It’s a milestone day: the first pasta salad recipe of the summer! This creamy Mexican Pasta Salad marks the start of the sacred season of picnics and potlucks, back porch barbecues, and days at the lake. My goal is to be as occupied as possible not being occupied—and to eat lots of yummy food while I do it.

Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad with corn, black beans, avocado, and a delicious Greek yogurt dressing made with chili and lime juice. Easy, healthy, and always a favorite! Perfect picnics, potlucks, or a light summer dinner. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Over the weekend, Ben and I were lucky enough to host five of our best friends from college, along with two of their little girls.

Since no guest in our house is permitted to be hungry, I had a few of the larger meals planned and stocked the refrigerator with some anytime, make-ahead staples (such as this Mexican Pasta Salad), and my friends brought the rest.

Whenever mealtime hit, we’d pull everything off of the refrigerator shelves, pile our plates high with a delicious hodgepodge of different dishes, and take them outside to our backyard to feast.

It felt like attending a three-day potluck party, with sunny weather, your best friends, and no smartphones in sight.

Mexican Pasta Salad. Healthy recipe with NO premade taco seasoning or artificial ingredients. Simple, easy, and delicious! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

These first weeks of summer are some of my favorites. The days grow longer, and the season still has the illusion of being endless. I spend less time prepping meals and more time enjoying them.

Our mealtimes become less regimented too. On weekends, we often spend the entire day at Ben’s parents’ lake house, where the noontime meal is a spread of chips, dip, and cheese.

“Lunch” doesn’t start until 3 p.m., when we all realize that lying in the sun on a pontoon boat for the past three hours has made us all starving (and Chicken Pasta Salad will hit the spot).

About This Mexican Pasta Salad

This moment—the late-afternoon summer meal, the impromptu gathering with friends, the “I need to eat but I don’t want to cook”—is where Mexican pasta salad shines.

A mix of Mexican-inspired ingredients such as black beans, corn, and avocado, along with hearty whole wheat pasta and a light and creamy Greek yogurt paprika dressing, this Southwestern pasta salad boasts simple prep and complex flavor, with wide crowd appeal.

Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad. The BEST picnic and potluck recipe. Everyone loves it and I never have any leftovers! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

For maximum ease, I used canned black beans and corn.

While this Mexican pasta salad recipe might be my first pasta salad of the summer, it certainly won’t be my last or the last time I make it.

I’ve also grown very fond of this deliciously easy Shrimp Pasta Salad  and this Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad on a lazy Summer afternoon!

If the next three months are as promising as I’m daring myself to believe, you and I have many lazy afternoons to spend working up an appetite.

Whether you potluck, picnic, or simply want to pass more of your time outside of your kitchen than inside of it, let this Mexican pasta salad (or just this Mexican Salad) be one of your summertime staples too.

Easy Mexican Pasta Salad with black beans, corn, avocado, and the best creamy Greek yogurt dressing. Family favorite for easy dinners and perfect for summer picnics and potlucks too! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Make the dressing and cook the pasta up to 1 day in advance. Toss together up to 4 hours before serving.
  • To Store. Place leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

More Easy Salad Recipes

Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad with corn, black beans, avocado, and a delicious Greek yogurt dressing made with chili and lime juice. Easy, healthy, and always a favorite! Perfect picnics, potlucks, or a light summer dinner. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Mexican Pasta Salad

5 from 7 votes
Creamy Mexican pasta salad with corn, black beans, avocado, and a Southwestern yogurt dressing. Easy, healthy, and always a favorite!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins

Servings: 8 servings (about 10 cups total)

Ingredients
  

FOR THE PASTA SALAD:

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta bow tie, elbow, or similar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn
  • (15-ounce) can reduced sodium black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • large avocados peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 3 whole green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 large jalapeno cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1/3  cup  chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 2 limes plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco or similar hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Rinse with cool water, drain, and place in a large serving bowl. Add the corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, avocados, green onions, jalapeno, and cilantro.
  • To make the dressing, in a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the Greek yogurt, olive oil, lime zest and juice, hot sauce, salt, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Taste and add additional salt or spices as desired. Pour over the pasta mixture. Toss to coat, then sprinkle the feta over the top. If time allows, chill for 2 hours prior to serving or enjoy immediately.

Notes

  • Make the dressing and cook the pasta up to 1 day in advance. Toss together up to 4 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 12gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgFiber: 10gSugar: 6g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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