Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lemon Dressing

Tis the season for summer cookouts and pot lucks.  As the warmer weather approaches, my number of outside cookout obligations increases exponentially. Of course that means being able to produce multiple tasty “summery” dishes for each occasion.  But let’s be honest, you can only eat so many potato salads, raw veggies, and fruit…aka, staple cookout foods. Often times, however, it’s tricky to magically produce a new recipe every weekend!  I like to spice it up a bit and bring something a little out of the ordinary, something that tends to catch people off guard but that leaves them surprisingly satisfied.

This recipe is great for that very reason. It’s a wonderful way to get lots of veggies and get your “pasta salad” fix without loading up on store-bought junk.  Opt for something fresh that will leave you feeling well when you leave your summer gathering, not wishing for a detox program.
The dressing is loaded with flavor and super simple to whip up. Enjoy, Foodies :) DSC_0087

Thinner “pasta” noodle (Veggetti)

Thicker “pasta” noodle (sliced)

Zucchini "Pasta" Salad Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lemon Dressing

This is the perfect dish for any get-together that will make traditional pasta salad shudder in its bowl! It’s a great way to get lots of veggies with the “pasta” texture that you love!
Make the dressing not only for this dish, but for other salads!

For the Salad

  • 2 medium zucchini squash (spiralized or cut into thin strips (see instructions))
  • 1 medium yellow or orange bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt or sea salt

For the Dressing

  • 1 medium avocado (ripe)
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic (peeled)
  • 2 tbsp. plain yogurt (organic)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika or cayenne pepper (add more or less depending on your likes)
  • 3/4 tsp. Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (chopped, stems removed)

For the Salad

  1. Spiralize the zucchini into thin strips by 1) slicing the zucchini into thin strips long-ways 2) by hand or with a mandolin or 3) use a Veggetti to make spiralized zucchini noodles. You could also slice in a food processor.
  2. Chop remaining vegetables as directed and toss together with the zucchini pasta.

For the dressing

  1. Using a food processor or a blender, place the garlic cloves and avocado into the machine and process until smooth.

    Add in the yogurt, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and paprika. Process until combined, scraping sides as needed. Add a little more yogurt if you desire a thinner texture,

    Add in the cilantro and pulse, being careful not to overly chop the cilantro.

  2. Toss the dressing together with the vegetable pasta mixture just before serving.

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