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When the summertime potlucks and picnics and barbecues start rolling in, and you start wondering what dish to make or take, pasta salads are always a great choice. Add a creamy avocado dressing to that pasta salad, and you’ve got a winning combination that won’t disappoint. This avocado pasta salad recipe is fun, healthy and tasty – the perfect salad to make this summer!
Choose any pasta you’d like, add some summer vegetables, like cherry tomatoes and sweet corn, and toss it in a homemade creamy avocado dressing that’s made with avocados, almond milk and spinach. The dressing gives the pasta salad a vibrant color, and the vegetables round out the flavors of the pasta salad to make it well balanced and satisfying!
Avocado pasta sauce recipe
This avocado pasta sauce is rich and creamy, and it brings all of the flavors in the dish together. It’s a great no mayo option for a pasta dressing that also happens to be paleo and vegan. This is a great healthy pasta sauce that is so much better than store bought!
How to make avocado pasta salad
Make the dressing
The most important part of this avocado pasta salad is the dressing. It’s rich, smooth and so flavorful and what brings the recipe together. To make it, I recommend using a blender or food processor to get an ultra creamy consistency. Throw in there ripe avocados, almond milk, spinach, lemon juice and garlic.
While the blender is on, you’ll add just a tad of olive oil to help emulsify the dressing. The result is a vibrant green dressing that’s waiting to be tossed with the avocado pasta salad. The dressing may be too much for the pasta, but I like making a little extra to use as a dip for other foods or serve on the side.
Assemble the salad
Now that you’ve whipped up the creamy avocado dressing, you just want to assemble everything together. That includes al dente cooked pasta, extra cut avocados, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn and basil for garnish.
Give everything a toss until the pasta is well coated with the dressing and then serve immediately or chill for one hour. It’s likely you’ll find that there is too much dressing for the pasta, so start small and add more dressing as you find necessary.
This avocado pasta salad is so easy to throw together. I love all the fresh and feel good ingredients that go into this salad. It feels very bright and light and the perfect summer salad to take along with you to a picnic. Everyone will find it refreshing to enjoy a pasta salad made with avocado, instead of the usual mayonnaise. Talk about feel good food with good-for-you fats!
And it’s not likely that you’ll have leftovers of this avocado pasta salad, but in case you do, be sure to finish it within 24 hours so you’re not dealing with any oxidized brownish avocado sauce situation. I still enjoyed it 48 hours later, but the color did start to change. Regardless, it’s a salad that I hope you make all summer long!
Frequently asked questions
How do you keep avocados fresh in a salad
Don’t skip the lemon juice when making the dressing for the pasta salad. It plays an important role in helping delay the oxidizing process of the pasta. You can also squeeze some fresh lemon juice after you toss the salad.
How do you cool down pasta for pasta salad
Drain the pasta, but don’t rinse the pasta with cold water. Instead allow the dressing to cool down the pasta. Toss it immediately with the dressing to help it cool down. You can then transfer it to a wide shallow bowl or a rimmed baking sheet to cool at room temperature or in the fridge.
Can you freeze avocado pasta sauce?
If you have an abundance of avocados that you need to use up, this pasta sauce is a great option as you can freeze it! Simply blend it and put it into an airtight container or ziplock bags and freeze it for later use.
Tips for making avocado pasta salad:
- Cook the pasta al dente. When you’re eating pasta cold, the texture is really important to the overall appeal of the dish. For that reason, I always recommend cooking pasta al dente for salads. It keeps the pasta firm so it doesn’t become mushy when tossed with the dressing.
- Salt aggressively. It’s important to salt the boiling water before adding the pasta. Salt penetrates the pasta while boiling. So if you miss this step, it will be really hard to compensate for it after the pasta is done cooking. Plus, you may just end up consuming more salt that way.
- Don’t rinse off the pasta after it’s done cooking. Dress the pasta salad hot so it sucks the dressing and clings to it better without sauce leftover at the bottom of the dish. Allow the avocado dressing to cool down the pasta.
- Use ripe avocados. This helps it blend much more easily, and offers a more rich and creamy consistency similar to that of mayonnaise. It also helps to emulsify the dressing when blended with the remaining ingredients.
More pasta salad recipes
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Spinach Pasta Salad
- Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes
- Asian Noodle Salad
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Avocado Pasta Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Avocado Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces rotini pasta or other short cut pasta
- 1 ripe avocado peeled, stone and chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup frozen corn thawed
- Fresh basil for serving
- 2 ripe avocados peeled and cored
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions but reduce cooking time by 2 minutes so pasta is al dente; drain well. You can thaw the frozen corn in the pasta cooking water in the last 3-4 minutes of cooking time.
- To make the avocado dressing, combine the avocados, spinach, almond milk, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic to a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper. With the motor running, add olive oil slowly until dressing is emulsified, smooth and creamy.
- In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the dressing, tomatoes, corn and avocados. Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.
- Instead of almond milk, you can use any other plant-based milk or regular milk or leave out the milk all together.
- Instead of spinach, you can use kale, arugula, parsley, cilantro or basil. You can also omit the greens if you’d like.
- To make this gluten-free, use any type of gluten-free pasta you’d like and cook it al dente.