasta to perfection. Remember, you don’t want it too soft or too hard; spot-on al dente lends the perfect texture to your salad.

It’s not rocket science, just boil water, add salt, throw in the pasta and wait.

Preparing the Creamy Dressing

In this part, we’re devising a creamy pasta dressing that’s both yummy and healthy, sans any mayo.

Kick off by pouring some Greek yogurt into a bowl. Greek yogurt is a champion among healthy substitutes for mayo.

As Greek yogurt works its magic, it’s time to let a ripe avocado join the league. Use a fork to mash it into your dressing mix.

Jazz up your dressing with some herbs and seasonings. Some suggestions include crushed garlic, black pepper, and maybe a squeeze of lemon for that zesty touch. Make sure you whisk everything together to ensure all flavors get a chance to mingle.

Combining the Ingredients

Time to bring your mayo-free bow tie pasta salad to life! This stage fuses all the ingredients together. Start by tossing the cooked pasta into a large bowl, then add your prepped veggies and herbs.

Lather on your creamy dressing, made from Greek yogurt and avocado. Stir everything gently to distribute the dressing evenly.

bow tie pasta salad without mayo melted with some toppings

A sprinkle of salt and pepper, or a dash of your favorite seasonings, is all it takes. These amplify the subtle taste profiles woven into the pasta and vegetables.

Don’t hold back your creativity. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to match your preference. Love a splash of citrus? Squeeze a lemon over your pasta salad. The goal is to make the bow tie pasta salad without mayo and make it truly your own.

Tips and Variations for a Delicious Bow Tie Pasta Salad Without Mayo

If you need a different spin on your bow tie pasta salad without mayo then experiment with varied veggies, toss in different cheeses or sprinkle in some flaky, roasted almonds for a crunch feeling.

You can easily switch things up by swapping chickpeas for beans, bell peppers for cherry tomatoes, or going for a zesty lemon vinaigrette instead of the Greek yogurt and avocado dressing.

Adding Protein Options

To add some muscle to your bow tie pasta salad without mayo, consider infusing it with protein-rich ingredients.

Lean chicken, tofu, or beans can lend the dish an appetizing taste without compromising on the health quotient.

Substituting Ingredients

Replace your usual mayo dressing with Greek yogurt and avocado – an unlikely duo that creates a stunningly creamy texture. Spice things up with a sprinkle of herbs and a pinch of seasonings.

Instrumental Twister: Not feeling the bow tie pasta vibe? Don’t sweat it. Your favorite whole grain or gluten-free pasta can easily swap in.

Different dietary needs? Toss in a generous handful of crunchy chickpeas or toasted nuts, they will provide that protein punch without missing the mayo.

How long can I store the pasta salad?

Storing your bow tie pasta salad without mayo is easy and can help you enjoy it for longer. It typically lasts 3-5 days in the fridge. This is because the Greek yogurt and avocado base remain fresh for this period.

When storing your pasta salad, make sure it’s in an airtight container. This helps keep the ingredients fresh, preserving the mouthwatering flavors for those days you crave something healthy and quick.

To extend your pasta salad’s shelf life, consider adding your dressing just before you’re ready to eat. Dressed salads tend to get soggy and lose their appealing crunch much faster.

Don’t forget to keep your stored pasta salad in the coldest portion of your fridge. This helps slow the decomposition process and maintains the integrity of your ingredients.

Finally, reheating your pasta salad isn’t recommended. The Greek yogurt and avocado base don’t take well to heat, resulting in a less pleasing texture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Bow Tie Pasta Salad Without Mayo

Can I use other types of pasta?

Pasta Plurality: Absolutely! Your preference for pasta type only adds a personal touch to this dish. Versatile like fashion, pasta comes in diverse shapes and sizes, each bringing a unique twist to your salad. Beyond Bow Tie: From fusilli’s fun spirals to penne’s cylindrical charm, any pasta can be a substitute.

What can I substitute for lemon juice?

If you don’t have lemon juice, you can substitute another type of vinegar, such as white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

bow tie pasta salad without mayo recipe

Bow Tie Pasta Salad Without Mayo

Chef Amelia
Bow tie pasta salad is a classic summer side dish. But what if you don't like mayo? No problem! This recipe for bow tie pasta salad without mayo is just as delicious and refreshing.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 people
Calories 295 kcal



  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 medium red onion finely diced (1/2 cup)


  • 1 pound dried short pasta such as farfalle, fusilli, penne, or orecchiette
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes about 10 ounces, quartered
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives halved
  • 1/4 cup canned diced pimentos
  • 1/2 cucumber diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 4 ounces cheese ( your choice) crumbled
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts optional
  • 1 cup Greek Youghurt
  • 2 whole Avocados


  • Make the vinaigrette. Place the garlic, lemon juice, oregano, vinegar, salt, sugar, Dijon, and pepper together in a glass jar. Add the oil, seal the jar, and shake until emulsified.
  • Pickle the onion. Pour ½ cup of the dressing into a large bowl (reserve the remaining for later). Add the red onion, stir to combine, and set aside.
  • Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
  • Toss the salad. Add the drained pasta, tomatoes, olives, pimentos, cucumber, and basil to the bowl with the dressing. Toss to coat. (At this point, you can set the salad aside for a few hours.)
  • Finish the salad. When ready to serve, add the reserved dressing, your favorite cheese, greek yogurt, avocados and nuts if using, then toss until well-combined.
Keyword bow tie pasta salad, mayo-free pasta, vegan salads
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Chef Amelia
Chef Amelia

Amelia is a passionate chef who finds joy in trying out different cuisines and dishes and sharing her expertise with the world. She enjoys cooking and curating recipes so much!

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