Y’all know that I like to add a little Tex-Mex to any dish that I can. I have been dreaming up this Tex Mex Pasta Salad for a while now and love how it turned out! I tried to think of as many ingredients that reminded me of home to put in this salad. Cheddar cheese, bacon, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, lime…yum!
You’ll find a jar of pickled jalapenos on every table, at almost every supper, where I grew up in East Texas. Add more jalapenos if you want it spicier! Black beans would be a great addition to this pasta salad as well. My son hates beans so I was nice and left them out. Tex Mex Pasta Salad is the perfect dish to take to all of your summer BBQs!
How to Make Tex Mex Pasta Salad
This is definitely an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of salad but if you prep everything ahead of time, it’s very simple and fun to make. The dressing is full of Tex-Mex spices like cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. It comes together in a snap and I always just make it in the same big bowl that the salad will go in.
Next, prepare all of your mix ins. I really like to use freshly cooked bacon but you could also use the packaged cooked bacon crumbles for a short cut.
I forgot to add the corn before taking that picture so imagine it there! Ha! Look at all of those beautiful colors. This salad is a flavor bomb! Just mix the pasta, veggies, and remaining ingredients together and refrigerate. It lasts for days and feeds a huge crowd! This is one of those recipes that feels like I’m sharing a bit of my heart with y’all. Hope you love it!
More Pasta Salad Favorites
Tex Mex Pasta Salad
- 16 oz bowtie pasta
- 1 (11 oz) can Mexicorn, drained
- 4 oz sliced black olive, drained
- 1/3 cup pickled jalapenos, diced
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, diced in small cubes
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 bunch green onions, diced
- 1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
For the dressing:
- 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1-2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno juice (optional)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package dirctions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, make dressing by whisking together all listed dressing ingredients.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl (pasta, veggies, cheese, etc) and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.