A New Spin on Summer Snacks

When the weather turns warm, certain seasonal foods pop into our minds for picnic lunch ideas or evening cookout dishes.  Chicken salad and pasta salad are classic hit recipes with most families, and can be quick, delicious entrées to whip up. But sometimes, particularly on those scorching hot days, these mayo-based salads can seem too heavy and saturated with calories.

Here are two new ways to enjoy the summer dishes, but with a lighter and healthier approach. By mixing in hummus instead of mayo for homemade chicken and pasta salads, you can cut a few calories and tantalize your taste buds with new flavors. Give them a try, and let us know what you think!

Hummus Chicken SaladHummus Chicken Salad

1 Cup Grilled Chicken Breast, Cubed
1 Tablespoon Finely Diced Scallions
2 Tablespoons Diced Celery
2 Tablespoons Diced Red Pepper
1 Tablespoon Water
½ Cup Sabra Hummus
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Yields 2 servings.

Directions: Combine all ingredients and stir well. Serve in a bowl of radicchio as a salad, on a sandwich, wrap, or as an appetizer with veggies, chips or pita.

Basil Pesto Hummus Pasta Salad

1 lb. Fusilli pasta (cooked according to package instructions)
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, rough chopped
1 cup fennel (2 small bulbs), finely chopped
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
1  (10 ounce) container of Sabra Basil Pesto Hummus
¾ cup Roasted Red Pepper (1 whole pre-roasted red pepper)
½ cup Chives, minced
1 cup pasta cooking water, reserved
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Fennel fronds for garnish

Serves 4-6 as a main course


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1-cup pasta cooking water.

2. Prepare all of the vegetables.  In a big bowl, toss the vegetables with the Basil Pesto Hummus. Add pasta, and pasta water and stir to combine. Sprinkle with black pepper.

3. Serve at room temperature, drizzle each portion with a little splash of olive oil and sprinkle fennel fronds overtop.

Please note: If this is made a day ahead and refrigerated, add water before serving to achieve a creamier consistency. Also, wait until just before serving to add the olive oil and fennel frond garnish.

Recipes by Colombe Jacobsen

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  1. by Toney Fitzgerald

    On June 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Wow, this looks like a great recipe and easy to make too!!! I will definitely try it. Thanks!!!

  2. by Robyn

    On June 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Chicken salad, pasta salad, and hummus! Can’t wait to try them :)

  3. by beverly Waller

    On June 2, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    made my shopping list!!

  4. by Kathryn

    On June 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    These recipes sound like a great way to enjoy some of my favorite summer treats and stay thin for bathing suit season! Thanks for the new ideas!

  5. by Linda

    On June 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Wow…sounds like good food. Thanks for the ideas.

  6. by Lynn

    On June 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Looks delicious! Will definitely be trying them both out this weekend!

  7. by Betty

    On June 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Sounds great! I will definately try both recipes. Thanks!

  8. by Bob Ferguson

    On June 2, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Great summer recipes – will give hummes a try this summer… Thank you!!!

  9. by Katelyn James

    On June 3, 2011 at 12:00 am

    LOVE this!!!

  10. by Laura Somerville

    On June 3, 2011 at 12:01 am

    So creative! I’ve been looking for a new option to cut calories and avoid the spoil factor. Chicken salad is a favorite. Any more suggestions Britney? I need a few more spins on traditional must haves.

  11. by Grace

    On June 3, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I never thought of using hummus instead of mayonnaise in cold salads but I’m excited to try it. Hummus is very popular in Egypt, and I can’t wait to introduce my Egyptian friends to this new spin on American cuisine! Thanks, Britney.

  12. by Catherine

    On June 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I have heard of trying applesauce instead of oil while baking, but I had never heard of using hummus instead of mayo! What a great idea. I’ll definitely try it out!

  13. by Ivy

    On June 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Hummus is my favorite!! Can’t wait to try this.

  14. by Carli Whitehead

    On June 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Can’t wait to try toe basil pesto hummus. Mmmmm!

  15. by Olivia

    On June 8, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Never would have thought to substitute hummus. Thanks for the great ideas!

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    On September 4, 2011 at 1:06 am

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    On December 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

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