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pasta salad with beans and corn
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4.72 from 7 votes

Southwest Black Bean Pasta Salad

Black Bean Pasta Salad with lots of southwest flavor is going to be your new go-to backyard BBQ dish! This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, but don't worry if you have leftovers (you probably won't though), it just gets better as it sits and will make a great easy lunch!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: dairy free, gluten free, oil free, vegan
Servings: 14
Calories: 238kcal


Black Bean Pasta Salad

  • 16 oz rotini noodles (or your fave noodle, gluten free if desired), cooked according to package directions
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 15 oz can)
  • Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn* (or about 1 1/2 cups - canned or thawed frozen is fine in a pinch)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 3/4 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (quartered)
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • salt/pepper to taste

Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing


  • Start soaking the cashews for the Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing (Remember you're making a double batch of the Cream Cumin Ranch Dressing for this.)
  • Bring the water for the rotini to a boil and follow the directions on your package of noodles.
  • While the noodles are cooking, prep/chop all the veggies, except the avocado, and place them in a large bowl.
  • When the noodles are done, let them cool to almost room temp before mixing them into the veggie mix.
  • Finish making the dressing: Place all the ingredients for a double batch of Creamy Cumin Ranch Dressing to a high speed blender. Add the remaining extra ingredients listed above for the dressing and puree until smooth. It may taste a bit strong on it's own, but once mixed with the pasta and veggies, it will tone down.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta and veggies, using as much or as little as you like. I like to add just enough to coat at first....some of it gets absorbed by the noodles as it sits....then add more just before serving. Taste for seasoning and add more salt/pepper/cumin, etc., if desired. A squeeze of lime would be great too.
  • Cover the pasta salad and store in the fridge until ready to serve. Store any extra dressing in an airtight container in the fridge as well. Dice the avocado and add just before serving. You can serve the pasta salad cold or at room temperature. It gets better as it sits!


~Fresh sweet corn is preferred when available. I like it raw when it's super fresh and sweet, but this would also be great with kernels cut from a grilled ear of corn too.
~You can make the dressing up to 1-2 days ahead.
~You can make the whole salad the day before too...it only gets better as it sits. Just wait to add the avocado until just before serving so it doesn't get brown.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 381mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 700IU | Vitamin C: 32.2mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2.9mg