Southwest Pasta Salad

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  • Southwest Pasta Salad – Easy, healthy and full of Mexican flavors! Tossed in a delicious and creamy avocado lime dressing.

    This southwest pasta salad recipe is the perfect side dish to bring to a BBQ. It’s loaded with veggies and super flavorful. Some other delicious potluck favorites are Italian tortellini pasta salad, cucumber tomato salad, loaded potato salad, caprese salad and coleslaw.

    bowl of southwest pasta salad with avocado lime dressing drizzled on top

    Mexican pasta salad

    Today I have a super easy and delish pasta salad recipe for you! This southwest pasta salad is easy, healthy and full of Mexican flavors. I like to use a healthier pasta and then add in lots of fresh veggies.

    The dressing is made using avocado, Greek yogurt and a little taco seasoning, among other flavorful ingredients. Blend it all together and then drizzle on the top or toss it all together with the pasta and veggies.

    This Mexican pasta salad is a wonderful addition to a potluck, picnic or just as a side dish. Your family will love it and keep going back for more!

    ingredients for southwest pasta salad in a bowl

    Ingredients

    Pasta: I typically use penne, however you can really use any type of pasta that you have on hand. Rotini, farfalle and macaroni are all great options too.

    Beans: We use black beans, but you could use pinto beans if preferred. Just make sure they’ve been rinsed and drained!

    Veggies and herbs: This pasta salad is loaded with veggies & herbs! Add in your favorites like corn, bell pepper, onions, cilantro and cherry tomatoes.

    Dressing: I love to make a homemade avocado lime dressing and drizzle it on top. It has tons of flavor and is made with avocado, green onions, garlic, cumin, Greek yogurt, lime juice, milk and taco seasoning. Everything gets blended together and is super creamy and delicious.

    Extras: Feel free to add in some shredded or salsa chicken for extra protein. You can even use a different dressing, like ranch, cilantro lime or chipotle dressing.

    How to make southwest pasta salad

    Scroll down for the printable southwest pasta salad recipe.

    1. Cook pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, then pour pasta into a large bowl.
    2. Add veggies & herbs. Add the black beans, corn, bell pepper, cilantro, green onions and cherry tomatoes. Toss until combined.
    3. Make dressing. In a food processor or blender, combine avocados, lime juice, green onions, garlic, cumin, Greek yogurt, milk and taco seasoning. Pulse until combined and creamy. S&P to taste.
    4. Assemble and serve. To serve, either drizzle with dressing as shown or toss to coat pasta and veggies. Enjoy!

    southwest pasta salad in a white bowl with avocado lime dressing on top

    Make-ahead and storage tips

    To make ahead:

    This southwest pasta salad can easily be made ahead of time. Simply mix all ingredients together and toss in the avocado lime dressing to evenly coat the pasta and veggies. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

    To store:

    If you have leftovers, simply place them in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Sometimes I save a little extra of the dressing and mix it in before enjoying again so that the pasta doesn’t dry out. :)

    More pasta salad recipes:

    Southwest Pasta Salad Recipe

    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Keyword: mexican pasta salad, southwest pasta salad, southwest pasta salad recipe, Southwestern Pasta Salad
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 236
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    Southwest Pasta Salad - Easy, healthy and full of Mexican flavors! Tossed in a delicious and creamy avocado lime dressing. 

    Ingredients

    Pasta Salad:

    • 13.25 ounce box penne pasta
    • 15 ounce can black beans , drained and rinsed
    • 11 ounce can corn , drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 orange bell pepper , chopped
    • 1/4 cup cilantro , chopped
    • 3 green onions , sliced
    • 5 ounces cherry tomatoes , halved

    Avocado Lime Dressing:

    • 2 avocados , pitted and halved
    • 3 green onions
    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 3 Tablespoons fat free plain Greek yogurt
    • juice of 1/4 lime
    • 3/4 cup fat free milk
    • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Instructions

    • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour into a large bowl. Add black beans, corn, bell pepper, cilantro, green onions, and cherry tomatoes. Toss.
    • To make dressing: In a food processor or blender, combine avocados, green onions, garlic, cumin, Greek yogurt, lime juice, milk and taco seasoning. Pulse until combined and creamy. If too thick, add a little more milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
    • Serve southwest pasta salad either by drizzling with dressing (as shown) or toss to coat pasta and veggies. Enjoy!

    Notes

    • Can use other dressings like ranch, cilantro lime or chipotle.
    • To make ahead: Mix all ingredients together and toss in the avocado lime dressing to evenly coat the pasta and veggies. Cover with plastic wrap or lid and store in fridge until ready to serve.
    • To store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Sometimes I save a little extra of the dressing and mix it in before enjoying again so that the pasta doesn't dry out. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Vitamin C: 15.3mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1.6mg
    PIN THIS RECIPE

    Originally written by Jen from Yummy Healthy Easy.

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