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Tuck into this gorgeous, fresh easy Southwest Pasta Salad! Black beans, corn, red peppers, jalapenos, cilantro and red onions feature in this easy to make pasta salad. With the addition of the lime vinaigrette… oh, myyyyyyy.
How yummy is THIS? I’m super excited to share this with you guys. This is a pasta salad that can be a full meal, a side or a snack. This recipe is SO easy, and I love it!
Living in Arizona, I am so lucky to be influenced by these southwestern flavors, and absolutely love to use them wherever I can. This dish is SO southwestern, the only thing it doesn’t have is avocado!
I probably make this at least once a week during summer, and just make more when we eat it all. Do yourself a favor and make a double batch. One for dinner that night, and one for leftovers – this makes a great lunch over the next few days.
Why this recipe works:
- Easy to make ahead.
- Makes a lot!
- GREAT flavors!
This is such a crowd pleaser, and makes me super popular when I bring this to pot-lucks, or to back yard barbecues! Filled with satisfying ingredients, people usually go back for a second, third and fourth helping. I’m totally okay with that.
Can I make this Southwest Pasta Salad ahead?
Like chili, curry and lasagna…this easy pasta salad actually improves if you let it sit in the fridge for a day or so. The flavors intensify, and the pasta marinates in the dressing, making it super flavorful.
I make this ahead and let it hang out and just grab a bowl here or there – lunch, a dinner, whatever.
How to make Southwestern Pasta Salad
Full, printable recipe below – just scroll down to the recipe card!
- Cook your pasta, and drain it and set aside to cool.
- Chop your vegetables.
- Drain your beans and corn, and rinse.
- Whisk up the vinaigrette.
- Combine everything and top with cheese, extra cilantro and lime wedges.
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Easy Southwest Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
- Queso Fresco cheese (I used about 1/3 of a round)
- Extra limes
- Extra cilantro
Prepare the ingredients
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
- Drain and set aside to cool.
- Drain and rinse the corn and black beans, and dice the fresh vegetables.
Make the dressing:
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients, until very well blended (alternatively put all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake).
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked and cooled pasta, the vegetables and the dressing.
Garnish with Queso Fresco cheese, extra limes and cilantro.
- Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for a few days.