Southwest Pasta Salad Recipe

5 Min Read

Looking for a dish that’s bursting with flavor and perfect for picnics, potlucks, or just a refreshing meal at home? Look no further than this Southwest Pasta Salad recipe! Packed with vibrant colors, bold flavors, and wholesome ingredients, this pasta salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Whether you’re hosting a summer BBQ or simply craving a light and satisfying meal, this Southwest Pasta Salad has got you covered. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!


For the Salad:

  • 8 ounces rotini pasta
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cooking the Pasta:

Begin by cooking the rotini pasta according to the package instructions until it’s al dente.

Once cooked, drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl.

Preparing the Ingredients:

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

If using fresh corn, you can grill or boil it until tender.

If using canned or frozen corn, simply drain and rinse it.

Dice the bell peppers, finely chop the red onion, halve the cherry tomatoes, and chop the fresh cilantro.

Assembling the Salad:

Add the cooked pasta, corn, black beans, diced bell peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro to the mixing bowl with the pasta.

Making the Dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until well combined.

Combining Everything Together:

Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the mixing bowl and toss everything together until the pasta and vegetables are evenly coated with the dressing.

Chilling and Serving:

Once everything is well combined, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.

When ready to serve, give the salad a quick toss and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Nutritional Facts

(Per Serving – 1 cup)

  • Calories: 250
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5g
  • Sugars: 4g
  • Protein: 7g


1. Can I make this pasta salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! This pasta salad actually tastes better when it’s had some time to chill and allow the flavors to meld together. You can make it a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

2. Can I customize this recipe to suit my preferences?

Of course! Feel free to customize this pasta salad to your liking by adding or omitting any ingredients you prefer. You can also adjust the seasoning and dressing to suit your taste preferences.

3. Can I make this pasta salad gluten-free?

Yes, you can easily make this pasta salad gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta instead of traditional rotini. Just be sure to check that all of your other ingredients are also gluten-free.

4. How long will this pasta salad last in the refrigerator?

This pasta salad will typically last for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just be sure to give it a good stir before serving as the dressing may settle at the bottom.

5. What are some serving suggestions for this Southwest Pasta Salad?

This pasta salad pairs well with grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu for a complete meal. You can also serve it alongside grilled vegetables or as a side dish to complement your favorite BBQ dishes.

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