Mexican Pasta Salad

This Mexican Pasta Salad is full of flavor! Loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, red onions, and fresh cilantro. All tossed in a thick and creamy slightly spicy homemade chipotle lime dressing! This will be your new favorite side dish!

If you love making Mexican side dishes for potlucks, try my Loaded Mexican Sweet Potato Skins or my Healthy Greek Yogurt Guacamole. They’re sure to be a hit!

Mexican Pasta Salad in a white bowl.

With Memorial Day right around the corner what better way to celebrate then with an easy pasta salad recipe! This Mexican Pasta Salad is my favorite! It takes all of the creaminess and crunch of a regular pasta salad and makes it 10 x better by adding tons of Mexican seasonings, black beans and fresh cilantro. It makes the perfect side dish for barbecues, parties, or potlucks!

This Mexican Pasta Salad Recipe takes only 15 minutes of prep time, can be made in advance and makes a great lunch that’s perfect for meal prep. Make it at the beginning of the week then portion it out for easy lunches throughout the week.

About this Mexican Pasta Salad

This colorful fiesta pasta salad is loaded with tons of Mexican flavor! The dressing is thick and creamy with a little kick. I use a combination of sour cream (for the tang) and mayonnaise (to thicken it up.) The dressing has a bit of smokiness and heat from the chipotles in adobo. I also add in a ton of Mexican spices and a fresh squeeze of lime juice. There is SO much flavor in this pasta salad.

Mexican Pasta Salad Ingredients in a white bowl.

Ingredients for the BEST Mexican Pasta Salad

  • Pasta: Use your favorite type of pasta! I love using the jumbo elbow noodles from Trader Joe’s because they do a great job of holding all of the delicious dressing. My other favorite pastas to use for pasta salad are regular elbow macaroni, bow tie noodles, rotini, or cavatappi.
  • Black Beans: To keep it simple I added a can of black beans. They’re already cooked and add flavor, texture and protein.
  • Corn: Corn gives this Mexican Pasta Salad recipe extra sweetness and crunch! Fresh or frozen will both work well.
  • Tomatoes: You can add any kind of fresh tomato you prefer! I love either cherry tomatoes or Roma tomatoes. Vine-ripened usually has the best taste!
  • Cilantro: Add the perfect freshness to this pasta salad. If you are not a fan of cilantro swap it out with fresh chopped parsley.
  • Red onion: Just a little red onion goes a long way! I added 1/4 cup for a little more crunch and flavor. If your red onion has too much of a bite soak it in water for a bit to help muddle the flavors.

Creamy Mexican Dressing:

  • Mayonnaise & Sour Cream: This salad dressing is creamy and tangy thanks to the base ingredients: mayonnaise and sour cream! Feel free to swap Greek yogurt for the sour cream to lighten this dish.
  • Adobo sauce: Just the sauce from a can of chilies in adobo sauce is the ingredient you’ll need. It’s smoky and spicy. Save the chilies for my Spicy Guacamole or my Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa. They also freeze really well!
  • Spices: Chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder are all mixed with the dressing to make a delicious flavor packed sauce!
  • Lime: Finally, a squeeze of fresh lime adds some acidity and freshness to the sauce. Substitute lemon or apple cider vinegar if you are in a pinch.

How to make Mexican Pasta Salad

  • Boil the pasta: Until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.

adding elbow macaroni to large pot of boiling water

  • Make the dressing: In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients: Mayonnaise, sour cream, chipotle in adobo (just the sauce), chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and fresh squeeze lime juice.

stirring Mexican dressing ingredients in clear glass bowl

  • Assemble: Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl along with the black beans, corn, tomatoes, diced red onion and cilantro.

Mexican pasta salad ingredients in large clear bowl

  • Add the sauce ingredients to the pasta and toss to coat.

adding dressing to pasta salad ingredients

Serve and enjoy! Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve this Mexican Corn Pasta Salad immediately or chill before serving. When you are ready to eat serve with sliced or diced avocado.

serving pasta salad in white bowl with spoon

Tips for Success

  • Don’t over cook your noodles: I like to cook the noodles just until al-dente, any longer and the noodles will become mushy and break apart when in the pasta salad.
  • Salt your water: This helps to season the whole dish!
  • Rinse noodles in cold water: This helps to keep the noodles from sticking together.
  • Grilled fresh corn: Would be amazing in this! Simply grill the corn and cut off the cob when cooled. You can also use canned corn in place of frozen in this Mexican Macaroni Salad.
  • Optional add in’s: Green onions, black olives, diced bell pepper, queso fresco, Mexican shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Pasta: Switch up the pasta! I love using the jumbo elbow noodles from Trader Joe’s because they do a great job of holding all of the delicious dressing. You can also use bow tie noodles, rotini, or cavatappi.
  • Add more sauce: If you plan on making this ahead of time and the pasta get’s on the drier side feel free to add in a bit of fresh-squeezed lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil or a couple dashes of hot sauce.
  • Add more heat: I’ve made this with diced jalapeños and it is great!

Mexican Pasta Salad in a white bowl with avocado and a silver fork.

Make-Ahead and Storage

  • To make ahead: I love making this macaroni salad a day or two ahead of time. This really lets the flavors develop!
  • Storage: Store leftover Mexican street corn pasta salad in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

What to serve with this Mexican Pasta Salad

Sere this Mexican side dish for a potluck, or with these other easy tasty dinners:

A hand holding a white bowl of Pasta with avocado and a silver fork.

Here are more Easy Side Dish Recipes to try!

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Mexican Pasta Salad

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

This Mexican Pasta Salad is full with flavor! This pasta salad is loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, red onions and fresh cilantro! All tossed in a thick and creamy slightly spicy homemade chipotle lime dressing! This will be your new favorite side dish!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dried uncooked pasta (I used jumbo elbow macaroni)
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp chipotle in adobo, sauce only
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 medium lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avocado, sliced for serving if desired

Instructions

Images:
  • Boil pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
  • Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl along with the black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and red onion.
  • In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients: Mayonnaise, sour cream, chipotle in adobo, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and lime juice.
  • Add the sauce ingredients to the pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately or chill before serving. When you are ready to eat serve with sliced or diced avocado.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 339 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 181mg8%
Potassium 400mg11%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 689IU14%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 55mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Barbecue Side Dishes, Mexican Pasta Salad, Summer Side Dishes

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