Tex-Mex Pasta Salad



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Tex-Mex Pasta Salad is a fun twist on classic pasta salad. Loaded with fresh simple ingredients like black beans, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, corn, and avocado, and a delicious dressing, this will be your go-to pasta salad and a fun alternative to classic macaroni salad for picnics and potlucks.

In my mind, summer is not summer unless there’s equal parts pasta salad and ice cream. Not together of course.

Let’s be clear though, pasta salad can and should be eaten any time of year. Not just summer. No further explanation is required because pasta. salad. Noodles, veggies, a flavor packed dressing, sometimes meats and cheese — a bowl of perfection.

I grew up on classic macaroni salad and adore it just as much as most people but let me tell you, this Tex-Mex Pasta Salad deserves a place on the table at your next picnic or potluck.

tex Mex Pasta Salad

When I’m making pasta salad, I use pasta with lots of nooks and crannies to help trap all of the yummy veggies and dressing. For this recipe I use fusilli. Other good options include rotini, penne, macaroni, etc.

tex mex pasta salad 3

Tex Mex Flavors

What is Tex-Mex? It’s simply short for Texan-Mexican which is the blend of flavors you find with both Texan food and Mexican food.

Flavors that I typically associate with Tex-Mex, include red pepper, Black Beans, corn, onion, and cilantro. Always. And there might avocado too and a hint of lime because fresh lime juice makes everything better. With these simple yet flavorful ingredients in mind, I whipped together this Tex-Mex Pasta Salad bursting with freshness and flavors that the whole family will love.

tex mex pasta salad 5

My two and a half year old little boy just had a kidney transplant three months ago after being on dialysis for nearly his entire life and finally, FINALLY he is able to eat so many of the nutrient dense foods that were previously off limits due to kidneys that didn’t work. Foods like avocado, black beans, and bananas were to be avoided, and not so nutrient dense foods like ice cream too. Don’t take your kidneys for granted! We are so excited to have a summer filled with avocados and black beans (both toddler friendly) that can so easily be tossed into recipes and pack a nutrient punch. And of course we are excited for a summer with lots of ice cream too!

Pasta Salad Variations

There are a few ways to adapt this recipe for Tex-Mex Pasta Salad to make it your own.

  • Add protein: grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, ground beef or ground turkey
  • Add cheese: shredded cheddar or pepper jack would be delicious in this pasta salad.
  • Vegetables: omit the onion if it’s not your thing and substitute any ingredients you enjoy! Black olives, and pickled jalapeño would be great!
tex mex pasta salad

The dressing for this Tex-Mex Pasta Salad is effortless. You will combine one cup of sour cream with 1/3 cup mayo, 1 cup of salsa ( I use mild but feel free to choose the heat level you prefer), a packet of taco seasoning (or use 3 tablespoons of my homemade taco seasoning), and some fresh lime juice to give it a little zing. Add salt and pepper to taste and you’re good to go.

Easy summer recipes are my favorite which is why I know you’re going to be enjoying this recipe for Tex-Mex Pasta Salad all summer long.

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Tex Mex Pasta Salad

Tex-Mex Pasta Salad is a fun twist on classic pasta salad. Loaded with fresh simple ingredients like black beans, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, corn, and avocado, and a delicious dressing!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 pound fusilli pasta cooked according to package directions drained, and rinsed in cold water (alternative options – rotini, penne, macaroni, etc.)
  • 1 can Black Beans drained and rinsed
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 can roasted corn drained or 2 ears fresh corn
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • *optional – avocado

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour scream
  • cup mayo
  • 1 cup mild salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning or 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 lime juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook one pound fusilli pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  • In a medium sized bowl, make the dressing by combining 1 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup mayo, 1 cup mild salsa, 1 packet taco seasoning, the juice of 1 lime, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  • In a large bowl, toss together cooked pasta, 1 can BUSH’S® Black Beans, 4 chopped green onions, 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, corn, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, and 1 chopped red bell pepper.
  • Stir in dressing.
  • For best results, chill for one hour before serving.
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Hi, I’m Ashley & I’m so happy you’re here!

Ashley is the founder of CenterCutCook and a former teacher that now spends her days in the kitchen so that she can share her favorite recipes with you!