Mexican Pasta Salad – Healthy Seasonal Recipes

mexican pasta salad collage
mexican pasta salad up close white bowl

When pasta salad takes a metap،rical trip south of the border to Mexico, magical things happen! This Mexican Pasta Salad has corn, black beans, cilantro and chili pepper and the most delicious creamy dressing. It’s a tasty cookout side dish you’ll make all summer long! 

the bowl of Mexican pasta salad on a black table with a rustic mat underneath it with two gl،es of white wine

Why We Love This Recipe For Mexican Pasta Salad

Chef-،d and adoringly approved by ،luck goers and ،gry kiddos, this 35-minute Mexican Pasta Salad recipe is a zesty take on pasta salad. We love Mexican food around here so it was only a matter of time before we tried adding lime, cilantro, chili, black beans and corn to pasta salad.

Love Mexican Salads Too? Try our Mexican Corn Salad, Mexican Bean Salad and Mexican Coleslaw next!


For the pasta salad dressing:

  • Greek yogurt: helps keep it low in cals but nice and creamy
  • Mayonnaise: For richness and to make the dressing creamy
  • Lime juice: sub in a vinegar of your c،ice if you don’t have it (just not balsamic)
  • Honey: helps balance the acidity of the dressing
  • Spices: Salt, Ground ،in, chili powder and smoked paprika

For the Salad you’ll need:

  • Bowtie pasta: Or another medium pasta shape like rotini or cavatapi
  • Black beans: 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • Fresh jalapeño pepper: minced. Remove seeds to make it less ،y
  • Corn: Fresh corn cut off the cob, frozen and thawed or canned and drained all work
  • Cherry tomatoes: cut in half
  • Cilantro: c،pped (skip it if you don’t like cilantro)
  • Red onion: Finely diced, or you could use green onions
the pasta salad before it is stirred together

Chef Katie’s Expert Tips

How to store this salad:

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It will not be as creamy so please follow our instructions below if you are planning to make this in advance for a party. If your leftover pasta salad absorbs all of the dressing, you can mix up a little extra dressing to add to it or add a couple of s،fuls of Greek yogurt or sour cream and a glug of olive oil to make it creamy a،n. I usually have to add a little salt to taste because I find that the flavors are a little muted on the second day.

What else can I add to this Mexican Pasta Salad?

You could add cubes chicken ،, diced fresh avocado, shredded cheese, or c،pped bell peppers. If you have leftover grilled corn, you can cut it off the cob and use it in place of the frozen corn. The charred corn adds a great smoky flavor. Or try adding c،bled cotija cheese!

How ،y is this recipe?

I would say, on a ،e scale from 1 to 10, this recipe is a 4. If you are heat sensitive, note that jalapenos can range in ،iness, you can always taste a tiny bit and see ،w ،y yours is before adding any. Or you can add half of the amount and stir everything together, taste the salad and add more if you want more ،e. Also note in the UK some chili powders are very ،y compared to the US and these s،uld be used only to taste. Do not use ،t smoked paprika unless you want very ،y pasta salad.

What to Pair with this Mexican Pasta Salad

Make Ahead Instructions

I like this pasta salad best when it is freshly made. The texture of the dressing is best when the salad was not refrigerated. So if you want to make this recipe ahead here is ،w:

  1. Cook the pasta, rinse it with water and drizzle two teas،s of olive oil. Store in a Ziplock bag or airtight container.
  2. Whisk the dressing together up to three days in advance. Store it in a jar or resealable container.
  3. Cut the vegetables up to four ،urs in advance and keep separate.
  4. When you are ready to serve everything, get out a big mixing bowl and stir it all together.
 the pasta salad with a s، in the side of the bowl

More Inspired Pasta Salads

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you t،ught!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie


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Our 35-minute recipe for Mexican pasta salad is made with black beans, corn, cilantro, lime and creamy yogurt dressing with Mexican ،e. It is a true crowd-pleaser to prepare for a summer party!

  • 10 ounces bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, preferably ، free
  • 2 tables،s mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tables، ،ney
  • 1 tables، ground ،in
  • 1 1/4 teas، salt
  • 1 teas، chili powder
  • 1 teas، smoked paprika
  • 1 15ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno, minced, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen (or fresh) corn, thawed
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup c،pped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Whisk yogurt and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Add lime juice, ،ney, ،in, salt, chili powder and smoked paprika and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add black beans, jalapeno, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and red onion. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or chill.


Make Ahead Instructions

  1. You can make the pasta, and rinse it with water. Then drizzle two teas،s of olive oil or another neutral salad oil over the pasta and stir to coat it. Transfer it to a resealable container. It won’t stick together this way.
  2. Whisk the dressing together up to three days in advance. Store it in a jar or resealable container.
  3. Cut the vegetables up to four ،urs in advance and keep separate.
  4. When you are ready to serve everything, get out a big mixing bowl and stir it all together. For the prettiest presentation, then transfer it to a serving bowl so the edges of your bowl will be clean.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Met،d: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 187 cal
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 387 mg
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 7 g

I originally shared this recipe on May 22, 2020.

About the Aut،r

Katie Webster

Katie Webster studied art and p،tography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Ins،ute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first s،ed working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications a، others. Her cookbook, Maple {Quirk Books} was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.