Southwestern Pasta Salad

Southwestern Pasta Salad mixed together overhead shot

This Southwestern Pasta Salad is basically loaded with all of the things you would find in a taco. Filled with veggies like green pepper and onion and filled with hearty black beans – this is a crowd pleaser that will have you going back for seconds!

I’d say that when it comes to cooking in our household, the biggest overarching theme would be Mexican food. We love the spices, the flavors and the fact that it’s always so diverse! From burrito bowls to enchiladas to tacos to this Southwestern Pasta Salad – you can really make so many different things with the same spice palette.

This dish is perfect since Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner! It’s finally beginning to look like Spring around here which has me seriously itching for a BBQ. I need grilled food with lots of cold sides! Oh, and maybe a Corona! This is the perfect dish to bring to a BBQ, or pot-luck for your Cinco De Mayo celebrations!

Southwestern Pasta Salad garnish shot

Oh, and I forgot to mention that it also works as a MAIN dish. Yup, that’s right. This is filled with ton of hearty ingredients like black beans, avocado, veggies and of course – pasta. I could easily eat a large bowl of this for dinner and call it a night! It’s super filling!

Let me give you a quick run down of what you will need:

  • bowtie pasta! or penne, rigatoni or even macaroni will work fine. i think bowties are waaaay cuter tho
  • diced veg like bell pepper and red onion
  • my main babe aka AVOCADO
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • black beans
  • a can of tomatoes with green chiles
  • a lil bit of cheese
  • some lime! (i love citrus with all of my heart)
  • spices!

And that’s it! It’s super simple as well. You basically just prep all of the above, make the pasta, dump said pasta in a large bowl and add all of ingredients listed above. You may get an arm workout while mixing it but believe me – it’s worth it!

Southwestern Pasta Salad zoom in with fork in hand

The end result is creamy, slightly spicy, crunchy and just so delicious. The little bit of taco seasoning you add to this really goes a long way. It basically tastes like a taco and mac and cheese had a baby. Minus a lot of the cheese, butter and flour. You get what I mean, right?

For some other suggestions with this dish – I bet it would be delicious to add taco meat. Or even grilled chicken! For some added crunch, tortilla strips would work super well!

This is just a real gem of a meal, y’all. I can’t wait for warm weather to stick around for good! Happy Wednesday! Hope y’all enjoy this one. Xo

5 from 1 vote

Southwestern Pasta Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 12 oz bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel), drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup spicy cheese mixture (mine was pepperjack/monterey jack)
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne to taste (optional - makes it spicier!)


  1. Cook your pasta according to the package, drain and let it cool. Dice your bell pepper, red onion and avocado. Set aside. 

  2. Open and drain the cans of tomatoes with green chiles and the black beans. 

  3. Add the cooled pasta into a large bowl. Toss with a splash of olive oil if the pasta gets sticky. Add in the diced veggies, black beans, tomatoes with green chiles, sour cream, juice of one lime, taco seasoning and cheese. Mix together until combined. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. I added about a 1.5 tsp of salt, a few cracks of pepper and of course some cayenne to make it extra spicy. 

  4. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes if needed. Add cilantro prior to serving and enjoy!



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