Thursday, April 19, 2012

Creamy avocado pasta salad: a recipe

Creamy avocado pasta salad
Avocado and pasta? Really?

Oh, just stop it. Yes, really.

You like it in salads, right? And on burgers and sandwiches? And guacamole?

So I say, why not as a cold pasta salad?

Why not indeed.

This recipe couldn't be easier. (Really, it couldn't.) I made it for dinner but I'm sure I'll be whipping it up a lot as a quick lunch as the weather gets warmer.

Additionally, this is the perfect application for your mini food processor, as it's a small amount of ingredients that go a long way. One avocado yielded enough "sauce" for a 13.5-ounce box of whole wheat elbows. If you like your sauces very creamy, drop that down to about 10 ounces instead.

You seriously have no excuse not to try this.

Unless you don't like avocados. Which would make it highly unlikely that you're reading this post, right?

Speaking of avocados, do you remember sprouting avocado pits as a kid or doing it with your kids? You know, jab three toothpicks into it and set it, tip submerged, into a glass of water to watch the roots sprout? I did it about 10 years ago and was very excited to plant it and grow my own avocado tree.

Oooh, I had big plans for my avocado haul. Big plans. Never-buying-another-avocado-from-The-Man plans.

It grew nicely. Once I had it to a lovely houseplant size, I read up on avocado growth habits...

...aaaaaaaaaand discovered that my houseplant was just that, a houseplant, and would never produce a single avocado. Craptacular.

But never-you-mind my plant drama: I see a lovely avocado pasta Saturday lunch in your future.

Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

(adapted slightly from Noriko Burky)

Whole wheat pasta, small shape of your choice
1 ripe avocado, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
salt and pepper
chopped tomatoes

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse in cool water and set aside.

In a food processor, whirl together the avocado, cilantro, lime juice, mayonnaise and garlic until smooth (add a little water if it's too thick for your taste). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine the cool pasta and the avocado sauce in a bowl and stir to coat. Serve garnished with chopped tomatoes.
-- print recipe --


  1. Okay, this sauce is genius. Seriously. And I grew a lovely avocado houseplant too!

  2. It's easy to make but the taste just puts it over the top -- let me know if you try it, Pam.

  3. I do love me some avocado and I can definitely see it being extra special combined with some pasta and other veggies. Totally trying this out. I've been wanting a creamy pasta salad too, but the idea of using a bunch of mayo really made me think twice. I was planning on using some cashews to make a cream sauce, but your avocado idea seems MUCH easier.

    1. If you don't want to use mayo use veganese Vegan mayo, it's low fat calories etc and has no egg so doesn't spoil at picnics. It taste really good and similar

  4. Lisa Marie: I am with you about too mayo being creepy. This one has so little in it that it doesn't bother me. Let me know what you think if you try it. And speaking of nutty sauces, I tried a pistachio sauce recipe the other night: colossal failure -- Mr. Ninj likened it to wallpaper paste!

  5. This looks amazing! Will try for one of our weekly dinners.

  6. Maybe Middlebury College needs this recipe!

  7. Sounds like they could use it, Jennifer -- I just left a comment and a link. :-)

  8. sweet.

    my oldest can't do dairy, so this will be a lovely sub for cashews that we usually use.

    sharing your recipe on pinterest.

    i wish for an avocado tree as well. ah, to live in california one day...

  9. @Nicolette: I hope your youngest enjoys it -- and thanks for pinning. (I just updated the header photo yesterday -- I think it still needs some tweaks, but it cracks me up every time I look at it!).

  10. How much pasta does this recipe call for?

  11. Janell: I mentioned it in the text of the post -- for me, this one avocado yielded enough "sauce" for a 13.5-ounce box of whole wheat elbows. If you like your sauces very creamy, drop that down to about 10 ounces instead.

  12. I just made this tonight for (an embarrassingly late) dinner and it was delicious! I used a bit of plain greek yogurt rather than mayo and it added a nice tang to it. Thanks for a great recipe!

  13. Danielle: the greek yogurt sub is a great idea -- thanks for sharing it!

  14. Sounds good. But does the sauce turn brown if left overnight?

  15. Actually, Busygirl, it doesn't turn brown (b/c of the lime juice)!

  16. this sounds good. will try thi after i get avocados. love the greek yogurt idea. thanks

  17. This looks amazing. I shall definitely be giving this a try.