This southwest pasta salad has all sorts of exciting ingredients in each bite. Loaded with grilled corn, black beans and a combination of raw veggies including bell peppers, tomatoes and radishes, it’s tossed in a healthy creamy dressing made with avocado, fresh lime juice and cilantro.
The flavors are different than the usual pasta salad. Naturally pasta dishes, including salads, tend to have vegetables and other ingredients that are Italian or Mediterranean. With black beans, corn and radishes, this recipe is a great way to change up your pasta salad game.
It is a mayo-free pasta salad that has a creamy dressing. I am not a big mayonnaise person. Avocado adds that creamy richness in a much healthier way. And avocado is a perfect match with these Tex- Mex, southwestern flavors.
This pasta salad is vegan. As mentioned, avocados are a way to give you that plant-based creaminess for the dressing.
This is what you need:
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on high heat.
1. Cook the pasta salted boiling water in a large pot. Follow the recommended cook time on the package, so the noodles turn out al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water in a colander.
2. Grill the corn. First drizzle it with olive oil. Then grill the cobs turning every so often until they are lightly charred.
3. Slice the kernels off the corn when it is cool enough to handle.
4. Make the dressing. Puree the avocado, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil in a food processor or blender until smooth.
5. Stir the dressing into the pasta in a large bowl.
6. Assemble the salad. Fold the corn, black beans, tomatoes, radishes, scallions and cilantro into the pasta.
Pasta salad is always a reliable side dish, but it’s also a great choice for a vegetarian main dish for a weekday, weekend or even a potluck. With its Tex-Mex inspired flavors, this recipe pairs well with anything that’s grilled and smoky. You can serve it with Barbecue Tofu Veggie Skewers or Grilled Halloumi and Veggies.
This pasta salad is best the day it is made. That’s very true with the dressing. Because it has avocados, it will brown, but leftovers will still taste good. You can keep them in the fridge in an airtight container up to 3 days. I like to let it sit out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, so it isn’t as cold.
Make sure not to overcook the pasta. You want the noodles to be al dente, so they have a nice bite.
You may think about cooking the pasta ahead of time, but don’t do it too early. Wait to cook the pasta until you are ready to assemble and serve the salad because you want it to be the freshest pasta salad possible and not have soggy noodles.
Adjust the seasonings as necessary. Taste the pasta salad because cold dishes usually need more salt than warm ones. Have a couple bites and add more salt and pepper if it needs it.
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Did you make this pasta salad? Please leave a rating and comment below. Thanks!
Good and easy recipe