An easy pasta salad that’s exploding with flavor with just a touch of heat! It’s creamy, zesty and perfect for your next potluck or bbq!
Say goodbye to traditional pasta salad and hello to this creamy bowl of deliciousness! 😉 It’s always around summer that I start craving pasta salad. And every year I always make the same old tried and true recipe… Well not this year babes! This year I’m kicking it up a notch with this delicious and easy cilantro lime pasta salad! It’s light and refreshing, only requires a handful of ingredients and full of all those zesty Mexican flavors! (This is one dish you can bet we’ll be making all summer long!😎)
These ingredients are so simple and there’s hardly any prep work required too! Plus you can add as much or little of each as you want depending on your personal preference.
- Pasta: I used bow tie pasta for mine but almost any kind of short pasta would work too.
- Shredded chicken: Store bought rotisserie chicken works well for this and makes it so much easier to prepare. You can always cook your own chicken too and shred it.
- Corn: I love using fresh corn for this recipe! (See directions below on how to cook it) Frozen corn can also be used instead too.
- Grape tomatoes
- Red onion
- Cotija cheese: Completely optional but gives the salad a little added saltiness.
How do I cook fresh corn?
The easiest way to cook fresh corn is to simply boil it. We do this all the time in my family and it comes our perfect and delicious every single time! Here’s how we do it below.
- Fill a large pot half way with water, cover it and bring it to a boil.
- Once it’s boiling, add your corn and boil for 1-2 minutes. (The corn should turn a bright vibrant yellow color.)
- Take the corn out of the pot and let it cool completely before cutting the kernels off.
How to make a healthy cilantro lime dressing
Like most salads, the true star of this recipe is the dressing! It’s cool and creamy, a little tangy and has just a touch of spice right at the very end. It’s the perfect way to tie all these ingredients together!
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (If the dressing is too spicy try using 1/8 tsp of cayenne instead.)
Simply place all your ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Store the dressing in the fridge until your ready eat. It should last for about 1 week. (You can also use this to dress any other kind of salad too or even as a dip for veggies!)
How do I make this pasta salad vegetarian?
So easy! One way is to take out the chicken completely and eat it as is. Or you can replace the chicken with black beans or even chickpeas too! (My personal favorite is black beans. 🙂 ) But this “vegetarian” version also makes a great side salad for potlucks and bbq’s too!
I hope you enjoy this cilantro lime pasta salad just as much as my family does! Have the best day loves!
More recipes like this:
- Easy Italian Pasta Salad
- Summer Melon Salad with Prosciutto and Mozzarella
- Grape and Feta Kale Salad
- Healthy Italian Sub Salad
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my social media @kalefornia_kravings – I love seeing what you create!]
Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad
For the pasta salad:
- 1 box bowtie pasta, cooked and cooled (or your favorite pasta, use gluten free if needed)
- 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken*
- 1½ cups corn (about 2 ears of corn)
- 1½ cups grape tomatoes, sliced
- ½ small red onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 avocados, cut into cubes
- Optional topping: cotija cheese
For the dressing:
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup cilantro (leaves & stems are fine)
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne
To make the dressing:
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Place it in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
For the pasta salad:
- Place your pasta, chicken, corn, tomatoes, onion and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss the salad with your dressing. Top with avocado right before serving and serve with cotija cheese on the side.