Southwestern Pasta Salad is a flavor filled side dish that is perfect for a potluck, BBQ, or to bring new parents! This pasta salad is filled with bell peppers, corn, black beans, cilantro, green onions, taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, Greek yogurt, and mayonnaise.
The summer feels like PRIME pasta salad season, and I've been on a roll creating new ones! This Southwestern Pasta Salad, however, is an oldie but goodie, and I decided to make it again this week so I could get some new photos. I've been making a pasta salad every week for the past few weeks so we can have it as part of our picnic dinner on Wednesday nights at soccer, and this one was definitely a hit!
This Southwestern Pasta Salad is a spin off my Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad, which happens to be *the* most popular recipe from my blog. I'll never know how a recipe with a photo that was taken with my iPhone has become so loved but what it lacks in its lackluster picture it makes up for in its taste. This pasta salad has a similar southwest dressing and is definitely a family favorite!
This is a delicious pasta salad that is made with simple ingredients and is perfect for the summer time and family gatherings.
So this pasta salad pretty much is just like the salad, dressing and all, except instead of lettuce, there's pasta. We're trading veggies for carbs. I like it.
So let's break it down. We have pasta (whatever shape you prefer, really), peppers, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro (YUM!), green onions, and a dressing made with part mayo (I use olive oil mayo) and part Greek yogurt mixed with ranch seasoning and taco seasoning. Flavor. Explosion.
This recipe involves some chopping, but is super easy to make. Be sure to refer to the recipe card for the full instructions.
Cook the pasta. To start, bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
Prep the remaining ingredients. While the pasta is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients. Chop the bell pepper, tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro, and prepare the dressing. To make the dressing, combine the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, ranch seasoning, and taco seasoning in a medium bowl and stir well.
Combine the ingredients. Once the pasta is cooked, run it under cold water and then add it to a large salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, black beans, thawed corn, green onions, bell peppers, and cilantro, and stir to mix it all up. Next, add the creamy dressing and stir well so it's all evenly combined. And that's it! Either serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
This cold pasta salad will last a couple of days in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container.
This Southwestern Pasta Salad is one of those side salads that you will be making again and again because it's just that good. It is a great addition to a potluck because it can be made a day in advance, great for making at the beginning of the week and eating for lunches, and is also the perfect side dish to bring to new parents or friends in need.
Add lime zest. For a bit of lime flavor, add the zest from ½ of a lime!
Swap the beans. Instead of black beans you can use pinto beans or kidney beans, if you prefer.
Add black olives. My husband isn't a fan of black olives but if he was, I would love to add them to this pasta salad.
Add chicken. If you want to make this more of a main dish, you can thrown in some shredded chicken. This would be a great use for shredded rotisserie chicken!
Add some spice. If you like things on the spicier side, use medium or hot taco seasoning or add ¼-1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper for a little kick.