If you don’t know already, tomorrow is the 4th of July! Whether you’re hosting a July 4th party or going to one, I have the perfect item for your menu: pasta-less pasta salad. Imagine the look on your friends’ faces! Don’t be predictable and bring a bottle of wine or a box of cookies – bring zucchini pasta! My mother always taught me never to go to a party empty handed. It’s definitely life advice that I’ll be passing down to my children someday (those lucky little nuggets!)
Pasta salad is one of my favorites. My grandmother makes a mouth-wateringly good pasta salad with tuna, celery and macaroni. I don’t know why it’s SO good, but it is. You know what I don’t love about it? That I can’t eat it guiltlessly (because I have to eat a huge bowl of it -it’s so good!)
Worry no more, I’ve got a solution – a great creamy dressing to go on top of zucchini noodles. In this recipe, I peel the zucchinis first to get a better texture for a pasta salad. Mixed in with summer favorites like fresh (Jersey!) corn and beans and voila – you have a side dish that’s guaranteed to wow everyone – including yourself! Tasty and light – spot on for a 4th of July summer party! Oh, and warning: I LOVE (no, like – really love) Mexican food, so I got the inspiration from Mexican staples (ie corn, avocado, beans, pepitas, etc). The chili spices give this dish a nice kick – and the pepitas give this a yummy and salty crunch – mmmmmm. This tastes the best chilled, so make a big batch tonight and bring it tomorrow!
TIP: Toss the bun and place your grilled burger, chicken, hot dog, tofu, fish or whatever on top of a bed of this pasta salad and you have a light and tasty full meal!
Mexican Avocado Pasta Salad
Time to Prepare: 10 minutes
Time to Cook: 10 minutes
- 2 zucchinis, peeled and then spiralized
- 3/4 cup of black beans
- 3/4 cup of red kidney beans
- 1.5-2 ears of corn
- 4 tbsp pepitas (or more, if you like!)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 3/4 – 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup onion, diced
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp Mexican seasoning (optional)
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp lime juice
For the Avocado Lime Cilantro Dressing (makes about 1/2 – 3/4 of a cup)
- 2-3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 medium garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste (I like about 1/2 – 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice of 1/2 of a lime
- 1 avocado, insides chopped
In a saucepan, place in your corn and then enough water to cover the corn completely. Boil the water and after 2-3 minutes, pour corn into a colander, drain, pat dry, and shave off kernels into a large bowl, using a knife. Set aside.
Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing and place in a food processor. Pulse until creamy and place aside, in the refrigerator.
In the bowl with the corn, add zucchini noodles, pepitas, beans, cumin, Mexican Seasoning, chili powder, red bell peppers and onions. Pour in about 1/2 cup of avocado dressing and mix thoroughly to combine. Add more if desired. Top with more pepitas and serve into a cute tupperware bowl and bring to the party or serve in a big bowl to your guests!
I am in Florida right now (Singer Island) celebrating the holiday with my boyfriend and parents. Relaxing and writing for the blog. Enjoy your 4th of July, wherever you may be!