Vegetarian Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

Whole wheat pasta salad with avocado and fresh basil
Whole wheat pasta salad with avocado and fresh basil.
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: about 4 servings

A meatless whole wheat pasta salad made with tomatoes, scallions, fresh basil and topped off with avocado, this is a healthy vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free recipe perfect for summer cookouts, picnics or potlucks.

This whole wheat pasta salad recipe comes from Teen Cuisine: The New Vegetarian by Matthew Locricchio and is designed to be simple, straightforward and tasty enough that vegetarian teens can prepare it on their own. Enjoy!

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes (3 to 3 1/2 cups)
  • 6 to 8 scallions
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces organic whole-wheat fusilli, penne, rotini, or spaghetti
  • 2 ripe avocados

How to Make It

  1. Wash the cherry tomatoes and remove and discard any stems. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, put into a large bowl, and set aside.
  2. Wash the scallions. Remove the root ends and any dark or discolored leaves. Cut both the white part and 3 to 4 inches of the green tops into small pieces and add to the tomatoes. Toss to combine.
  3. Wash the basil, shake off any excess water, and wrap in a paper towel to dry. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and add to scallions and tomatoes.
  1. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl and toss well.
  2. Using the back of a metal spoon, lightly press the tomatoes to break them down and extract some of the juice. Toss again. Cover the bowl with a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature.
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander. Add to the tomato mixture. Toss to combine.
  4. Lay an avocado on the cutting board. With the tip of a sharp knife, start at the stem end and cut lengthwise down the avocado and up the other side. Remember that there is a large pit inside, so don’t try to cut through the flesh. Pick the avocado up and, holding it in both hands, twist it in opposite directions to separate the halves. Scoop out the pit with a tablespoon and discard. Scrape out the avocado pulp and cut into small chunks. Add it to the bowl with the tomato mixture. Repeat with the remaining avocado.
  5. Gently toss the salad until all the ingredients are combined. Arrange the salad on a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.