Easy 20 minute Mexican Pasta Salad – a light, and delicious pasta salad recipe makes the perfect side dish or stand alone dinner.
I tend to have a lot of cravings for Mexican food, but living in the suburbs of St. Louis, good Mexican is hard to come by without a 20 to 30 minute drive. Due to that unfortunate fact, I’m always playing with food to find new ways to get my fix.
I turned my favorite Cilantro Lime Dressing into a Mexican Pasta Salad recipe that is light, refreshing and has just enough kick!
Last year I shared a light and easy pasta salad recipe which proved very popular both in our home and with readers. Growing up, I had never cared for pasta salad because I had mostly had mayonnaise based pasta salads which felt a bit heavy.
With this salad being a vinegarette dressing based, it makes for a great summer dish. It’s light enough to be a delcious side dish, yet flavorful enough to stand alone as the main dish.
What’s not to love about a pasta salad recipe this versatile?
As far a toppings go, its all about your preference, you can put almost anything you want, and leave out anything you don’t like. It’s what I love about pasta salad recipes, they are so easy to tweak to make them perfect for what you like.
Mexican Pasta Salad Ingredients
Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Spicy Mustard
- Olive Oil
- Pasta – Your favorite pasta noodle. Bow Tie, Penne, Rotini all work well with this recipe.
- Queso Fresco – Can substitute chihuahua cheese or monterey jack.
How to Make a Fiesta Pasta Salad
- Prepare Pasta – In a large pot of salted water boil noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water to shock the noodles.
- Make the Dressing – In a food processor, combine ingredients and puree.
- Toss – Toss the pasta and dressing together.
- Garnish – Add fresh ingredients to the top – the options are endless!
What to Pair With A Mexican Pasta Salad?
You can’t really go wrong with pairing this pasta salad. It might be a mexican pasta salad recipe, but that doesn’t mean you have to serve it with just mexican food.
- Boil a pot of water over high heat.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, red wine vinegar, salt, spicy mustard and olive oil.
- Boil noodles 10-11 minutes and drain.
- In a large bowl, combine noodles and dressing. Top with diced tomato, queso fresco and optional jalapeño.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.