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Mexican Pasta Salad

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


  • 3 cups (260g) mini farfalle/bowtie pasta, measured when dry
  • 1 cup (135g) corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup (147g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup (70g) assorted sweet bell peppers, chopped (or just 1 bell pepper)
  • 1 cup (135g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup (33g) red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup (10g) packed cilantro, finely chopped, (~1/3 a bunch)
  • 1 avocado, pit removed and chopped


  • 3 tablespoons (40g) olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (40g) rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons (70g) squeezed fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • PASTA: 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!


Note 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.


Serving: 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