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Healthy Recipe: Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad

Welcome back Liz Shaw, MS RD and founder of Shaw Simple Swaps. More importantly, one of my favorite healthy food bloggers in the blog-o-sphere. There has never been a recipe of hers that I didn’t love! Our kitchens and pantries must be mirror images of each other because I simply love the way she cooks! Last month she shared her Blueberry Lemonade Chiller, and now I can’t wait to make this Avocado Pesto Salad! Bon Appetite!

Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad

Summer is finally here, and with it, comes the infamous BBQs, picnics and poolside fiestas! I don’t know about you, but I can only stand so much potato and egg salads before I feel blah. You feel me too, great!

That’s why I came up with this Avocado Pesto Pasta, the perfect light, healthy and fresh salad to win over a crowd while packing a punch of nutrition. The healthy fats from the avocado and fresh herbs and vegetables make this a great accompaniment to a delish grilled salmon, chicken or tofu, depending on your diet preferences.

Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Avocado Pesto

  • 1 medium avocado
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, 0% fat
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp jalapeno powder (or spicy pepper)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped


  • 8 oz rigatoni pasta, cooked
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup skim feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  1. In a food processor, pulse avocado, lemon juice, rice vinegar, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno powder into a thin, sauce like consistency.
  2. Combine vegetables, pasta (cooled), and the pesto sauce in a large bowl.
  3. Mix feta cheese into bowl.
  4. Portion out and top with freshly roasted peanuts!
  5. Enjoy as a side or a main meal with a slice of fruit!

Be sure to check out the post here for more details about the recipe, a printable recipe card and all the healthy nutrition facts! While you’re there, be sure to  pick up some more great recipes and tips to make your summer season a little bit healthier for all!

Avocado Pesto Salad

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD, CLT
Elizabeth is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Lifestyle Eating and Performance Therapist and bona fide Health Nut in San Diego, CA. She owns a nutrition communications and wellness consulting company and is an Adjunct Professor of Nutrition for the San Diego Community College District.

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