See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

Full of all of the southwestern flavors that you love, this Southwest Pasta Salad with a spicy chili-lime dressing is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

closeup of southwestern pasta salad recipe in bowl


Pretty much everyone is a fan of pasta salad, right? It’s a great crowd-pleasing dish that’s easy to make and share at BBQ’s and potlucks.

The best pasta salads are full of pasta (of course) and veggies, all coated in a flavorful dressing. I’ve made all sorts of varieties of pasta salads, including my classic pasta salad recipe, this flavorful Greek pasta salad, an amazing pesto pasta salad, and an orzo pasta salad.

I know I’m not alone in my love of southwestern flavors, and I thought they would make an awesome pasta salad. And was I ever right! This cold pasta salad is my new favorite, one I know I’ll be making again and again.

southwest pasta salad in a bowl ready to eat

All of your favorite ingredients are here, from black beans to corn to green onions and bell peppers, all coated in a deliciously spicy chili-lime dressing. We loved this pasta salad with bowtie pasta, but I’m sure it would be just as delicious with your favorite pasta shape.

This recipe makes a lot – it serves 12 as a side dish and can be made ahead. We ate this as a main dish for dinner, and then had leftovers for lunches. Grilled chicken would be a great addition for some extra protein. Enjoy!

side view of southwestern pasta salad in a round bowl

closeup of southwest pasta salad in a bowl

Southwest Pasta Salad

Servings: 8 as a Main Dish or 12 as a Side Dish
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Full of all of the southwestern flavors that you love, this Southwest Pasta Salad with a spicy chili-lime dressing is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!


For the salad:

  • 1 lb. bowtie pasta
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into thin 1-inch long slices (orange, red, and/or yellow)
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz. can corn, rinsed and drained
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 4 oz. Monterey jack cheese, cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ¾ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • Kosher salt and black pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until barely al dente (do not overcook). Rinse pasta in cold water; drain. Place pasta in a large bowl.
  • Add tomatoes, bell peppers, black beans, corn, green onions, cheese, and cilantro.
  • Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and gently toss until evenly distributed.
Serving: 1/8 to 1/12 recipe, Calories: 452kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 305mg, Potassium: 660mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1779IU, Vitamin C: 60mg, Calcium: 157mg, Iron: 3mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen on Instagram or tag #kristineskitchenblog.


This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Kristine's Kitchen!