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Orrechiette Pasta with Beans Salad and a Pesto Dressing

The holidays are quickly approaching.  If you are hosting a Thanksgiving gathering you know how difficult it can be if your meals were not planned or ingredients not purchased in advance.  

What’s great is that this Orrechiette Pasta with Beans Salad and a pesto dressing utilizes some common pantry and refrigerator staples if you are ever in a pinch.  The salad can be doubled to feed a crowd as a meal starter or appetizer.  

If you are attending a Thanksgiving event as a guest, this salad also makes a great take along dish.  To save time, you can make it ahead and refrigerate it.  The longer it marinates, the more opportunity the flavors have to marry for an absolutely amazing salad.

It can be served on a bed of mixed greens for a light meal or with some crusty bread.  I would caution you to leave the mixed greens separate from the pasta salad until its ready to be served.  Mixed greens are tender and can easily become wilted and mushy.

Leftovers are not a problem, as this salad refrigerates well and can be used for lunch the following day.

So let’s put this salad together.  

Boil pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Cook or wash and drain beans and set aside. Cut, remove seeds and cube tomato then set aside. Cut and cube cucumber and set aside. Peel and slice onions into rings and set aside. Wash, cut and dice red and green peppers and set aside

In a large bowl, add the ingredients that were set aside for the salad.

Pesto dressing: Place all the listed ingredients in a food processor. Drizzle in 2 tbsp of avocado oil while blending. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add the pesto dressing and the seasonings to the salad. Add cranberries and golden raisins to give a little sweetness to the salad. Toss and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving.


Orrechiette and Beans Pasta Salad with a Pesto Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6
For the salad:
  • 1 cup dry orrechiette pasta
  • 1 can or 1½ cup cooked kidney beans
  • 1 can or 1½ cup cooked garbanzo (chickpeas)
  • 1 medium tomato - seeded and cubed
  • 1 medium cucumber - cubed
  • 1 small onion - sliced in rings
  • 1 small red pepper - diced
  • 1 small green pepper - diced
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ tsp no salt organic seasoning
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp thyme dried or a sprig of fresh thyme
  • ¼ tsp basil dried or a sprig of fresh basil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper- to taste
For the pesto dressing:
  • ⅓ cup walnut pieces
  • Generous handful parsley
  • Generous handful of cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lemon
For pasta:
  1. Boil pasta according to package directions
  2. Stir the pasta while cooking to prevent sticking
  3. Remove from heat when pasta is al dente
  4. Strain and set aside
For pesto:
  1. Place all the listed ingredients in a food processor
  2. Reserve 1 tbsp of avocado oil to drizzle in while blending
  3. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed
  4. When pesto is smooth and creamy, place in a bowl and drizzle with remaining avocado oil.
Prepare salad:
  1. Pour pesto onto the pasta salad
  2. Mix until salad is completely covered with pesto
  3. Add seasoning and mix
  4. Allow time to cool in refrigerator
  5. Serve and enjoy
  6. Serve on a bed of organic baby greens - spinach, romaine, endive,



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