Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

Pasta salad is one of those things that you can make in a million different ways. I may be exaggerating, but it's entirely possible that there are literally a million different pasta salad recipes floating around. I remember when I was in high school I used to make a pasta salad with walnuts and lime juice and maybe feta? It was super popular at parties (no, seriously). Well, this pasta salad is totally different but so very good. It's distinctly southwestern, with corn, black beans, and avocado, and it's got this great spicy buttermilk dressing that covers every bite with flavor. It's a great recipe to add to your pasta salad repertoire.

Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
From Cooking Light
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 peeled avocado, cut into wedges
Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain. Place orzo, corn, and next 3 ingredients (through beans) in a large bowl; toss.

Combine buttermilk, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle over orzo mixture and toss. Top with avocado; garnish with remaining cilantro.