Corn, Feta, and Chive Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

I met my husband Chris for lunch last week in Boston.

We went to a bistro/cafe, full of gorgeous glass display cases overflowing with delicious pasta and fruit salads, and serving made-to-order sandwiches on freshly baked bread.

The place was packed.

Every table was occupied with summer tourists on family vacations and office workers on lunch break.

The line was out the door.

So Chris and I had plenty of time to study the menu…



And we discovered the genius idea of dressing a fresh pasta salad with creamy avocado purée.

This tasty homemade version features lots of crisp seasonal summer veggies (what’s better than sweet corn from the cob in summer?) and savory chives and feta cheese for lots of flavor.

The pasta salad is dressed with nothing more than fresh avocado purée with lemon, which is rich, creamy, and full of flavor.

It’s so simple yet really deliciously flavorful.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for Corn, Feta, and Chive Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing:

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need.

Begin by boiling a large pot of water and salting the water.

Add some whole wheat bow-tie pasta and cook until it’s just al dente, about 7 minutes.

Drain the pasta and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Next, add the husked corn to the still-boiling salted water and boil until the corn is cooked through.

After it’s cooled for a few minutes, set a corn cob upright in a large mixing bowl.

Then run a small pairing or serrated knife down the corn cob, cutting all the kernels so they fall into the bowl.

In the meantime, while the corn and pasta are boiling and cooling, begin chopping some of the other veggies.

Dice up a tomato…

… and dice up an orange bell pepper too.

Cut the pepper in half and remove all the seeds.

Cut the pepper into thin slices lengthwise.

Then run your knife back through in the opposite direction, dicing up the pepper.

Chop up some chives.

Kitchen shears make the job easy, but a sharp knife will work too.

Cut an avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit.

Then scoop out all the avocado meat and place in a food processor.

Squeeze out all the juice from a lemon and add that to the food pro as well.

Season with some salt and pepper.

And pulse until you have a smooth, creamy mixture.

Pretty Important Note: This is the only down side to a completely fresh and all-natural dressing for the pasta salad. Even when you’ve added lemon juice to the avocado and even when you’ve covered and stored the pasta salad in the fridge, the avocado will begin to turn brown, sometimes within just a couple of hours.  So the avocado dressing really should be prepared immediately before serving.

Grab a large bowl and mix together the pasta and the avocado dressing.

Add in all the veggies, the chopped chives, and some crumbled feta.  Stir one last time and you’re ready to serve.

This is one of my favorites for summer.

I love pasta salad in general.

But this one, so fresh and summer-y and bursting with flavor, is especially memorable.  It’s really creamy from the avocado, with bursts of cheesy flavor from the salty feta.  There’s a hint of citrus from the lemon and a delicate, slight onion-y burst of flavor from the chives.

This pasta salad is so much healthier than the mayo- and cheese-smothered versions sold at grocery store delis. But it tastes just as creamy and richly flavorful as any of those.

Here is the complete, printable recipe for Corn, Feta, and Chive Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing:

Corn, Feta, and Chive Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 6
  • Calories: 219
  • Fat: 8.6g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.3g
  • Sugar: 2.4g
  • Sodium: 53mg
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Protein: 7.3g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg
Recipe type: Clean Eating: Vegetarian
Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Level: Easy
  • 3 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ½ orange bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice squeezed from 1 lemon
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 6 ounces whole wheat farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
  1. Boil a large pot of water. Salt the water and add the farfalle. Cook until just al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain the pasta and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the corn to the boiling water and boil until corn is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove corn from pot and allow it to cool. Place first ear of corn upright in a large bowl and run a serrated or pairing knife down each side, cutting off all the kernels. Add the diced tomato and the diced bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Scoop the avocado meat into a food processor. Add the fresh lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until the avocado is completely smooth and creamy. Stir and combine the cooled pasta and the avocado dressing in a large bowl. Add the corn mixture, the chopped chives, and the crumbled feta. Stir again to combine, and serve.

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  1. July 16, 2012 / 4:14 pm

    okay, so tonight I’m eating Chez Scrumptious Pumpkin style! I happen to have all the ingredients and this avacado dressing sounds sublime!!!!

      • July 21, 2012 / 7:50 pm

        I did make it and it was delicious! I especially like the idea of using the avocado. At first I thought there might be too much lemon, but once it was mixed in with everything, the amount was perfect! Fortunately, the recipe made enough for leftovers!

  2. July 16, 2012 / 4:17 pm

    This pasta salad looks super refreshing and delicious 😀
    Simply fantastic!

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. July 16, 2012 / 4:47 pm

    Looks delicious, such refreshing ingredients!

