Lemon Avocado Pasta Salad – Orzo pasta is tossed with fresh cherry tomatoes, creamy avocado, basil, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice to make a light, yet satisfying side dish for any meal
Okay, okay. I give in. I’ll start sharing some healthy recipes this month. But just for this month! By the time Valentine’s Day comes around, you guys will be begging for chocolate recipes again, I just know it.
For the first healthy recipe this month, I am sharing one of the recipes I learned from one of those meal delivery boxes we received last summer. Have you tried one of those services before? They send three recipes for the week with all the ingredients and you cook them yourself. We do it about once a month to help bring new recipes and foods into our weeknight dinner routine. After cooking so much for you guys, mama needs a little creativity break so these boxes help feed the family while I take a brain break.
This Lemon Avocado Pasta Salad was a side dish served alongside a fish entree that we made for one of those weeks. But honestly, I was so happy eating it all by itself! So much flavor and hearty because of the tomatoes and avocado. Love love loved it.
So I’ve recreated it here for you to try for yourself. Check it out!
This pasta salad is one of the easiest you’ll ever make. The dressing is nothing more than olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. You simply toss the cooked orzo pasta, diced avocado, chopped basil, and marinated tomatoes with the dressing. Boom – that’s it!
Another thing I love about this recipe is that you can make it for dinner tonight or make it ahead for a weekend get-together. When wanting to enjoy it immediately, the pasta salad is slightly warm because the pasta hasn’t had time to cool completely and the dish won’t be refrigerated. I kind of like it slightly warm because it helps the flavors come out of all the ingredients, especially the dressing. But, like I said, you can make this ahead, too, and simply chill in the fridge until time to serve.
This salad is so super simple to make so I’ have no doubt that you’re going knock it out of the park – just make sure you follow these few tips to help you along the way:
- Do not over cook the pasta – you don’t want the pasta salad to be super mushy and starchy. So when the pasta is al dente, remove from heat, drain, AND rinse to get all that extra starch off the pasta.
- Above I tell you that you can easily make this salad ahead of time. However, I would wait to add the avocado until serving because it can get brown. It will still taste great but presentation won’t be as pretty.
- In this recipe, we marinate the tomatoes in vinegar before adding to the salad. This helps bring out the flavor of the tomato, plus it adds a little tang to the salad. I like to marinate the tomatoes first, before any other steps, so they have a good 30 minutes to marinate before adding to the salad.
- The lemon flavor in the salad comes from the fresh lemon juice, but feel free to add a little lemon zest to give the salad a little more pop.
Alrighty, I did it – I finally gave you guys a healthy recipe for this month. I know this recipe still has pasta in it so it’s not the healthiest thing on the planet but this is still pretty healthy compared to the other recipes here on the blog. Baby steps!
Later this week, I’ve got a football snack recipe for you guys so, unfortunately, the healthy train isn’t going very far. But don’t worry – next week I’ll be back with another healthy recipe for you guys to enjoy this month!
See ya Wednesday!
Lemon Avocado Pasta Salad
- 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 lemon
- 12 ounces orzo pasta
- 1 large avocado
- .25 ounce fresh basil
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Half cherry tomatoes and add to a small bowl with white wine vinegar. Sprinkle with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Set aside to marinade.
- Place a small pot of water on the stove to boil. Add a tablespoon of salt. Once boiling, add orzo and cook until al dente (should take between 6-8 minutes; check pacakge directions for exact time). Drain and rinse pasta. Add to a large bowl with olive oil. Toss to combine.
- Dice avocado and add to orzo. Chop basil and add to orzo. Drain the tomatoes from the vinegar but do not rinse. Add to orzo. Finish off the pasta salad with a heavy squeeze of the lemon. Give salad a toss to combine all the ingredients. If you want more lemon flavor, juice the lemon all the way. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pin for later:
Other healthy dishes you might like:
Avocado and Charred Corn Salad with Creamy Cilantro Ranch
Orchard Harvest Salad with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Pineapple & Melon Fruit Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing
Oooooh this has me seriously craving warm, summer days. (As I sit here looking at all the snow outside my window.) Hurry up, summer – I can’t wait for pasta salads and fresh produce for dinner!
Yeah, go away snow!
Amanda Mason says
This looks and sounds amazing and I LOVE your tips! I have several dishes this will pair amazingly with! Printing this one out now!! This is a gem of a recipe!
Aw thanks so much! Glad you like it!
I have never had an avocado pasta salad but it does sound and look intriguing. I can see how this would be a popular salad for family meet-ups, or a pick-nick!
Looks and sounds delicious! I can’t have grains so I think I’ll sub riced cauliflower for the orzo…I’m sure it will be just as good!
Leslie Haasch says
This looks so light and refreshing, but because orzo is pretty filling I know I can make this for a meatless Monday meal and be totally happy with my decision!
Abby @ WinsteadWandering says
I love lemon in pasta salad, but I’ve never used avocado. It looks amazing! I love that you used orzo, too.
Thanks so much!
Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago says
I love avocados so this looks like the perfect, light side dish!
It really is!
I want to try hellofresh. I probably will in February. And if this is one of those sides you got I am excited. This looks amazing.
Thanks so much! You’re gonna love it!
Yum, this looks so good. I’m going to pin it to save for some summer potlucks! Thanks for sharing!
I love Orzo! My family is Greek so we cook with it a lot. I’ll have to show them this recipe
Oh yummmm! I looove Greek food. You gotta share some amazing recipes with me!
Now, that just made me super hungry for some pasta! Omg, my stomach is growling now. lol
OMG I totally get that – I can’t get enough pasta.
Analida @ ethnicspoon.com says
I love orzo pasta and I usually put it in soups instead of rice. I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!
You’re so welcome!
This sounds delicious! Which meal delivery do you get? I’ve tried 3- Blue Apron is BY FAR my favorite so far. So YUMMMM
We do Hello Fresh! I haven’t tried Blue Apron yet but everyone raves about it!
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy says
This sounds healthy and delicious. There are never too many ways to enjoy avocado…or eat pasta. They do pair so well together.
After the over indulgence of the holidays – I am on the healthy meal kick too. This one seems so light and summery which exactly what I am craving after heavy stews and soups.
Right?! I am so over stews right now. I’ve worn myself out haha. Glad we’re on the same page
This looks delicious and so easy to make! I need good ideas like this! Thank you!
Yes, so easy, delicious, and healthy all in one dish. Gotta love those recipes, right?!
I love the idea of using orzo in a pasta salad – I’ve never tried that before! I’m going to make this for meal prep next weekend.
Yesss girl! You’re gonna love it!