Mexican Pasta Salad

This pasta salad offers a unique twist to the standard veggie and noodle pasta salad. The dressing is zesty and provides balance to all the different vegetable flavors in the salad. If you have a picky eater on your hands, this pasta salad is the perfect way to sneak some extra nutrition into their diets without them even realizing! It stores well in lunches or can be a yummy addition to any meal.

The best kept secret of any pasta salad is a homemade dressing. Extra calories and additives are included in store-bought dressings so take the extra five minutes to make it yourself. You will also be able to control the sodium levels, which tend to be high in store-bought dressings.

Some other healthy aspects of this pasta salad to note are that black beans can have up to 15 grams of protein, the avocado can reduce blood pressure due to the high amounts of potassium and corn keeps the digestive tract healthy.

Give this recipe a try and let us know in the comments if you liked it.

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Photo credit: Elise LaPointe

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1- 8 oz. box of farfalle pasta or pasta of choice
  • 2 cobs of corn (or 2 cups of frozen and thawed corn) or 1-15 oz. can of drained and rinsed corn
  • 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1-15 oz. can of drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 minced green pepper
  • 1 diced avocado
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 finely minced jalapeno

For the dressing:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin

Mexican Pasta Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

Instructions
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions.
2. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water then drain again.
3. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, cheese, onion, peppers, avocado and cilantro.
4. To prepare dressing, combine avocado, yogurt, lime juice, oil, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin in a mini food processor. Puree until smooth.
5. Add dressing to pasta and toss to coat.
Enjoy!

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