Southwest Pasta Salad

by Dawn
8 servings
25 min

There's really nothing like a good cold salad in summer. This Southwest Pasta Salad recipe is perfect for adding a twist to your glorious spread for your next sunny soirée. Basic pasta salad ingredients with added black beans and corn paired with a zesty southwest sauce make this recipe perfect.

small white bowl filled with southwest pasta salad

It's so easy to add a tasty twist to a classic pasta salad with a few simple ingredients.

If you are looking for the perfect side dish for your next cookout or grilled meal, this is it.

up close view of southwest pasta salad with jalapeno slices as garnish

While I love my go-to traditional salads like potato salad and pea salad, having fun variations like this at my fingertips is a must.


This creamy pasta salad is a unique twist to a traditional pasta salad. This simple recipe uses basic ingredients to amp up this classic salad.

Make a quick stop at your local grocery store and you'll be set for an amazing pasta salad that will have everyone asking where they can get some too! This southwest inspired dish features the addition of black beans, corn and a zesty southwest sauce.

southwest pasta salad ingredients placed in a glass bowl before mixing

It's perfect on its own or with grilled chicken added to it. It's the perfect cold summer side dish. Honestly, the options are limitless!!


Here is a list of the simple ingredients needed to make this delicious creamy Southwest pasta salad with rotini. This will become one of your favorite summer salads.

over the top southwest pasta salad with serving fork and spoon inside

Make sure to visit the recipe card below to get specific measurements and instructions.

Here is what you need:

  • Rotini pasta
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green pepper
  • White onion
  • Black beans
  • Kernel corn
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh jalapeños (optional)
up close over the top pasta salad photo with sliced jalapeños to decorate


  • Sour cream
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Ground chipotle chili pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Ground Cayenne


  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Mixing bowls of various sizes
  • Large pot
  • Large serving bowl
  • Spatula
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Strainer
  • Two wooden spoons for tossing
up close view of southwest pasta salad with jalapeno slices as garnish


Ready to make easy summer salads? This will be a favorite go-to. Follow these simple steps to make your own,

Start by boiling water in a large pot and cook the rotini until it's al dente. Once it's done, strain the liquid.

Next up, combine all of the salad ingredients along with the pasta and toss until fully mixed.

In a medium bowl, combine the dressing ingredients until completely blended.

Then, pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss until salad is coated. Voila!

Be sure to store any leftovers in a sealed food safe container. Best for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Does this Southwest Pasta Salad need to be refrigerated?

Yes, this salad should stay refrigerated until ready to eat. Sour cream shouldn’t be left out at room temperature for too long.

The southwest pasta salad is a delicious summer side dish. The perfect way to beat summer's heat.

Let me know if you make it by sharing a pic and tagging @cutefetti.

Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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  • 12 ounces dry rotini pasta
  • 1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups diced green pepper (about 1 large green pepper)
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 can (540 ml, 19 fl ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (341 ml, 12 fl ounces) kernel corn, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • optional: ¼ cup chopped fresh jalapeños*
  • Dressing:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until it is al dente. Al dente pasta means it is softened but still firm.**
Strain liquid from pasta.
In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients (including strained pasta) then toss to combine.
In a medium bowl, stir together all dressing ingredients until well mixed.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to mix well until all of the salad is coated in dressing.
Store leftovers in a sealed food safe container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!