  4. July 16, 2012 / 4:53 pm

    I love the simple and fresh flavors that you’ve got going on here. I would definitely be a loyal patron at your lil’ bistro! 🙂

  5. July 16, 2012 / 4:54 pm

    It sounds delicious ,we will try it.Thanks a million.Jalal Michael

  6. July 16, 2012 / 6:35 pm

    Consider that we are all enjoying the fare at your virtual cafe/bistro. This looks ever so pretty, like so many of your creations, but – most importantly – absolutely delicious!

  7. refinedchef
    July 16, 2012 / 7:49 pm

    Almost like a cob salad, but completely diffrent! Pictures look so good. Thanks for sharing.

  8. July 16, 2012 / 10:26 pm

    Yum! Lovely to see you back…I have missed your tasty treats x

  9. July 17, 2012 / 11:52 am

    Sounds refreshing and so delicious for these hot summer days. Thanks for posting you dream recipes.

    • July 18, 2012 / 1:58 pm

      We have been experiencing quite the never-ending heat wave, so I can’t seem to get enough of simple, fresh pasta salad these days! 🙂

  10. July 17, 2012 / 12:24 pm

    I love the flavor combination in this salad and the sound of the avocado dressing! Perfect summer salad!

  11. July 17, 2012 / 1:12 pm

    I’m sure one day your dream will come true but in the meantime I enjoy being a regular at your virtual restaurant… the specials are fantastic, the other patrons are great and the chef/owner is very entertaining 😉

  12. July 17, 2012 / 1:58 pm

    Not a fan of mayo sauce…avocado dressing is exactly what I love. The salad looks perfect.

  13. July 17, 2012 / 2:26 pm

    I just made a note to pick up an avocado on the way home from work. This looks like the perfect recipe for our summer heat wave!

  14. July 17, 2012 / 4:21 pm

    Totally love the idea of the avocado and lemon dressing – so fresh and summery! What a great take on a pasta salad, and so good for you, too. Thanks!

  15. July 18, 2012 / 9:47 am

    I love the simple avocado dressing you’ve used on this salad – it looks and sounds very summery!

  16. July 18, 2012 / 9:48 pm

    Beautiful …colorful salad! Looks and sounds delicious! Definitely making this!
    Keep the restaurant dream alive!!! With the beautiful and healthy food you make…very possible!!

  17. July 19, 2012 / 8:24 am

    This looks so perfect and refreshing for summer!

  18. July 19, 2012 / 4:37 pm

    So fresh and delicious! I love the avocado dressing…I could eat this pasta salad all day! Yummy summer recipe!

  19. July 20, 2012 / 4:26 pm

    Your pasta looks healthy and fresh! I definitely going to try it next week!

  20. July 20, 2012 / 10:57 pm

    The salad sounds wonderful. The colors are so vibrant which makes the salad so eye appealing.

  21. July 23, 2012 / 1:33 pm

    I pretty much use avcados n everything….not only dothey taste good but they are so healthy too. I have used them in salads but never made a dressing from them…great idea!

    And i loveeeee that picture with the scissors and chives 😀

  22. July 24, 2012 / 1:26 am

    Looks bright and delicious – great idea to use an avocado dressing – adds that creaminess to fresh and crispy vegetables. Delicious post!

  23. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    July 24, 2012 / 4:16 am

    Hello Jen! Thanks for stopping by my blog so that I could find your blog! I love your pasta salad. It’s so summery and my children will love this flavor. I don’t add bell peppers, but the bright color really gives nice touch. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  24. July 24, 2012 / 2:47 pm

    Gorgeous, and the list of ingredients makes my hungry!

  25. July 25, 2012 / 9:53 am

    Oooo yum! I love everything about this salad! The creamy avocado dressing with the chives and fresh veggies sounds so perfect for the summer, bookmarking this one 🙂 !!

  26. July 27, 2012 / 11:16 am

    This salad looks so beautiful! And yummy! Great photos 🙂

  27. July 28, 2012 / 2:29 pm

    What a pretty summer pasta salad. I love the addition of the avocado dressing.

  28. July 30, 2012 / 9:04 am

    I love your pasta salad!!
    Delicious and refreshing!!

  29. July 30, 2012 / 11:59 am

    This is beautiful! I assume it doesn’t quite keep well because of the avocado, yes? I can never make anything with avo that doesn’t turn brown in just a few hours :\

  30. August 30, 2012 / 12:33 pm

    This looks amazing and so colourful! I love it when I see someone who loves avocado as much as I do. I have a lot of catching up to do on your blog (and the blogging community in general!) so look out for more comments from yours truly 🙂

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