This gluten-free, vegan avocado pasta salad features a creamy arugula-avocado dressing in place of mayonnaise for a flavor-packed side dish without any added oils! This nutritious and unique pasta salad is sure to please vegans and omnivores alike. Perfect for cookouts, potlucks, picnics and parties!
If you are looking for an easy and flavorful pasta salad with no mayo and no added oil, you've come to the right place.
Plus, with avocado as a replacement for the mayo or oil, you'll have a super creamy side dish that's loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber and a slew of vitamins and minerals.
A pasta salad that's nutritious and delicious...score!
Ingredients you'll need
For the pasta salad
- Gluten-Free Pasta - I used Jovial brown rice shells but you can use your favorite brand/shape
- Grape Tomatoes
- Cannellini Beans
- Fresh Parsley
- Diced Avocado
- Salt & Pepper
For the dressing
- Baby Arugula
- Lemon Juice
- Chopped Shallot
- Salt & Pepper
How to make avocado pasta salad - step by step
Step 1 - Cook the pasta
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Step 2 - Make the dressing
While the pasta is cooking, make the dressing.
Add all of the dressing ingredients to a high-powered blender.
Blend on high until well-combined and creamy.
Step 3 - Drain the pasta
When the pasta is done, drain in a colander and rinse under cold water.
Stir the pasta so that the additional water drains as well.
Allow to stand about 1-2 minutes.
Step 4 - Assemble the salad
Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl.
Add the dressing and stir to combine.
Mix in tomatoes and cannellini beans.
Stir in parsley, salt and pepper.
Fold in diced avocado.
Ideas for serving
It also pairs well with grilled portobello mushroom caps or your favorite veggie burgers.
It's a great dish to bring on a picnic or to a spring/summer gathering!
You can also enjoy it on its own for lunch.
Substitutions and variations
- Grape Tomatoes - You can try using chopped or julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes in place of the grape tomatoes. To keep this dish oil-free, be sure to use sun-dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil. You can also swap out the tomatoes for roasted red peppers instead.
- Cannellini Beans - You can use any variety of white bean or try swapping them out for chickpeas.
- Baby Arugula - You can try substituting the arugula in the dressing for fresh baby spinach leaves instead.
- Chopped Shallot - You can try swapping the shallot for the same amount of chopped red onion.
Storing the leftovers
This pasta salad is best enjoyed on the day it's made but will keep for up to 2 more days if needed. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
More Vegan Pasta Salad Recipes
Avocado Pasta Salad
FOR THE PASTA SALAD
FOR THE DRESSING
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 ½ medium avocados, peeled
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chopped shallot
- ½ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend on high until well-combined and creamy.
- When the pasta is done, drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Stir the pasta so that the additional water drains as well. Allow to stand about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing and stir to combine.
- Mix in tomatoes and cannellini beans.
- Stir in parsley, salt and pepper.
- Fold in diced avocado.
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs for this recipe)
- I used Jovial brown rice shells but you can use your favorite brand/shape. If using a lentil- or chickpea-based pasta, I recommend one made with a blend of ingredients such as Modern Table or Banza. I've found that the ones with lentils or chickpeas as the only ingredient are too hard and do not fare well in this dish. Of course, if you are not avoiding gluten, feel free to use a wheat-based pasta if desired.
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