Add a flavor-packed spin to a deli classic with a crowd-friendly recipe for refreshing Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing.
Are you ready to skip the store-bought deli salads that are more mayonnaise than pasta? Look no further than this big bowl of Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing! It’s a rainbow of flavors starring your choice of pasta and one seriously creamy yogurt-based dressing.
This quick-fix pasta salad is packed full of vibrant peppers, hearty black beans, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes and fresh green onions ready to be tossed with a zippy dressing. The best part? Adding black beans and Cotija cheese help take this salad from side-dish to star of the show with a healthy dose of protein.
No pasta salad is complete without a delicious dressing to tie it all together. And no Southwestern recipe is complete without avocado. Tangy yogurt, ripe avocado, honey, and lime come together in a blender to make a creamy concoction that will become your go-to dressing, dip and even sandwich spread.
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For the pasta salad:
- 8 oz. uncooked pasta, such as shells, cavatappi or penne
- 1 medium orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup yellow corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup sliced scallions
- Cotija cheese, for garnishing
For the avocado dressing:
- 1 large avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon honey
Make the pasta salad:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl.
- To the bowl, add the bell pepper, corn, black beans, tomatoes and scallions.
Make the dressing:
- In a blender, combine the avocado, yogurt, garlic, lime juice and honey. Blend until puréed, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Transfer the dressing to the bowl with the pasta and toss to combine.
- Garnish the pasta salad with the cotija cheese and serve immediately or store, covered securely, in the fridge until ready to serve.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.