This Mexican Pasta Salad needs to make an appearance at your next grill out. A fun textured pasta + fresh crunchy veggies + black beans + a kick butt sauce!
I love, love, love everything about summer, but honestly my favorite thing is the food, especially grilling out. But while most people are anxiously awaiting the hot dogs and burgers hot off the grill…I’m already chowing down on all the side dishes and desserts.
Move over grilling season…I’ve decided this summer is the season of Mexican Pasta Salad!
Trevor and I are so lucky to live right by the courtyard of our apartment complex. We literally walk outside and are just steps away from the grill. Last summer, Trevor and I did an amazing job of getting out there as much as we could. We probably grilled out 4 days of the week!
We made everything from kebabs, salmon, more hot dogs than I’d care to admit, and even tuna. Alongside all of those, however, were my beloved side dishes: potato salad, chips, grilled veggies, and, of course, pasta salad.
My obsession with pasta salad actually began on the 4th of July last year when we went over to a friend’s house for a party. It was kind of a free-for-all on the food, so Trevor and I made sure to bring all of our favorites. We brought stuffed burgers, plenty of chips, and Trevor picked up some pre-made potato and pasta salad.
Previously, I had never been a fan of potato and pasta salad, so I kind of turned up my nose to the salads. Little did I know that only a few short hours later, I’d be licking the bottom of the plastic containers clean.
Ever since, I’ve been obsessed…which brings us to this Mexican Pasta Salad.
Originally, I was going to make more of a traditional pasta salad, but then I remembered my mom making a tex-mexy-ish pasta salad growing up… I think? Or maybe I just had a dream about it.
Either way, I knew I wanted to make a twist on a classic.
I placed Picante (it’s like less chunky salsa), mayo, sour cream, a bunch of spices, and some lime juice into my food processor. I pulsed the mixture until it was combined and this amazing sauce was born.
I tossed the sauce together with cooked rotini, red and green bell peppers, black beans, and corn and had to slap Trevor’s hand away to stop him from eating the whole batch. Ok fine. I was slapping my own hand away, because Trevor wasn’t home.
Ugh. I can’t even blame Trevor for helping me eat most of it! 😉
I placed the Mexican Pasta Salad into the fridge and let it chill for about two hours.
Ohhhh. Emmmm. Geeee.
It was good when it was still warm, but holy guacamole (I can’t believe I said that) it blew me away after the flavors had a chance to really meld in the fridge and the rotini had a chance to soak up all that yummy, smoky, garlicky sauce.
I love that this Mexican Pasta Salad still has familiar flavors of traditional pasta salad, like the mayo and bell peppers, but I love even more that this pasta salad isn’t overwhelmed by the mayo and is complimented by sour cream, fresh lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and more!
I mean. I can’t even tell you how much I love this Mexican Pasta Salad.
A fun textured pasta + crunchy, fresh veggies + black beans + a kick butt sauce = Jennifer in a food coma after eating half the batch…with her fingers.
IT’S SO GOOOOOD.
What’s your favorite grilling side dish? Show me the yummy!
- 1 (16 oz) jar picante sauce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup Sour cream
- 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 (16 oz) box rotini pasta cooked al dente according to package directions
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz) can sweet corn drained
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper diced
- Cilantro optional as a garnish
- Combine sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and re-season as necessary.
- Combine cooked (and drained) pasta, black beans, corn, and bell peppers in a large bowl.
- Toss with sauce, cover (or place in large tupperware), and chill in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight.
- Serve cold!
The sauce will be extremely runny right after you make it, but will thicken and adhere to the pasta as it chills in the fridge!
Want to make this gluten free? Be sure to use a gluten free pasta!