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Make-Ahead Lunch: Tex-Mex Pasta Salad

September 5, 2011


[Neither of these ‘make-ahead’ recipes is the most gourmet thing I will post on here – in fact, they almost make me sound like a homemaker! Thankfully, however, I am not preparing them for my (non-existent) hubby and my (non-existent) little tots, but only for myself. I’m hoping that during my first week of grad school, I can rely on them to help me avoid a bit of cooking and prep work].

I put this recipe together because I love anything that allows me to combine lime, cilantro and a bit of chipotle hot sauce, and because pasta salad is always a super easy lunch to pack up and take to school. Although I generally cringe at the word ‘tex-mex’, I really couldn’t justify calling this authentic ‘Mexican’. But whatever you call it, it’s effing good. It makes 4 medium sized servings.


  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • 1 14oz can of kidney beans
  • 3 tbsp small cubes of white cheddar
  • 1 finely diced jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cobs of corn (or frozen/canned)
  • 1 diced green onion
  • fresh cilantro (diced)
  • 1 coarsely chopped orange bell pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • a couple dashes chipotle hot sauce (optional)
  1. Boil pasta, drain and cool in the fridge for at least a 1/2 hour.
  2. Boil corn on the cob, run it under cool water, and leave it to cool in the fridge also.
  3. Chop up all your veggies, and toss the jalapeno and orange pepper together in an oiled frying pan. Let it cook long enough for both peppers to start to brown/blacken in a couple spots. Set this aside.
  4. When pasta and corn are cool, set the cobs over a bowl and use a knife to scrap the corn off. Combine this in large mixing bowl with pasta, grilled peppers, green onion, cilantro (pick the amount according to your liking), kidney beans and diced cheddar.
  5. Separately, mix sour cream, mayonnaise and lime juice together. Add a bit of (chipotle) hot sauce if you choose. Add this dressing to the salad and mix. Garnish with cilantro and serve cold.



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