Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

This covered dish favorite can be made a day ahead of time, with the dressing added up to an hour before serving.  Avocados are good sources of heart-healthy fats, and since this recipe only calls for half, try doubling the dressing and using the extra dressing on grilled vegetables. The acid in the dressing will keep the avocado from browning the way it would if left wrapped in the refrigerator.


½ ripe avocado
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 small clove garlic, grated
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cumin

Pasta Salad:
8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli (about 3 cups)
1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
½ cup canned black beans, rinsed
½ cup corn, fresh or frozen (thawed)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
To prepare dressing: Combine avocado, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, salt and cumin in a mini food processor. Puree until smooth.

To prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, then drain again. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, cheddar, onion and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Serving size: 1 cup
Per serving: 290 calories; 13 g fat(3 g sat); 6 g fiber; 37 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein

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