Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Last month we helped cater a family party. We were in charge of making three large salads. We made a simple spinach salad with berries, Greek Quinoa Salad, and Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing. I created the Southwestern Pasta Salad for the party and it has become one of our favorite pasta salads. We make it all of the time now. If you like our Creamy Avocado Pasta, I am positive you will love this pasta salad.

The pasta salad is loaded with flavor. It has black beans, tomatoes, peppers, onion, sweet corn, avocado and cilantro. And the best part? The creamy avocado dressing. It is rich and creamy, but in a healthy kind of way. The dressing is easy to whip up, just throw all of the ingredients in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

If you are looking for a new pasta salad recipe, give this Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing a try. It can be enjoyed as a side dish or main dish. This pasta salad is perfect for picnics, potlucks, parties, or everyday eating. Enjoy!

Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Yield: Serves 4-6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

For the salad:

8 ounces pasta (I used Rotini)
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

For the Creamy Avocado Dressing:

2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
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

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and stir in the pasta. Cook until al dente. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

2. While the pasta is cooking, make the Creamy Avocado Dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

3. In a large bowl, combine pasta, black beans, tomatoes, peppers, red onion, corn, and chopped avocado. Pour dressing over pasta salad and stir until salad is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the salad, so the avocados don't brown. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Note-you may have leftover dressing, depending on how "dressed" you like your pasta salad. If the dressing is too thick, add more buttermilk.

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Categories: Pasta Salads Vegetarian