Mexican Pasta Salad

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

This post is brought to you by Pick ‘n Save.

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.

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, both of which hail from the Simple Truth line of products sold at my local Wisconsin grocery store, Pick ‘n Save. Simple Truth–brand products are minimally processed and designed to help making shopping for healthy ingredients easier and more affordable. I’ve truly enjoyed the different Simple Truth products I’ve tried, including the black beans and corn I used in this Mexican Pasta Salad.

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

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. 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 be one of your summertime staples too.

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Mexican Pasta Salad

Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad with corn, black beans, avocado, and a delicious Southwestern yogurt dressing. Easy, healthy, and always a favorite!

Yield: 8 servings (about 10 cups total)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

FOR THE PASTA SALAD:

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (bow tie, elbow, or similar)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Simple Truth corn
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Simple Truth black beans
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  • Make the dressing and cook the pasta up to 1 day in advance. Toss together up to 4 hours before serving.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 8)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 309 Calories
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg
  • Sodium: 414mg
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 12g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

I am sharing this post in partnership with Pick ‘n Save. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

14 comments

  1.  This recipe is genious! I love how everything is going fine but a twist of adding pasta. I can’t wait to make this for summer get togethers.

  2. We are hitting record high with 93 degrees today on the East Coast. I’m not complaining, I love it :)!! And this pasta salad just came to me at the right time, I have everything in my pantry (except feta cheese) to make this recipe happens quick! :) So thank you!

  3. Sounds good as well as nutritious and easy. Thanks!

  4. Love all of the awesome flavors going on in that pasta salad!The black beans, the feta. As always great work (:

  5. hey girl- this looks amazing! yummy!

  6. Really good recipe! Everybody loved it! Tried it after making the strawberry granola bars 2x in one week! Can’t wait to find and try more

    Rating: 5
  7. I love how simple this salad is to put together and great for taking for lunches at work. Great variety of colors and flavors. I’ve made it twice this summer and it keeps well in the fridge (without dressing) for a few days!

    • Diana, I’m so glad to hear this salad is a winner for you! Thank you so much for giving the recipe a try and taking the time to report back. :)

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