Fiesta Pasta with Avocado, Cojita, Salsa & Pepitas

Fiesta Pasta with Avocado, Cojita, Salsa & Pepitas

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whole wheat pasta dish, healthy and light meal MarlaMeridith.comWhat’s not to love about  a quick and easy pasta salad? I had so much fun creating a pasta dish with a Mexican twist. Salsa, avocado, hot sauce and Cojita cheese give this a fun flair beyond classic picnic pasta salads.

bright spring colors for Cinco de Mayo party

I was curious about the meaning of Cinco de Mayo. Here is a definition “The history and significance of Cinco De Mayo (5th of May), which commemorates the victory of the Mexican Militia over the French Army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862.”

Healthy, Delicious Party Food. Share with friends

If you are celebrating and entertaining a crowd for Cinco de Mayo or anytime, you will love this recipe. It is simple to prepare, very healthy and full of flavor. You can make as much or as little as you need.  The measurements do not have to be precise.  You add what you want and can easily make adaptations. It can be served at room temperature so it is great for outdoor BBQ’s, picnics, etc.

Fiesta Pasta with Avocado, Cojita, Salsa & Pepitas recipe

My goal with this recipe was to celebrate the Avocado, tying back to the event I attended at Ciudad-LA last weekend. My whole family loved this pasta and I hope you will too.

Fiesta Pasta with Avocado, Cojita, Salsa & Pepitas recipe

If you are celebrating with adults may I recommend a fruity margarita? What do you like to cook up for this fun holiday?

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Fiesta Pasta with Avocado, Cojita, Salsa & Pepitas

Serves 4 (simple to adapt for smaller or larger crowds)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound cooked Whole Wheat Pasta or gluten free pasta
  • a few large peeled & cubed California Avocados
  • good fruity Olive Oil (I like Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, Cilantro Oil would be great too.)
  • a handful crumbled Cojita Cheese (I like Feta too)
  • a handful of roasted Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
  • a handful of chopped fresh Cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • sliced Cherry Tomatoes (I used mini Heirloom Tomatoes)
  • a handful of chopped Green Onions
  • Salsa
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Garlic Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Optional: kick up the heat with your favorite Hot Sauce

METHOD

Cook your pasta. Drain and toss with some olive oil. Lightly spray or coat a small skillet with olive oil. Heat on medium heat. Add pepitas, season with some garlic salt and smoked paprika. Toast pepitas in a skillet for a few minutes until fragrant. Stir frequently and watch carefully so they do not burn. Remove pepitas from heat and allow to cool a bit. In a medium bowl, gently toss pasta with 1/2 of your cheese, pepitas, chopped avocados, cilantro and tomatoes. Also add a dash of black pepper, lime juice, smoked paprika and salt if needed.

When serving top pasta with salsa, more feta, the remainder of the avocado, pepitas & tomatoes.  Sprinkle some cilantro and additional seasonings if desired. Best served at room temperature or slightly chilled.

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Variations

Add your favorite lean protein for a full & well balanced meal.  Anything from tofu to chicken breast to sirloin.  Each choice would be yummy either placed on top or tossed into this pasta.

 

 



32 Responses to Fiesta Pasta with Avocado, Cojita, Salsa & Pepitas

  1. This festive pasta is full of some of my most favorite ingredients! I can’t wait to try it!! I could eat an entire bowl of just feta cheese, avocados, and heirloom tomatoes, even without the pasta! Nice recipe and gorgeous photos!

  2. This sounds great, and looks beautiful! I forgot about Cinco De Mayo…this is a good reminder that I should celebrate and cook for my friends. I’ll definitely be adding the hot sauce to this hot dish!

  3. Your pictures are so pretty, Marla! Those tomatoes look like little jewels…and that cup is gorgeous! A pasta party really sounds perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

  4. it seems to me that there are very few foods more pretty than heirloom tomatoes. not only is this dish beautiful, but it must taste amazing! great recipe, marla. :)

  5. Loved your post here! And the recipe looks fabulous, I will have to try it sometime.
    My husband and I actually live in Mexico, about 4 hours south of Juarez. We love it here! There is so much fresh produce, including avocados that is SO cheap.
    Love you blog!

  6. This would be delicious. It is incredibly different than the “usual” spaghetti flavour profiles. Love avocado… pumpkin seed oil would be great with this, too. I find myself consistently attracted to strong fresh bold flavours – and they are all right here in this bowl. The seeds would be a great texture taste addition. Love it.
    Thanks,
    :)
    Valerie
    PS – avocados in Edmonton AB are expensive :) (just a reference to Liesl’s comment)

  7. Avocados are fruits of the Gods and you are a goddess. If that tastes as good as those photos are , I will be in heaven. With your recipes, that is a guarantee!

  8. this looks like it has my name all over it…. I could eat this for breakfast lunch and dinner on a daily basis! I am an avocado fanatic… lets plan an avocado pot luck with all the girls asap!

  9. That bowl of tomatoes is teasing me. I cant wait to get some vine ripened tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market. And this salad looks like a perfect way to use them. Very nice!. .

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