Learn how to prepare this Mexican pasta salad using simple ingredients. Ready in less than an hour, it’s creamy, crunchy, and flavorful.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Affordable. This salad uses pantry staple ingredients and fresh seasonal vegetables. It’s also great to feed a crowd!
- Easy. Besides the minimal baking and boiling, it is pretty much cutting, whisking, and tossing. Anyone can make it.
- Healthy. Packed with fiber, protein, and plenty of vegetables, it’s a well balanced meal in itself.
- Full of flavor. If you thought Mexican flavors were reserved for tacos, quesadillas, or tortas, think again- this salad will be favorite!
You can make this kind of salad as a quick weeknight meal or prep a big batch for a barbecue or event!
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- Pasta. We used penne pasta, but any pasta works.
- Green onions. Chopped.
- Cherry tomatoes. Halved.
- Canned black beans. Drained.
- Avocado. Diced.
- Cilantro. Chopped finely (you can use Parsley instead)
- Corn kernels. Frozen
- Olive oil. For coating.
- Salt/pepper. To season.
Roasted sweet potato
- Sweet potato. Diced.
- Olive oil. To coat.
- Coriander and cumin. Ground.
- Paprika. For flavor.
For the Mexican pasta salad dressing
- Lime. Juiced.
- Rice Vinegar. For the tangy and sweet flavor.
- Olive Oil. Use extra virgin.
- Garlic. Crushed.
- Cumin. Ground.
- Agave nectar. To sweeten.
- Salt/pepper. To season.
How to make a Mexican pasta salad?
Like any good pasta salad, there isn’t much that goes into making this dish.
Step1: Boil your pasta
In a pot, boil water with a generous amount of salt. Bring the water to boil before adding the pasta to boil to perfection – follow instructions for exact timing. Once boiled, drain and set aside.
Step 2: Roast the corn
Let the oven preheat to 200C/400F. In a large mixing bowl, add the corn kernels, splash them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Adding a single layer to a lined baking try, let them roast for no more than 10-12 minutes before removing the oven.
Step 3: Roast the sweet potato
Lower the oven to 180C/360F, and in the mixing bowl, drizzle olive oil, ground cumin, coriander, paprika, and sweet potato cubes. Season with salt and pepper before thoroughly mixing, and pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Step 4: Assemble the salad
Add your cherry tomatoes, avocado, drained black beans, cilantro, green onions, roasted corn, and roasted sweet potato and pasta in a fresh mixing bowl. Start to toss the pasta until everything is combined well.
Step 5: Prepare the dressing
In a separate mixing bowl, add the garlic, rice vinegar, lime, cumin, olive oil, and agave nectar until all ingredients are well combined.
Step 6: Serve
Place the pasta salad in a serving bowl and drizzle with dressing. Give it a light toss, and the Mexican pasta salad is ready to serve.
Like any good salad recipe, this one is super easy to customize to suit your taste buds!
- Use cilantro. Replace the spicy and citrusy aroma with parsley’s rather mild and herbal touch.
- Add cotija cheese. Like parmesan, this cheese has a salty flavor and brittle texture that goes great with this pasta salad. It’s also hugely popular in Mexican cuisine.
- Add protein. Toss through some crumbled tofu, sliced tempeh, or even a can of chickpeas.
To store. You can refrigerate leftover Mexican pasta salad for up to 5 days using an air-tight container.
To freeze. You can freeze it in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 4 months. Just remove all excess air before freezing.
More pasta salad recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can. Just replace the regular pasta with gluten-free pasta, for example, quinoa pasta, which is easily available at grocery stores.
It has Italy embedded in its roots as a typical Italian summertime recipe. Some trace it back to the great Roman Empire as well.
Mexican Pasta Salad
- 8 oz Pasta 250g
- 3 Green Onions sliced into small pieces
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 1 can Black Beans drained
- 1 large Avocado diced
- 1 bunch bunch of Cilantro chopped finely (you can use Parsley instead)
For Roasted Corn:
- 1 1/2 cups Corn Kernels preferably frozen
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Salt
For Roasted Sweet Potato:
- 1 medium Sweet Potato diced
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
- In a bowl, combine your Cork Kernels with Olive Oil and Salt/Pepper, to taste. Lay on a parchment lined baking tray in a single layer and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Corn is ready when it is nicely browned, not burnt. Remove from oven.
- Combine diced Sweet Potato, Olive Oil, Ground Coriander, Ground Cumin, Paprika and Salt/Pepper, to taste in a bowl. Mix to combine and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Turn oven down to 180C/360F and roast Sweet Potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until golden and tender.
- Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to directions on packaging. Once cooked, drain and place in a large salad bowl.
- Toss Pasta with your Green Onions, drained Black Beans, halved Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado, Roasted Corn, Roasted Sweet Potato and Cilantro.
- To make dressing, combine everything in a bowl and whisk well. Pour over Pasta Salad and toss to combine.