Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

5 / 5 (1 review)

I love pasta salads and this one is definitely no exception.  This salad uses a lot of fresh veggies from the garden and has been a huge hit this summer!  This is seriously one of the quickest and easiest pasta salads to whip up and always impresses.  I just love the vibrant colors that make it look even more delicious.  Plus, it uses avocados which we all know are a huge powerhouse food and the black beans provide plenty of protein!  You may end up with some leftover dressing, depending on how “dressed” you like your pasta salad.  I just keep it in the refrigerator and use it on freshly prepared house salads.  If the dressing is too thick, add more buttermilk.

This is also a fantastic recipe to use as a mason jar salad and take on the go.  All you need to do is place the Creamy Avocado Dressing in the bottom of the mason jar and then add the pasta in a layer and the vegetables right on top.  When you are ready to eat your yummy salad just shake to mix and dress your salad, unscrew the lid, and enjoy!  Remember you can also add or remove any of the vegetables to your liking.  My sister often gets headaches when eating red onions so if I am making this for one our family gatherings I will omit the red onion or use a yellow or white one instead.  Our family also really enjoys spicy foods so sometimes I will add in a few extra jalapenos to the dressing to kick it up a notch, or even dice a few of them up and add it straight to the salad!  This is definitely a great recipe to tweak completely to your liking.

Recipe Credit Two Peas in their Pod.

Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

5 / 5 (1 review)
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 7 minutes
Yield: 6 cups | Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • Salad:

    Salad
  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn (can use frozen corn)
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime, for juicing over the salad
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Creamy Avocado Dressing:

  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped and seeds removed
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Salt the water and stir in the pasta.
  3. Cook until al dente.
  4. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, make the Creamy Avocado Dressing.
  6. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  7. In a large bowl, combine pasta, black beans, tomatoes, peppers, red onion, corn, and chopped avocado.
  8. Pour dressing over pasta salad and stir until salad is well coated.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the salad, so the avocados don't brown.
  11. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

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