Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad with Avocado combines juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and creamy avocado in a pasta salad that showcases the best of summer produce, with Kalamata olives, crumbled Feta, and fresh dill adding extra flavor and color.
Today I bring you a pasta salad that I've revamped from one of Five Heart Home's most popular (and very first) recipes ever! To date, Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives & Feta has been viewed and pinned about 100,000 times each (thanks, y'all!). So if that recipe appeals to so many people, I figured you all might also enjoy a pasta salad spin on it, with an additional ingredient that really takes it over the top.
I think what makes this salad so delicious is its variety of colors, textures, and flavors. In the original salad, you had juicy, acidic tomatoes countered by crisp cucumbers, crumbled Feta, and briny Kalamata olives...all topped by a garlic-kissed vinaigrette, infused with fresh dill, plus more dill for garnish.
So why mess with a good thing? Well, adding al dente pasta turns this veggie-based salad into something a bit more filling, yet still light enough to enjoy all summer long. But my new secret ingredient? Chunks of avocado, which elevate an already delicious salad from exceptionally yummy to oh-my-gosh amazing. Avocado might not be quite as Mediterranean as the other ingredients, but it sure does complement them, adding creamy richness to the fresh flavors of the cucumbers and tomatoes.
Of course, if you don't like avocado, leave it out. If you don't like olives, omit them. If you don't like Feta cheese...you get the drift. This pasta salad is infinitely customizable, and you can adapt it to suit your tastes. But if you already happen to like all of these ingredients individually, I think you'll find them to be pretty dynamite once combined!
As for the pasta you see here...I actually bought some pretty, tri-colored spiral pasta to use in this recipe, but when I went to boil it, I couldn't find it in the pantry. Nor could I remember unpacking it from my shopping bags the other day. Don't you hate it when you know you put something in your cart at the grocery store but it somehow doesn't make it home? Of course, I may have been a little distracted running errands that afternoon with my face-painted day campers in tow, so no telling what actually happened to my pasta.
But luckily I had some bow ties in the pantry and they worked just fine. Bottom line? Use your favorite shape of pasta or whatever you have available. That way your salad will by unaffected by the potential forgetfulness of a distracted mom and/or harried grocery store bagger. 😉
If you love cucumbers and tomatoes, or if you happen to find yourself overrun with a garden full of them this summer, I hope you'll give this recipe a try! And if you're still looking for a last-minute Fourth of July side dish, I'm pretty sure this one would disappear quickly. Of course, you don't need a holiday or a picnic or a BBQ to enjoy it...this Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad with Avocado would also make a fabulous lunch or light supper all summer long, and you could even toss some slices of grilled chicken on top if that's you're thing.
Enjoy, friends! Have a great week, and may you make it home from the grocery store with all of your pasta salad ingredients in tow. 😉
Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad with Avocado Recipe
Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad with Avocado
DILL & GARLIC VINAIGRETTE:
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 large clove garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 pound pasta, spiral, bow-tie, or your favorite shape
- 1 pound tomatoes, cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half, or about 3 large tomatoes, seeded & chopped
- 1 pound cucumbers, approximately 2 large or 4 small, diced
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, drained, pitted, & sliced
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 to 3 avocados, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, for garnish
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
- Place ingredients in a jar, tighten the lid, and shake until incorporated.
FOR THE SALAD:
- Cook pasta, according to package directions, in well-salted water. Drain, rinse, and cool.
- In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Toss with about 2/3 of the vinaigrette until everything is evenly coated (reserve the remaining 1/3 of the vinaigrette to add just before serving).
- Cover salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove from the refrigerator, add diced avocado, and stir in remaining vinaigrette (to taste). Garnish with dill, if desired.
- When I make pasta salad, I like to add the majority of the dressing when I mix everything together and then allow the flavors to blend in the refrigerator for several hours. Most of the dressing gets absorbed into the pasta during this time, so I typically stir in some additional dressing just before serving for extra moisture and flavor. But if you feel that using the entire amount of vinaigrette would be too much, simply add the amount that suits your tastes.
- I like to add avocado just before serving so that it doesn't turn brown.
Adapted from Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives & Feta
More Summer Favorites
- The Easiest, Tastiest, BEST Way to Cook Fresh Corn
- German Potato Salad
- Bacon-Wrapped Cheese-Stuffed Hot Dogs
- White Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip
- Homemade Blackberry Cobbler
- Minty Peach Lemonade