//Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

Add a flavor-packed spin to a deli classic with a crowd-friendly recipe for refreshing Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing.

Large bowl containing Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

Are you ready to skip the store-bought deli salads that are more mayonnaise than pasta? Look no further than this big bowl of Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing! It’s a rainbow of flavors starring your choice of pasta and one seriously creamy yogurt-based dressing.

Glass bowl containing diced tomatoes, diced orange bell pepper, yellow corn kernels, sliced scallions, cavatappi and black beans

This quick-fix pasta salad is packed full of vibrant peppers, hearty black beans, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes and fresh green onions ready to be tossed with a zippy dressing. The best part? Adding black beans and Cotija cheese help take this salad from side-dish to star of the show with a healthy dose of protein.

Top down view of blender containing yogurt, avocado, minced garlic, salt and pepper

No pasta salad is complete without a delicious dressing to tie it all together. And no Southwestern recipe is complete without avocado. Tangy yogurt, ripe avocado, honey, and lime come together in a blender to make a creamy concoction that will become your go-to dressing, dip and even sandwich spread.

Large bowl containing Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

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Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

For the pasta salad:

  • 8
    uncooked pasta, such as shells, cavatappi or penne
  • 1
    medium orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1
    yellow corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 1
    can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2
    medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3
    sliced scallions
  • Cotija cheese, for garnishing

For the avocado dressing:

  • 1
    large avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1
    plain yogurt
  • 1
    minced garlic
  • 2
    lime juice
  • 1

Make the pasta salad:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl.

To the bowl, add the bell pepper, corn, black beans, tomatoes and scallions.

Make the dressing:

In a blender, combine the avocado, yogurt, garlic, lime juice and honey. Blend until puréed, scraping down the sides as needed. 

Transfer the dressing to the bowl with the pasta and toss to combine.

Garnish the pasta salad with the cotija cheese and serve immediately or store, covered securely, in the fridge until ready to serve. 

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Nutrition Facts

Southwestern Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

Amount Per Serving

Calories 271
Calories from Fat 63

% Daily Value*

Fat 7g11%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Cholesterol 5mg2%

Sodium 28mg1%

Potassium 520mg15%

Carbohydrates 45g15%

Fiber 5g21%

Sugar 9g10%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 1175IU24%

Vitamin C 39mg47%

Calcium 69mg7%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.