Mexican Pasta Salad

LAST UPDATED: Mar 02, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Apr 04, 2017 | By:

Easy 20 minute Mexican Pasta Salad – a light, and delicious pasta salad recipe makes the perfect side dish or stand alone dinner.

mexican pasta salad in a bowl with wood spoon next to it

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!

fiesta pasta salad recipe with bow tie noodles close up

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.

We love pasta salads, especially for lunch! Some favorites include Seafood Pasta Salad and Italian Pasta Salad

What’s not to love about a pasta salad recipe this versatile?

ingredients in a food processor

Most of my vinaigrette recipes make a great pasta salad, including the ever popular cilantro lime vinaigrette I’m using today to mix up this mexican pasta salad.

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.

cilantro dressing poured over a bowl of pasta

Mexican Pasta Salad Ingredients

Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeño
  • Garlic
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Spicy Mustard
  • Olive Oil

Pasta Salad

  • Pasta – Your favorite pasta noodle. Bow Tie, Penne, Rotini all work well with this recipe.
  • Queso Fresco – Can substitute chihuahua cheese or monterey jack.
  • Tomato
  • Jalapeño

How to Make a Fiesta Pasta Salad

  1. Prepare Pasta – In a large pot of salted water boil noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water to shock the noodles.
  2. Make the Dressing – In a food processor, combine ingredients and puree.
  3. Toss – Toss the pasta and dressing together.
  4. Garnish – Add fresh ingredients to the top – the options are endless!
easy fiesta pasta salad recipe | Mexican pasta salad

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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.

Serve it as a side with these bacon burgers, or chicken wraps.

If you want to keep the mexican theme, serve it with these chicken tacos, and some flavored margaritas for the perfect mexican fiesta!

easy fiesta pasta salad recipe | Mexican pasta salad

Fiesta Mexican Pasta Salad

Author: Julie Blanner
Easy, fresh and flavorful Mexican Pasta Salad recipe that’s the perfect summer side dish!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
Total Time 21 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 8
Calories 78 kcal


  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeno de-stemmed {remove seeds for less kick}
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 8 cracks salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon spicy mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound dry pasta
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco
  • 1 tomato diced


  • 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.


It’s your preference, you can put almost anything you want in this easy pasta salad, and leave out anything you don’t care for.


Calories:78kcalCarbohydrates:2gProtein:1gFat:8gSaturated Fat:1gCholesterol:3mgSodium:419mgPotassium:50mgFiber:1gSugar:1gVitamin A:202IUVitamin C:6mgCalcium:25mgIron:1mg
5 from 6 votes
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner


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