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Easy Tex Mex Pasta Salad

This is anything but – we can’t get enough!

We got another fun pasta salad for you today that’s another one for the books, proving you don’t have to fall into a cooking rut come summertime. It’s hot, we don’t want to deal with turning the oven on…an ever-changing pasta salad is exactly what we need to make in order to have a fun, quick, filling, protein and veggie-packed dinner. And this Tex Mex pasta salad is the one we’ve got for you today – trust us, you’ll love it!

Of course, to make this Mexican-inspired, we threw cumin, paprika, chili powder and lime juice into the dressing, but then we also added in ketchup and mayonnaise to make things nice and creamy. Don’t scorn the ketchup and mayo combo – it’s a great pairing on a burger and it’s a great pairing here, just give it a chance. Once you throw together your dressing, which has tons of flavor and works on a lot of different salads or dishes, not just on this one, then you put the rest of your salad together. Bowtie pasta, corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and plenty of cotija cheese make up the bulk of the salad itself, and once that all gets drizzled in dressing….mmm it is yummy.

We love this for how great this salad tastes and how filling it is; you can definitely serve it as a side dish, but you could just as easily make it the main course. Plus, while the dressing is plenty flavorful, it still lets all the main ingredients shine, which is the whole reason we threw them all in there! It’s easy to say “why bother” when it comes to meals in the summertime – you want something quick, easy, nutrient-dense and, above all, something that won’t take standing over a hot stove or oven to make…this checks all those boxes!

Serves 6-8

30 minutes

  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Salad:
  • 1 (12 oz.) package bowtie noodles, cooked according to package directions and tossed with 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese or queso fresco, optional, crumbled
  1. Whisk together dressing ingredients (vegetable oil, ketchup, mayonnaise, lime juice, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper) in a medium bowl and set in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. In a large bowl, toss bowtie noodles with corn, beans, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and cheese, if using.
  3. Pour dressing on top of noodle mixture and toss together until everything is evenly coated. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron

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