This easy vegan Mexican Pasta Salad with roasted corn and creamy Chipotle Sauce is the best healthy pasta recipe! It’s loaded with lots of veggies, like beans, crunchy red bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions and topped with homemade vegan feta cheese. So simple, so delicious and perfect for meal prep!
Mexican Pasta Salad Recipe
Today is the day that I finally share the recipe of my all-time favorite Mexican Pasta Salad here on my blog! Yay! But if you’ve been following me for a while on Instagram you may remember that I’ve made this healthy pasta recipe a couple of times already. Not only because I totally love Mexican recipes and simple pasta dishes but also because this veggie combo with roasted corn is one of my favorite add-ins to a salad.
Actually, most pasta salads tend to be heavy since often they contain lots of rich ingredients, like mayonnaise for example. However, I prefer making mine healthier so I tossed the pasta salad with a lighter vegan chipotle sauce dressing that tastes very delicious! The sweet corn is roasted in olive oil which also adds amazing flavors to the salad too! Anyway, this combo has the perfect amount of Mexican spice and I‘m pretty sure you will not miss any dairy ingredients in this vegan pasta salad!
How to Make Mexican Pasta Salad
Start to cook the pasta until al dente. Then rinse the pasta with cold water, drain, and toss it with a drizzle of olive oil. This keeps the pasta from sticking together and also adds a fresh olive flavor! Alternatively, you could also toss it with just a few tablespoons of the chipotle sauce dressing. Just in case if you don’t want to add additional oil.
How to roast corn in a skillet
Then roast the corn in a skillet with a little oil over medium-high heat, turning the corn every 2 to 3 minutes. It will take about 8 to 10 minutes in total until the corn is golden brown on all sides. After that allow the corn to cool slightly until it’s cool enough to handle before cutting off the roasted kernels.
Healthy Corn Pasta Salad
Prepare all the vegetables you want to add in your Mexican pasta salad. Besides the roasted sweet corn, I’ve used kidney beans, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and green onions. However, any veggie is a great addition to this healthy salad. And if you’re not into kidney beans you can substitute black beans or crispy chickpeas.
Creamy Chipotle Sauce
Any salad recipe is only as good as what it’s tossed in and this Mexican Pasta Salad is no different. But as I’ve mentioned before, I prefer a lighter dressing, however, this vegan chipotle sauce is still ultra-creamy and delicious! It contains basically just non-dairy yogurt, fresh lime juice, adobo sauce, and some spices. Anyway, you can also sub vegan mayonnaise or cashew cream cheese if you want a richer sauce. To make the sauce, simply whisk together all of the ingredients. Then store in a sealed jar until ready to use or for up to 5-6 days.
Chili, jalapeño or adobo sauce?
If you’re wondering “what is adobo sauce?” – Well, it is actually just the sauce of canned chipotle peppers. However, if you can’t find any chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a store, you can substitute anotherhot sauce of your choice. Also, chili powder, jalapeños or any spicy seasoning will do too!
Vegan Feta Cheese or Avocado
You may have noticed that I‘m a big fan of vegan cheese! Sometimes I keep it simple and use just store-bought vegan feta but you can easily make it at home too! Since I‘ve made this simple tofu feta recipe a couple of times already I shared it here on the blog yesterday. You’ll need only a block of extra firm tofu, high-quality olive oil, some dried herbs, such as oregano, thyme, and basil. Plus sea salt and pepper, of course. That’s it! Just drain the tofu very well and pat dry. Then cut it into cubes and marinate in the herbs and spices infused olive oil feta marinara. Click here to check out the full instructions and recipe.
To serve the Mexican Pasta Salad, simply toss together all the veggies and cooked pasta. Top with vegan feta cheese or avocado and the creamy chipotle sauce dressing. Enjoy immediately for the best texture!
This Mexican Pasta Salad Recipe is
- Quick & easy to make
- Loaded with Veggies
- & roasted sweet corn
- Can be made gluten-free
- Topped with vegan feta cheese
- Perfect for lunch, dinner or meal prep
Which type of Pasta can I use?
You can use any shape of pasta to make this Mexican pasta salad! My favorites are farfalle, macaroni, penne, rigatoni, tortellini, ravioli, and shells but I’ve also tried this pasta salad with spaghetti and Fettuccine because they’re easy to make vegan at home. Anyway, I find that pasta types with more texture hold the chipotle sauce dressing best.
Can I grill the corn?
If you want to grill the corn instead of roasting in the skillet, simply turn your grill to medium-high heat, about 430°F (220°C). When using pre-cooked corn it will also take about 8 to 10 minutes, turning the corn every 2 to 3 minutes to grill it on all sides. Anyway, since all grills vary in temperature and power, you may need to grill the corn for more or less time.
Easy Meal Prep Recipe
This is a perfect meal prep pasta salad recipe that you can easily make ahead of time. Just make sure to store the prepared salad and chipotle sauce dressing separate in airtight containers in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, toss them together and add the vegan feta cheese or avocado or both. Anyway, I also enjoy this Mexican salad as leftovers since they keep very well and make healthy meal prep lunches for work and school! Not forget to mention that it makes also a great summer side dish for grilling, barbecue parties, and just any occasion! It can also be paired with other vegan snacks such as crispy chickpea falafel, vegan chicken nuggets or BBQ cauliflower wings.
If you do try my Vegan Mexican Pasta Salad with sweet corn and Chipotle Sauce Recipe I would be happy if you leave a comment and rate it because it’s always helpful to me and other readers! And if you take a picture of your dish and share it on Instagram, please remember to tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka to make sure I won’t miss your post! Have fun trying!
Mexican Pasta Salad with creamy Chipotle Sauce
Mexican Pasta Salad
- 12,3 oz pasta of choice 350g
- 14 oz kidney beans or black beans, 400g, drained & rinsed
- 8,8 oz cherry tomatoes 250g, halved
- 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- approx. 1/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro finely chopped, or sub dried herbs, to taste
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cobs corn (pre-cooked*) or 10,6 oz rinsed & drained canned corn
- 4,4 oz vegan feta cheese 125g, crumbled (or sub 1 avocado*)
- Cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Rinse with cool water, drain, and toss with a little olive oil to avoid sticking together. (Alternatively, you could also toss it with a few tablespoons of the dressing).
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn and roast from all sides, about 8-10 minutes, turning the corn every 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then cut off the roasted kernels.
- In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the sauce. Taste and add additional salt or spices as desired.
- Prepare the tofu according to this recipe. Alternatively, use chopped avocado.
To serve the salad
- Add the roasted corn, kidney beans, cherry tomatoes, green onions and herbs to the pasta. Pour the chipotle sauce over the pasta mixture. Toss to coat, then sprinkle the tofu feta if using or avocado over the top and enjoy!
- I used pre-cooked corn cobs but if you can't find in a store, you can use fresh cobs. Just make sure to cook them in salted water for about 15 minutes. Then allow to cool and dab dry before roasting.
- If you can't find any unsweetened or plain non-dairy yogurt, you can sub vegan mayonnaise or cashew cream cheese (+ a bit of water to thin if needed).
- If making the salad ahead for later, store the chipotle sauce dressing separately. Add it just before serving.
- Please read my blogpost for additional information about this recipe.
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