This Southwest Pasta Salad is bursting with delicious southwest fiesta flavor! It’s a perfect side dish for a summer bbq, potluck gathering, or anytime you want an easy, refreshing side dish on a warm day.
My favorite thing about warm weather meals? The ability to serve my favorite cold salads. I’d be happy with a side of pasta salad with every single meal!
This creamy southwest pasta salad recipe is a family favorite. It’s my go to choice for potlucks- and I always have to bring the recipe with me, because people are sure to ask for it every time.
This pasta salad can be made ahead, but good luck keeping it in the refrigerator until you need it! My family will eat this southwest pasta salad breakfast, lunch, and dinner if they can!
This southwest pasta salad is loaded with the best flavors- a creamy and every so slightly sauce with noodles, black beans, corn, peppers and more!
This recipe is really versatile, you can’t mess it up and you can make all kinds of fun additions and substitutions depending on what you have on hand and what flavors your family loves best.
How to make the best ever Southwest Pasta Salad.
First you’ll want to cook a box of noodles according to the directions on the box. Be sure to cook the noodles al dente. I prefer to use ruffle or radiatori pasta. All those ruffles and folds catch lots of delicious, creamy southwest dressing in every bite! Feel free to pick any type of noodles you prefer though!
While the noodles are cooking you’ll make the southwest dressing. Simply pour the mayonnaise and milk into a bowl and whisk in a packet of “fiesta” flavored ranch dressing mix.
Now, rinse and drain the pasta add add it to the southwest sauce you just mixed up.
Dice a bell pepper and add it to the pasta salad. You can use any color bell pepper you prefer. I love to add a little of several colors of bell peppers to make the salad even prettier. Simply cut a wedge from several different colored bell peppers and save the rest for another dish.
Rinse and drain a can of black beans and add it to the pasta salad.
Next drain a can of corn and add it to the pasta salad. If you can find southwest corn with poblanos and peppers that’s my favorite. But, any can of corn will work just fine.
You’ll want to dice and add an avocado to the salad. The avocado will turn brown if you don’t eat the salad immediately . When I’m serving this southwest pasta salad to guests, I’ll add the avocado just before serving so it looks better. But, if you have leftovers or add the avocado earlier the salad will taste just as good, even though the avocado is a little brown.
Other optional ingredients to add to this southwest pasta salad include 1/4 a cup diced red onion, jalapeño peppers, chopped cilantro, or Mexican cheese. You can really play with the ingredients to get the southwest pasta dish you love most!
- 1 (16 oz) box of radiatori or ruffle pasta
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup milk
- 1 packet Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip Mix
- 1 can (15oz) black beans
- 1 can (15.25oz) *Southwest corn
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 avocado
- **optional ingredients
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Rinse and drain.
- In a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, milk, and the packet of fiesta ranch mix.
- Add pasta to the bowl.
- Add one can rinsed and drained black beans.
- Add one can drained southwest corn
- Add one diced bell pepper
- Add one diced avocado.
- Mix well and enjoy!
Feel free to use type of pasta you prefer.
* If you can't find southwest corn, any can of drained corn will do. You can even substitute about 2 cups of thawed, frozen corn.
Add the avocado just before serving if the look of brown avocado bothers you.
*** fun optional ingredients to try:
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced cilantro
shredded mexican cheese