Southwest Pasta Salad

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Happy hump day friends, how’s your week going?  Its been the usual blend of hustle and hangout time over here.  I got in a great workout shoulder workout in yesterday, I don’t know if it was just that hard or it had just been a while since I did that kind of strength workout, but man am I feeling it.

Anyhow, today I wanted to share a southwest pasta salad recipe that we have been having on repeat as a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Mexican food is a definite favorite of mine, but a girl should not cannot live on tacos and burritos alone.  So when I am craving my favorite Mexican flavors, but want something a little different, I reach for this delightful pasta salad.  I love it vegetarian with black beans, but you could easily dice up some steak or chicken if you wanted more protein.  You could also use a protein pasta, I have not personally tried that, but I see no reason it wouldn’t be great.

I love this salad as a main course, but it also makes a great side dish for a summer BBQ or something a little different for a Cinco de Mayo party.

Southwest Pasta Salad

Serves 6-8


  • 1 12 oz package pasta (I use the vegetable pasta from TJs because the babies like the colors)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn, fresh, canned or frozen (I like to use the frozen roasted corn from TJs)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced with seeds removed
  • 1 can black olives, drained
  • 3/4-1 cup TJ’s cilantro salad dressing (a salsa ranch or Chipotle dressing would also be good.
  • 1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 4 green onions, diced.

Directions: cook pasta according to package instructions. Once cooked, toss with all ingredients except cotija cheese and green onions. Once thoroughly mixed, gently fold in 2/3 of cheese and green onions. Reserving the remaining 1/3 to sprinkle on top.  Serve room temperature or cold.  Store leftovers in the fridge.

Note, I used whole black olives because the hubs does not like them and it is easy to pick out the whole ones.  If that is not an issue, I think the sliced ones would be great too.

I am linking up with Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands for meatless Monday, stop by to check out tons of delicious vegetarian recipes!

Let me know if you give it a try.  Hope you have a great day!


61 thoughts on “Southwest Pasta Salad

  1. Loving this idea!! I would definitely add some meat for the husband though. I agree, it would be a super great side dish for the summer! Seriously, SO perfect for BBQ’s or pool parties.

    1. Thanks Kelli! I feel like every time I make a vegetarian meal the hubs mentions that it would be great with chicken, lol.

  2. This salad looks SO amazing! I love these kinds of salads and I will definitely be trying this and checking out more!

  3. Past salad is my all time favorite during the Spring and Summer so aim sure I would love this.

  4. This recipe seriously looks so fresh and tasty! And I can make this pretty fast, so I’ll be trying this one. 🙂

  5. Yum! Two of my favorite things: southwestern food and pasta salad! Definitely adding this to my summer rotation! Thanks.

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