Perfect for potlucks, picnics & summer BBQ’s! This easy pasta salad is loaded with fresh corn, tomatoes, onion & cilantro all tossed in a creamy homemade cilantro lime dressing! It’s simple, refreshing & the best dish for summer!
Cilantro lime pasta salad – the official dish of summer! This is not your traditional pasta salad. Dare I say it…it’s even better!😉 Loaded with lots of veggies including fresh corn, tomatoes and all the avocado then tossed in the creamiest and dreamiest cilantro lime dressing! We get asked for this recipe all the time at parties! It’s simple, easy and such a nice change of pace from our usual pasta salad routine.
Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad
- Pasta: Any type of short pasta will work for this recipe. (We love using bow tie (farfalle) or rotini pasta.)
- Corn: Use fresh corn for the best results. (It’s more flavorful and adds a pop of texture that’s hard to achieve with canned or frozen corn.)
- Tomatoes: I’d suggest using cherry or grape tomatoes. They’re the perfect size for your salad and have so much flavor!
- Red onion: Red onion works the best! (It’s slightly sweeter than white or yellow onion and doesn’t have a harsh “onion” taste.)
- Cilantro: Use the leaves and stems for maximum flavor! You’ll need at least 2 tablespoons for this salad.
- Avocado: Add as little or as much as you want!
- Cilantro lime dressing: A creamy homemade dressing to tie it all together! It’s got a touch of heat, is only a handful of ingredients and can easily be made in the blender!
How To Make Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad
- Make your dressing. Place the dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Then keep your dressing stored in the fridge while you prepare the rest of your salad.
- Prepare your pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package’s directions. Then set it aside to cool completely.
- Prepare the rest of your ingredients. While the pasta cools, cook your corn using your preferred method then cut the kernels off the cobs after they’ve cooled. Cut your tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and avocado and set them aside.
- Mix and serve! Add all your ingredients (except the avocado) to a large bowl and pour your desired amount of dressing over the top. Then toss the salad until it’s fully coated and top it with your diced avocado. Serve immediately with extra avocado on the side.
Like a lot of dressing? Make 1½ – 2x the dressing recipe and use it for leftovers! We’ll also double the dressing if we’re making a full box of pasta.
Tips & Variations
- Have leftovers? Toss your pasta salad in a little extra dressing right before serving! (The pasta tends to soak up the dressing the long it sits.)
- Try grilling your corn for added flavor!
- Add a sprinkle of cotija cheese!
- Make it an all-in-one meal & add some diced or grilled chicken to the mix!
- Can I prep any ingredients beforehand? Yes! You can cook your pasta and corn, make your dressing and cut the tomatoes and onion the day before serving. I would wait to cut your avocado until right before serving.
- What’s the easiest way to cook fresh corn for this pasta salad? Boil your corn cobs for 1½ – 2 minutes. (They should be plump and bright in color.)
- How do I store my leftover pasta salad? Place your pasta salad in an air tight container and keep it stored in the fridge. I would pick out any avocado pieces before storing because they can turn brown and look unappealing. (You can always add more when you eat it next!)
- How long will my leftover pasta salad keep in the fridge? Your salad should stay good for 2-3 days if stored correctly.
- Can I freeze my pasta salad? No. Freezing this salad can alter it’s consistency and cause your ingredients to become mushy after it’s been thawed.
Why you’ll love this cilantro lime pasta salad recipe!
- A different type of pasta salad! No usual pasta salad ingredients over here! This salad is a fun change of pace that everyone’s going to love!
- Lightened up & healthy! We’re using protein packed Greek yogurt as the base for our dressing & loading it up with lots of fresh veggies and healthy fats!
- So much flavor! Creamy, tangy, zesty & everything in between! This pasta salad has all the flavors, all the textures and all the summer vibes!😉
More pasta salad recipes you might like:
- Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad
- Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Pizza Pasta Salad
- The Best Taco Pasta Salad
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad
For the pasta salad:
- 8 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked and cooled (or your favorite pasta)
- 1½ cups corn kernels (about 2 ears of corn)*
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ of a small red onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- 1-2 avocados, diced
- Cotija cheese, crumbled (optional)
For the dressing:
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped (leaves & stems are ok)
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛-¼ tsp cayenne (depending on how spicy you want it)
To make the dressing:
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Then place it in the fridge while you prepare the rest of your salad.
To make the pasta salad:
- Add your pasta, corn, tomatoes, onion and cilantro to a large bowl and pour your desired amount of dressing over the top.
- Then toss the salad until it's completely coated. Add your avocado and cotija cheese (if using) right before serving and serve immediately.