Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad

Simple substitutions can make any dish healthier.
12 ounces elbows pasta of choice
5 slices bacon, diced (sub turkey)
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
For the lemon thyme dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise (sub Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon sugar (sub sweetener)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
To make the dressing, combine mayonnaise (yogurt), lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and thyme in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. In a large bowl, combine pasta, bacon, avocado, lemon-thyme dressing, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with thyme.

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