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Easy and Low Calorie, Italian Chopped Salad Stuffed Shells Appetizer

italian-chopped-appetizer-photo-300x22512These tasty and colorful low calorie treats consist of a simple to make Italian chopped salad mounded into cooked pasta shells.  You can prep everything the night before and then added the dressing and stuff the shells an hour before your guests arrive.  They’re easy enough to pop right in your mouth but some might want it served on a small plate with a fork and knife.  The skinny for 1 stuffed shell, 73 calories, 2.6 grams fat and 2 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. This delightful appetizer can also be served as a first course, light lunch or brought to a pot luck. Watch them quickly disappear!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
½ cup Cardini’s Light Caesar Vinaigrette Dressing or Girard’s Light Caesar Dressing, refrigerated,  see shopping tip
24 jumbo pasta shells (~ 8 ounces)
1 bag romaine lettuce, chopped into small pieces
1¼ cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in fourths
1 cup cucumbers, peeled and chopped
⅔ cup reduced-fat salami, chopped, see shopping tip
⅔ cup (about 20) Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced into pieces
½ cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
1. Cook shells according to package directions (al dente). Rinse in cold water.
2. In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients.
4. Start with ½ cup dressing and toss lightly.  Stuff each cooked shell.

Makes 24 stuffed shells

Shopping Tips
I really love Cardini’s Light Caesar Vinaigrette.  It’s one of the better tasting store-bought bottled dressings.  It’s sold in most large supermarket chains in the salad dressing aisle.  I found it at Von’s/Safeway and Gelsons. Another dressing that would work would be Girard’s Light Caesar Dressing. If your market doesn’t sell either of these, use one of the other brands of Light Italian vinaigrette or Light Caesar dressings.

My favorite light salami is a brand called, Columbus Lite Italian Dry Salami.  You’ll most likely find it in the deli section of the supermarket.  There are other brands available in the luncheon meat section of the supermarket.

Serving Tip
You can stuff this chopped salad in endive leaves instead of the pasta shells.

About the Author: Skinny Kitchen is your fun guide to healthy yet decadent-tasting foods. Each week Nancy Fox shares skinny recipes, cooking and kitchen tips, food finds and the healthy benefits of many recipes. There is nutritional information and Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS on each. For more recipes, please join Nancy at – http://skinnykitchen.com/.

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2 thoughts on “Easy and Low Calorie, Italian Chopped Salad Stuffed Shells Appetizer

  1. Thank you so much for sharing my recipe. It’s super easy to make.
    I hope you all enjoy it!
    All the best,
    Nancy

  2. I haven’t made stuffed shells in ages, these sound divine, although I would most likely go for spinach instead of romaine!

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