This Southwest pasta salad is loaded with veggies and dressed with a creamy, spicy sauce. A spicy, satisfying salad to take to all your summer parties!
I have to say…I struggled with what to call this pasta salad. It’s full of colorful vegetables, cilantro, tri-color beans, and a creamy, spicy dressing. It’s super delicious, and it basically disappeared when I made it.
So, what to call it? Mexican pasta salad? Taco pasta salad? Best pasta salad in the whole world? ;)
Eventually I settled on Southwest Pasta Salad, because I think with the flavors and colors in this salad, that name suits it best.
There are so many things that I love about summer salads like this. For one, you can make it and then eat it for lunch for a few days. I’m all about reducing the amount of cooking I do in the summer!
There are also so many ways you can customize a salad like this! If you like different vegetables, you can throw those in. I think some corn or even chopped avocado would work well in here. If you’d rather have more or less beans, you can adjust that, too. And it’s also really easy to tailor this Southwest pasta salad to your dietary needs.
This salad is naturally dairy free, and I used gluten free pasta shells and egg free mayo to keep it allergy friendly. Of course, you can use whatever mayo you like and whatever type of pasta you prefer!
- 8 ounce box of gluten free shells
- 15 ounce can of tricolor beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1½ cups grape tomatoes, sliced
- half of a medium sweet onion, chopped
- ½ cup packed cilantro leaves
- ¾ cup Earth Balance mayonnaise
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lime or lemon juice
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Once the pasta is cool, place it in a large bowl and add the beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, cilantro, and onion, and toss together.
- In a small bowl, combine the Earth Balance mayonnaise, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, sugar, and lemon or lime juice. Stir well.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables and stir well to combine.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Have you started making summery recipes yet? What’s your favorite salad in the summertime?