This Corn & Black Bean Pasta Salad combines fusilli pasta with corn, black beans, bell pepper and cilantro for a Southwestern flair.
This is one of those salads that I always want to make for an cook out or barbecue. It’s always a favorite and gets eaten up quickly. It’s no wonder, because it combines all the great Southwestern flavors in one bowl, with a creamy sauce that ties it all together.
My family has been making a version of this salad for years, so it’s practically a summer classic for us at this point. I make it almost as often as this delicious Broccoli Salad or our favorite Stovetop Mac & Cheese.
You can substitute the fusilli with any corkscrew pasta, or a bowtie pasta or even simple macaroni noodles. It won’t change the taste of the salad, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
Other ingredients you’ll need are:
- Black Beans
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Yellow or Red Bell Pepper
The dressing has mayonnaise, lime (or lemon) juice, cumin , chili powder and salt.
All of these southwestern flavors combined into one salad is pure joy. This salad goes with just about any summer dish you’re serving. We serve it alongside our Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs often, as well as with Tri Tip Steak.
How to Make Corn & Black Bean Pasta Salad
Start by boiling the pasta as directed on the package until al dente. Allow it to cool before adding it to a large bowl.
Add the other ingredients for the salad to the bowl, except the avocado and red pepper flakes. Stir this all together. You won’t want to add the avocado until just before serving, because it will get brown and soggy and ruin your salad.
Next you’ll make the sauce. Blend all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. The dressing should also be added to the salad just before serving. If you’re not serving the salad right away, store the salad and the dressing separately and put the dressing on within an hour of serving.
Add salt and pepper to taste as you’re stirring the dressing into the salad. This is very much up to personal preference, so add a little, stir, and taste, until you’ve added the right amount for you.
After you’ve incorporated the dressing into the salad, you can add the avocado and give it one last stir. Top each serving with a bit of red pepper flakes for some added heat.
The salad benefits from 30 minutes in the refrigerator before being served, so all the flavors have time to meld.
It will keep for just a day or two, if you have left overs, before it becomes a little watery. The avocado in the salad doesn’t keep well.
What to Serve This With
Serve this alongside a summer salad like this Bacon, Jalapeno, and Corn Salad or our favorite Broccoli Salad. I also can’t eat enough of this Mexican street corn in the summer. It’s so delicious. And just one more favorite side for a picnic or barbecue – Mac and Cheese, obviously.
Ready for dessert? Why not try one of these awesome Homemade Ice Cream recipes.
Other BBQ Recipes to Try
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Corn & Black Bean Pasta Salad
- 4 oz fusilli pasta uncooked
- 1 cup whole kernel corn drained
- 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 cup yellow or red bell pepper diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
- 1/2 avocado diced (optional)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain; set aside to cool. Once cooled, add the pasta to a large bowl. Add the corn, blackbeans, tomatoes, bell pepper and cilantro. Stir together.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, cumin and salt.
- Add the dressing to the pasta salad. Stir to combine.
- Refrigerate covered until ready to serve. Add the avocado and red pepper flakes (if desired) just before serving.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.