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.

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, 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.

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 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 3 votes
Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad with corn, black beans, avocado, and a delicious 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 Simple Truth corn
  • (15-ounce) can Simple Truth 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: 6mgSodium: 414mgFiber: 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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35 Comments

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  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!

    1. It sounds like great weather for this salad, Amy! I hope you enjoy this recipe and the sun too!

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

      1. Hi Erica! It will last a few days without the dressing. If you’re going to make it ahead, I’d recommend keeping the dressing separate until serving. I’m glad you enjoy it!

  4. 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 more5 stars

  5. 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!

    1. 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. :)

    2. I think you would need to keep out the avocado if you stored it in the fridge. The avocado will turn brown and develop an off flavor when stored cut in the fridge. Whole, ripe avocados store very well in the fridge.

  6. Thanks for what seems to be a great recipe! I have a pick and save near by, and shop there regularly. I find simple truth a great product and always live their produce. I’d like to start a blog also, my focus is in Italian cooking and I’ve been there several times going back in the fall. I’m cooking for a birthday party in May, this will be great! It’s all Mexican. I think I’ll add some cumin as well, I live that spice. Also a little Mexican oregano. Again, thanks, I’ll be sure to follow you from now on! Karen 

  7. In my note to you I gave you the wrong email for me I have several, oops! Sorry I’ll post the right one below..thanks Karen 5 stars

  8. Thanks Erin,  I reread my post, must not have had my glasses on! I kept using ‘live’ instead  of love! I’ve decided to add some precooked shrimp as well.  I look forward to looking at some of your other ideas. And hope to join the world of bogging soon. 

    Thanks again, Karen Redelin 

  9. Me again!! I’m getting ready for a graduation party, I was wondering if doing a shredded cheese instead of feta will make a huge difference in flavor? Shredded is less costly lolll!!!

    1. Hi Tara! It will alter the flavor of the salad a bit, but I think it would still be delicious. I hope you enjoy it if you try it!

  10. I made this for a gathering of retired coworker girlfriends and their husbands. We met at Ancient Hills Winery on the patio in Kelowna, British Columbia. We ordered their Rose icy cold wine and ate Mexician Pasta Salad. Everyone absolutely loved it. Now I am passing the recipe on to all the girls.
    It makes a large recipe. Their was a little bit left so the next day I just added more freshly picked tomatoes and had lunch at another friend. They too thought it was amazing. Thank you well plated!!!5 stars

    1. Hi Carmen! To clarify, did you mean cilantro? If so, you can just omit it. I hope you enjoy the recipe!