This Southwestern Pasta Salad is packed with healthy veggies and coated with the most flavorful southwestern dressing… it’s the perfect side dish for your next potluck or cookout!
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Southwestern Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is incredibly easy to make and comes together in just 30 minutes. It’s satisfying enough to eat as a main meal and feeds a crowd.
This recipe yields a huge bowl and feeds about 12 people (1-cup servings). The dressing is so zesty and flavor-packed. It’s not a mayonnaise-based dressing so it’s on the lighter side but couldn’t be more satisfying… always a crowd-pleaser!
If you’re going to prepare this a day ahead of time, skip the avocado add it just before serving so that it isn’t browned.
- 8 ounces small elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (more or less, to taste)
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel yellow corn, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper (I used a mixture of red, yellow and green)
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
- 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 avocado, pitted and chopped*
- 1/3 cup tightly packed fresh chopped cilantro
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with water and allow to cool.
- While pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic and honey.
- Place corn, black beans, bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes, avocado cooked pasta and cilantro in a large bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle dressing over salad and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
*If preparing a day ahead of time, skip the avocado and add just before serving.