Penne pasta with avocado on plate

Mexican penne with avocado

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(124 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 2

Get all five of your 5-a-day in this mildly spiced, healthy pasta dish. It's rich in iron, fibre and vitamin C as well as being low-fat and low-calorie

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal495
  • fat15g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars26g
  • fibre18g
  • protein15g
  • salt0.4g
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  • 100g wholemeal penne
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 1 large onion, sliced, plus 1 tbsp finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 orange pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 196g can sweetcorn in water


    sw-eet corn

    Also known as corn on the cob, sweetcorn is composed of rows of tightly packed golden yellow…

  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 avocado, stoned and chopped



    Although it's technically a fruit, the mild-flavoured avocado is used as a vegetable. Native…

  • ½ lime, zest and juice



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • handful coriander, chopped, plus extra to serve


  1. Cook the pasta in salted water for 10-12 mins until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium pan. Add the sliced onion and pepper and fry, stirring frequently for 10 mins until golden. Stir in the garlic and spices, then tip in the tomatoes, half a can of water, the corn and bouillon. Cover and simmer for 15 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, toss the avocado with the lime juice and zest, and the finely chopped onion.

  3. Drain the penne and toss into the sauce with the coriander. Spoon the pasta into bowls, top with the avocado and scatter over the coriander leaves.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Zoe Mallam's picture
Zoe Mallam
25th May, 2020
After reading so many negative comments I wasn't sure how good this dish would be... turns out it was absolutely delicious! I added less onion and less chilli powder and it was perfect, enjoyed by both of us.
Kandice Davies's picture
Kandice Davies
30th Apr, 2020
I happened to find this dish very very delicious, personally next time I would chopped all the onion up finely instead of sliced and also for my meat eater partner I'd add a chicken breast on top instead of avocado also I think spring onions would work better with the avocado on top. Other than that this dish is absolutely divine and I definitely didn't feel it needed cheese or anything else. But if you wanted to pack it out add some kidney beans x
Rebecca Joyce
13th Jan, 2020
Needs a number of adjustments to take it filling and easy to eat: more pasta needed, add some chicken and cheese to the sauce, blend the onions, tomatoes and peppers before adding in the other things. You could also easily get away with a lot less sweet corn. That said, the flavours were good and worked well.
8th Jan, 2020
I found I had to add quite a lot of seasoning to enhance the flavour, but we liked this recipe. Replacing the sweetcorn with a can of drained butterbeans worked well and made a more substantial vegetarian meal. We're going to eat our leftovers with rice tomorrow, and add fresh tomatoes to the avocado salad.
8th Jan, 2020
Tastes good, but just missing a wow for me - I think Adding-chicken and Grating cheese on top before adding advocado topping will make it be perfect!
30th Nov, 2019
Lovely recipe for a healthyish but yummy meal. I added a little sugar to take away the sharpness. I also halved the spices and added a little smoked paprika. The raw chopped onion on top with the avocado and lime juice so don’t leave this out!
Max's picture
28th Oct, 2019
If you think it's horrible, you're most likely making it wrong. This pasta dish was absolutely SUPERB, very tasty and flavorful, me and my bf loved it. We didn't use corn as we didn't like the sound of it- but it's absence didn't hinder the recipe at all, one thing I would highly recommend is putting Quorn chunks in it like we did... Very easy and very simple. TIP: If you've left your sauce reducing for too long and its gone a bit too thick, add some pasta water!
24th Oct, 2019
I thought that this was absolutely horrible. Even though I added a sliced chicken breast for extra flavour. Not giving it any stars
12th Jun, 2019
Wanted to try out a new Mexican recipe and this one is ok but not amazing. A good way to pack in your veg but it you definitely only need half a large onion and a squeeze of lime on the avocado (those two things ruined the recipe for me unfortunately!)
Tasha Tuh's picture
Tasha Tuh
25th Mar, 2019
very tasty reciepe. will definitely be making some again!


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