Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Jump to Recipe

Last month we helped cater a family party. We were in charge of making three large salads. We made a simple spinach salad with berries, Greek Quinoa Salad, and Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing. I created the Southwestern Pasta Salad for the party and it has become one of our favorite pasta salads. We make it all of the time now. If you like our Creamy Avocado Pasta, I am positive you will love this pasta salad.

The pasta salad is loaded with flavor. It has black beans, tomatoes, peppers, onion, sweet corn, avocado and cilantro. And the best part? The creamy avocado dressing. It is rich and creamy, but in a healthy kind of way. The dressing is easy to whip up, just throw all of the ingredients in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

If you are looking for a new pasta salad recipe, give this Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing a try. It can be enjoyed as a side dish or main dish. This pasta salad is perfect for picnics, potlucks, parties, or everyday eating. Enjoy!

If you like this easy pasta salad, you might also like:

Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

This easy pasta salad is a summer favorite. You will LOVE the creamy avocado dressing!
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Total Time
25 minutes


For the salad:

  • 8 ounces pasta I used Rotini
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn can use frozen corn
  • 1 large avocado peeled, seeded, and diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime for juicing over the salad
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

For the Creamy Avocado Dressing:

  • 2 ripe avocados peeled and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1 small jalapeΓ±o pepper chopped and seeds removed
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and stir in the pasta. Cook until al dente. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, make the Creamy Avocado Dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pasta, black beans, tomatoes, peppers, red onion, corn, and chopped avocado. Pour dressing over pasta salad and stir until salad is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the salad, so the avocados don't brown. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve at room temperature or chilled.
  4. Note-you may have leftover dressing, depending on how "dressed" you like your pasta salad. If the dressing is too thick, add more buttermilk.

Maria Lichty

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
Read More

CommentsLeave a reply

  1. Southwestern food should always come with creamy avocado dressing in my opinion! Your recipe for the dressing looks great with all the spices and seasonings! I’ve never tried making it with buttermilk, either which is brilliant. The whole salad looks fantastic and definitely perfect to make in big batches for gatherings!

  2. Made this tonight….and delicious!!!! Snuck some into a tupperware for work lunch tomorrow before it was all gone πŸ™‚ Hoping the dressing does not brown overnight!

  3. i have used avocados as an ingredient in salads but never used it in a dressing! what a brilliant idea. we are having people over for dinner next weekend and i know what salad i am serving πŸ˜‰

  4. i made this last night for my bunco group, and they all loved it – everyone wants the recipe! i made extra avocado dressing to use on a lettuce salad tonight – win win πŸ™‚

  5. I love this recipe!! This is packed full of nutrition and no one would even know it. Thanks for this great idea. I will be making this for an upcoming party!
    Have a healthy day.

  6. This was a big hit with my family. I left the jalapeno seeds in to spice it up a bit too! Will definitely be making again. Thank you πŸ™‚

  7. My best friend and I both looked at this recipe yesterday morning, independent from one another, and then when we got together to plan dinner we both mentioned a pasta salad recipe we saw. Lo and behold, it was the same recipe so we made it last night. After three bowls, I decided I really needed to control myself. This was excellent! πŸ™‚

  8. K so I finally made this today and all I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, this is the best veg friendly salad and the dressing is so delicious!

  9. How long will the dressing keep in the fridge? I would like this for regular green salads over the course of the week but only have time to cook on the weekend? Will it keep for a week?

  10. I made this tonight because I was looking for a pasta salad that was different from the norm. It’s easy to make and I like that the dressing is on the lighter side. However, the green color isn’t super appetizing so I was a little skeptical. It was a huge hit at the BBQ I took it to! I can’t remember the last time I got so many compliments on something and I consider myself to be a pretty decent cook. The only changes I made were to add a dash of Worcestershire to the dressing bc it needed a little something more. I made the dressing several hours ahead and let it sit which I think really helped develop the flavor (although this wasn’t planned). Add some chicken and you have yourself a light summer pasta. Definitely a keeper.

  11. Made this last week and enjoyed it. I found that the dressing recipe as written made more than we needed, so I think I would halve that next time to get the bright, fresh look/taste that the photo advertises. πŸ™‚ Otherwise, it was delicious and I would totally make it again. (love avocados and am learning about homemade dressings) Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Hi,
    I made your recipe last night and it was AMAZING !! the dressing along was just wonderful. My husband is allergic to tomato, so I just added more bell peppers. I made mine a bit more spicy. I even shared some with the guys are work, and all loved it. I will put this recipe with my favorite recipes now. It’s easy, super healthy, tasty and husband friendly. Thank you !! πŸ™‚

  13. Tried this recipe tonight and it is amazing. Can’t wait to make it again when my other half is back in town πŸ™‚ Maria, your recipes never disappoint!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *