Happy, Healthy Kitchen – Creamy Rotini Pasta Salad

Happy, Healthy Kitchen – Creamy Rotini Pasta Salad

Comfort food can be delicious, satisfying and good for you all at the same time. Do you want to make a creamy pasta salad to bring to a BBQ this weekend, as we reluctantly say goodbye to summer.  This pasta salad recipe is light, healthy and a comfort food all at the same time. I love that it is easy to make, loaded with nutrients and a crowd pleaser. It is a great meal prep or make ahead of time dish. And if you need to, you can easily adjust it to be gluten, nut or nightshade free.

Creamy Rotini Pasta Salad

8 oz package of rotini pasta
4 ears fresh corn, kernals removed (about 2 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, diced small (roasted red pepper would work too)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in fours
1 cup celery, diced small
1 avocado, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
½ fresh jalapeño, minced (optional)

Creamy Dressing
1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 – 2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp lime juice (about 2 fresh limes)
½ cup water
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Strain, rinse with cold water until completely cool and thoroughly drain. Chop and prepare all vegetables, set aside. Place all creamy dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Combine all vegetables (except avocado) in a bowl with cooked pasta and creamy dressing. Stir well to evenly coat. Toss in avocado as last step right before you eat. It can be served immediately. Note: This will also taste better if made the day before and the flavors can meld overnight in the refrigerator. Feel free to substitute 1 cup of mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise for the cashew pieces in the dressing.

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