Home > Salads > Mexican Pasta Salad Mexican Pasta Salad May 8, 2020 | 37 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. This Mexican Pasta Salad starts with mini bowtie pasta and is loaded with veggies and black beans. A delicious chili-lime vinaigrette tops this salad and ensures a fresh, lively flavor. Craving a Mexican-inspired pasta salad with a creamy dressing? Try this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad — it’s a fan favorite on the site! Mexican Pasta Salad Most pasta salads tend to be on the heavier side with lots of mayo (and trust me, I’m not complaining about those because I love them), but this pasta salad is much lighter. It has a vinegar and olive oil-based dressing that tastes fresh and lively, thanks to the lime juice. The spices add a great depth of flavor and a mild hit of spice. With this flavor-packed dressing, you won’t miss the typical mayo-laden pasta salads! Mexican Pasta Salad Tips I’d recommend using small pasta. The more ridges or grooves in the pasta, the better! With more texture on the pasta, the dressing clings better instead of completely pooling at the bottom of the bowl. Toss often. As this Mexican pasta salad sits for any length of time, the dressing tends to settle at the bottom of the dish or absorb into the pasta. Toss it often and add dressing slowly as needed to refresh the salad. Rinse the pasta in cold water. Once the pasta has been drained, rinse it in cold water and toss it with a few tablespoons of the dressing. This keeps the pasta from sticking together as it finishes cooling and infuses it with the delicious flavor from the dressing. Make sure the pasta is well-salted as it cooks; salting is the only chance you have to season the actual pasta. Without seasoning the pasta, the salad as a whole will taste underwhelming. As a rule of thumb, I add 1 teaspoon salt to 4 cups of water, so about 1 tablespoon of salt when cooking the noodles for this Mexican Pasta Salad. Prepare In Advance This is a salad that can easily be made ahead of time. If you choose to do this, prepare the salad components (besides the avocado) and dressing, but keep the two separated. Store the salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When ready to serve, toss the salad and dressing together and then add the avocado. You want to add the avocado just before eating so it stays fresh and green. If you want to enjoy this salad as leftovers, add avocado to only the portion you’ll be eating. Storage Only combine salad and dressing for what will be enjoyed the same day. Leftovers of this salad don’t store well once dressed. The dressing gets absorbed into the pasta and also softens the veggies. QUICK TIP Tomato cutting hack: If you want to cut your tomatoes quickly, easily, and all at once, here’s a hack I use often. Grab a plate with a lip on the bottom and set it upside down on a clean cutting surface. Place the cherry tomatoes on top inside that lip and then place another plate (with a lip on the bottom) on top of the tomatoes. Gently press the top plate down and using a sharp serrated knife, cut through all of the tomatoes at once. (Visual Here) More pasta salad recipes BBQ Pasta Salad with a creamy BBQ sauce dressing Greek Pasta Salad with a Greek-inspired vinaigrette Italian Pasta Salad with a creamy Italian dressing Asian Pasta Salad with a sesame-soy sauce dressing Broccoli Grape Pasta Salad with a creamy lemon dressing FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Mexican Pasta Salad 5 from 7 votes - Review this recipe This Mexican Pasta Salad starts with mini bowtie pasta and is loaded with veggies and black beans. A delicious chili-lime vinaigrette tops this salad and ensures a fresh, lively flavor. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Mexican Pasta Salad 5 from 7 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe This Mexican Pasta Salad starts with mini bowtie pasta and is loaded with veggies and black beans. A delicious chili-lime vinaigrette tops this salad and ensures a fresh, lively flavor. Course Main Course, Salad, Vegetarian Cuisine Healthy, Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian Keyword Mexican Pasta Salad Prep Time 25 minutes Total Time 25 minutes Servings 6 -8 as a side Calories 651kcal Author Chelsea Cost $6.72 Ingredients3 cups (260g) mini farfalle/bowtie pasta, measured when dry1 cup (135g) corn (fresh or frozen)1 cup (147g) black beans, drained and rinsed3/4 cup (70g) assorted sweet bell peppers, chopped (or just 1 bell pepper)1 cup (135g) cherry tomatoes, halved1/4 cup (33g) red onion, diced1/4 cup (10g) packed cilantro, finely chopped, (~1/3 a bunch)1 avocado, pit removed and choppedDressing3 tablespoons (40g) olive oil3 tablespoons (40g) rice vinegar5 tablespoons (70g) squeezed fresh lime juice1 teaspoon white sugar1/4 teaspoon garlic powder1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder1 teaspoon cumin1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper1 teaspoon fine sea salt InstructionsPASTA: Prepare the pasta according to package directions. (Don't cook all the pasta; only use 3 cups!) Make sure to generously salt the water (I add 1 teaspoon to every 4 cups of water), or the whole salad will taste under-seasoned. If using frozen corn, add it in with the pasta for the last minute of boiling. Drain pasta, rinse under cold water, let cool, and allow to dry. Optional: toss the pasta in a few tablespoons of the dressing as it finishes cooling.FRESH CORN: If using fresh corn, either grill the corn (our favorite way) or cut the corn off the cob raw and add to salad (still delicious!). If grilling the corn, see Note 1.VEGGIE PREP: Meanwhile, drain and rinse one cup of black beans. Chop/prepare all the veggies.SALAD: In a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta, corn, black beans, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Add avocado last (and only to what you are eating; don't add to any salad you have planned for leftovers). DRESSING: In a resealable jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Shake until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad, slowly (You may not want to use all the dressing at once; it's nice to have some to moisten the salad again as it sits - so add it in gradually). Toss to combine. MAKE AHEAD: Mix the ingredients and the dressing separately. Store in airtight containers in the fridge and then combine when ready to eat. Add the avocado last! Recipe NotesNote 1: If you're grilling the corn, preheat the grill to 400 degrees F. Shuck and remove silk from corn. Rub oil all over the sides (about 1/2 teaspoon) and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Place corn on the grill and with the lid closed, turn every 3-5 minutes (check at 3 minutes, flipping 4 times total) until the corn is nicely charred and crisp-tender. Remove corn from the grill and allow to slightly cool before cutting off the cob. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 651kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 2117mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 3042IU | Vitamin C: 62mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 5mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.