Tex mex pasta salad

Here’s another no-cook recipe coming your way! Ok, well I guess you technically have to boil the pasta, but you don’t have to turn on your oven.

This is a nice twist on the traditional pasta salad. The vinegar-based one, I mean.

I don’t really understand the mayo-based pasta salad. Maybe because I didn’t grow up eating it? I always take a bite thinking I’m going to like it and then I don’t. I guess maybe I think it’s going to be like an alfredo sauce or something but it’s actually kind of tangy. I think maybe I don’t mind the taste so much but I just get thrown off because it’s not what I’m expecting.

Tex mex pasta salad

Anyway, non-mayo pasta salads are much healthier…AND they’re good for picnics! I don’t want you to go making something and getting people sick because the mayo sat in the sun too long. And I especially don’t want you to blame it on me.

I suppose I’m a bit late for you to make this for 4th of July, but I’m sure you have plenty of upcoming summer bbq’s that you could bring this to….or you may eat a little too much while doing “quality control” taste-testing and not have any left to bring so you just have to keep it for yourself.

Oh well, these things happen.

Tex mex pasta salad

On another note, Saturday is my birthday!!! My parents are coming into the city and we’re going to see a concert by the singer/songwriter who will be playing at our wedding, David Berkeley, so I’m pretty excited.

Also, Nate ordered me a birthday cake from this little bakery near us called Two Little Red Hens. I got to choose exactly what I wanted and so I decided to go with an orange cake with chocolate pudding filling and orange buttercream frosting. Um, yeah, I know. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I’ll be sure to take pics and tell you how it was since there won’t be enough to go around ;)

Vegetarian Tex-Mex Pasta Salad

adapted from Cooking Light

Print this recipe!

Serves 10-12

1 pound uncooked pasta- i like wagon wheels :)
1 1/2-2 cups preshredded Mexican blend cheese
2 cups chopped seeded tomato
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 Tbsp water
1 (1.25-ounce) package 40%-less-sodium taco seasoning (such as Old El Paso)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lime

for next day:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain; set aside.

Combine pasta, cheese, and next 7 ingredients (through corn) in a large bowl.

Combine water, taco seasoning, vinegar, oil and lime juice. Whisk well. Pour over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. 

If you make a day ahead, stir in 2 Tbsp oil, 2 Tbsp vinegar and salt to taste.

*This is best made a day ahead of time.


  1. No Mayo…Yayy..
    I cannot understand the why salad has to be drenched in mayo..
    This is fabulous!!! You know I am thinking of using Grabanzo beans instead of pasts..

  2. Two Little Red Hens cupcakes are actually the only cupcakes I like in this entire city! I’ve never tried their cakes but I look forward to your post-birthday report. Have a good one lovely!!

    This salad sounds MAJOR. Delicious. I can’t stand anything mayo-based, especially not pasta salad. But this I want to eat a pound-full of.

    • wow, really? I’ll def have to try their cupcakes then! I assume that means the cake will be equally tasty, so now I’m extra excited :) Thanks, Joanne!

  3. I’m all for the no-mayo pasta as well, this sounds great! I was even later on my 4th of July related post so no worries! Wouldn’t stop me from making this pasta. :)

  4. I’m all for a pasta salad that is full of good flavors like yours. Speaking of good flavors, your birthday cake sounds like it will be delicious. Have a wonderful and happy day today on your Birthday!

  5. I love your wagon wheel pasta! This looks very delicious and like you say, it’s so good for you. Happy birthday and how exciting to be going to a concert where the entertainer will also be performing at your wedding! Hope you had a great night xx

    • Thanks! The concert was awesome…he made an announcement about my birthday! and when we went up to talk to him after, he gave us a hug! Nate and I got so starstruck that we were at a loss for words and stood there like idiots.

  6. That wagon wheel pasta is so cute!

  7. Happy belated! I hope that your day was all you hoped for and more. Make a wish…


  8. Your Tex Mex pasta looks fab Amy – especially with those wagon wheels ;-) – and I love the idea of a vinaigrette dressing. Although I’ve not had a lot of mayo based pastas in my day (cheese and/or cream plenty but not mayo), I do love the sounds of the vinegar here as a change-up. Your ingredient list sounds amazing!

  9. i don’t think i’ve ever cooked wagon wheel pasta before! how fun! and the tex mex flavors look fabulous. love the new summery banner on your blog!

  10. Ha! I love the shape of that pasta! I love seeing a healthy pasta salad, this looks delicious! :)

  11. Pingback: Veggie Tex Mex Pasta Salad

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