I LOVE pasta. I could honestly eat it every day if it didn’t mean that I would gain a million pounds from all of the carbs. But while I love pasta, full-sized pasta dishes are way too heavy for lunch. Overeating pasta (which is what happens every time I eat pasta), leaves you with a tired, heavy feeling and is no good for the rest of the work day. That’s why when I do have pasta for lunch, I like to have pasta salads rather than a full entree. Today, I decided to whip up a creamy avocado pasta salad that’s rich and satisfying like a regular pasta dish, but is still light enough to get to the 5 o’clock hour.
Instead of a salad with thick, fattening dressing, I opted for healthier avocado dressing instead. Avocado is full nutrients and healthy monounsaturated fats and when blended, it has a creamy consistency that’s perfect for dressing! Dying for the full recipe? Check it out below! Please note that the measurements are rough since I just kind of winged it and adjusted to taste.
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 ears of corn
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 medium-sized red onion
- 1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 box pasta of your choice (I used farfalle)
- 3 ripe avocados
- 2 tbsp. sour cream
- 2 tbsp. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup of salsa
- 3/4 tbsp. cumin
- 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and stir in the pasta. Cook until al dente (don’t overcook it because then your salad will turn to mush!), rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Cook the corn in a separate pot of water. If you are pressed for time, opt for canned corn or cook the corn in the microwave by wrapping them in damp paper towels and microwaving for 5-7 minutes. Be sure to leave them in the husk so that they can steam. Personally, I think this would be a much better recipe if you grilled the corn but I didn’t have time this time.
- Chop up your tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. Once the corn is cooked, use your knife to take the kernels off the cob.
- In a blender or food processor, combine your avocados (skinned and cored), sour cream, yogurt, salsa, lime juice, cumin and salt and pepper. Add in a splash of milk for easy blending. I love spicy food so I added some cayenne pepper for the extra kick, but if you’re not a fan then skip that step. Blend until smooth to create your dressing.
- In a large bowl, combine all of your ingredients. Top it off with a little cilantro and serve chilled.
*Note that this recipe makes A LOT (I’m talking family-sized) so if you’re making it just for yourself, I’d suggest cutting it in half.
This pasta salad would be perfect as a side dish for BBQs or potlucks. Since the recipe makes so much (again, I suck at measuring), I plan on popping the leftovers in the fridge and packing it for lunch for the next week or so. Less work for the week! Happy eating!