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Overhead view of pasta salad with black beans, corn, avocado and tomatoes in a white bowl.

Southwestern Pasta Salad


  • 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


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with water and allow to cool.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: southwestern pasta salad, pasta salad, southwest pasta salad, southwest macaroni salad