Zesty Southwestern Pasta Salad

"This goes over well at potlucks - when there's a choice of more than one pasta salad, this one usually goes first. Oddly enough, the leftovers make good soup, too! I just add the leftovers to some vegetable broth and canned tomatoes, and season it with more of the same spices that were in the recipe. This recipe originally came from allrecipes.com, but I have tweaked it in a way that suits me better. As always I have cut back on the oil and lime juice, so add more back in if it suits you. I love the amount of chili powder and cumin in this, but it may be a bit much for some so use less if you don't like those flavors as much as I do."
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Ready In:
2hrs 30mins




  • Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
  • When making pasta salad, I like to cook my pasta a minute or two less than recommended so it stays firmer in the dressing, and holds up better against breaking apart when tossing.
  • Drain and rinse under cold water.
  • In a large bowl whisk together oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and garlic.
  • Gently stir in pasta and set aside.
  • Gently stir in corn, beans, green pepper, red pepper, onion, tomatoes and 1/2 of the cilantro leaves.
  • Garnish with the remaining cilantro.
  • Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Nice and easy. I cut back on the spices a bit, and added chopped cooked chicken for more protein.
  2. I made this and my mom and I couln't stop eating it!!
  3. Excellant Salad. Just what I was looking for for my daughters graduation. The only change I made was to add some Italian Dressing, cheddar cheese and a little sourcream just before serving. Husband loved it. Thanks for posting!!!


My husband and I married straight out of college in July of 1992. I work as the Assistant Manager at a wine shop which allows me to drink on the job! (OK, not that much, but it's still a fun job...) Besides helping customers choose wine they will like (and also help with food and wine pairings for their menus), I also get to help with the catering end of the business, so I get to spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen making fun appetizers and beautiful food displays. I also work part-time at the fromagerie next door. So yeah - that means I eat on the job, too. :^D We live on several peaceful wooded acres on a cute little river in rural NE Wisconsin, with a cranky old-lady Burmese and whatever stray outdoor cats that have decided to adopt us on any given day. The cute puppy in the picture is Jake, our Elhew-bred English Pointer that we brought home on Easter weekend 2007. I've also got 2 painted turtles named Dennis and Fuzz, and a bunch of fish (koi and goldfish, along with the guppies & swordtails in the turtle tank). I USUALLY eat and cook healthy, but I rarely pass up dessert, either. I do not eat red meat, and try to limit other animal products, too. I love to bake, although I seem to collect a lot of scone and biscotti recipes which I NEVER get around to making. I bake and eat A LOT of cookies and muffins... I almost always reduce the sugar by 1/4 and use whole wheat pastry flour for at least part of the flour. Those two changes do so much to make recipes healthier without compromising taste. I try to reduce fat whenever I can, too, but while I want to eat healthy, I still want to ENJOY what I eat!!! I seem to give a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews here - I seem to have a pretty good sense of what I like by looking at a recipe before I try it. Thank you to anyone that tries my recipes in return, or photographs them. Amber: <img src="http://netnet.net/~mkburie/amber2.jpg"> ........And a grown up Jake (one year old in January 2008) :) - <img src="http://netnet.net/~mkburie/JAKE111307.JPG"> Charlotte (May 27, 1992-June 1, 2009): <img src="http://netnet.net/~mkburie/Charlott.jpg"> Ashley: Adopted October 8, 1996 - Passed Away January 6, 2009 <img src="http://netnet.net/~mkburie/ashley2.jpg"> Mike: September 26, 1994 - March 19, 2004<img src="http://netnet.net/~mkburie/mike1997-lr.JPG">.... <a href='http://www.niftymaps.com/visitor-map.php?id=36321'><img src='http://i.niftymaps.com/36321.png' alt='Click to zoom in on my visitor map!' border='0'></a>Create your free world <a href='http://www.niftymaps.com/' target='_blank'>visitor maps</a>
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