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Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

Serves 4.

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    This creamy avocado pasta salad is a favourite for lunches in my home or for quick and easy dinners. It’s packed with flavour, and it’s both creamy and crunchy. If you plan on making this for the whole family, just double the recipe.

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    Tip

    If you don’t have frozen corn on hand, you can swap in frozen peas instead. In a hurry and don’t have time to let the corn thaw? Place the frozen corn in a small bowl, boil some water in the kettle, and pour it overtop; remove the water as soon as the corn is thawed.

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    Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

    Ingredients

    Salad
    • 8 oz (250 g) gluten-free, spelt, or whole wheat pasta
    • 1 yellow or orange sweet pepper, finely chopped
    • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped broccoli florets, lightly blanched
    • 1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn, thawed
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced red onion
    • Handful of broccoli or sunflower sprouts for garnish
    Dressing
    • 1 ripe avocado, pitted
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh basil
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sunflower seeds
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • Sea salt and pepper to taste

    Nutrition

    Per serving:

    • calories509
    • protein9g
    • fat40g
      • saturated fat6g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates37g
      • sugars5g
      • fibre8g
    • sodium19mg

    Directions

    01

    Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain in cold water. Set aside.

    02

    In large salad bowl, combine sweet pepper, broccoli, corn, and red onion.

    03

    Using food processor, combine avocado, garlic, basil, sunflower seeds, lime juice, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy. If the avocado youu2019re using isnu2019t soft, you may need to add a touch more olive oil or water to make it creamier.

    04

    Add cooked pasta to large salad bowl and mix together. Pour dressing overtop and mix until combined. Top with broccoli or sunflower sprouts. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving, or enjoy immediately.

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    Going Pro

    You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.