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Creamy Vegan Southwest Pasta Salad shown in a large white serving bowl. The salad is garnished with freshly chopped cilantro. The bowl is placed on a light blue surface, surrounded with smaller white dishes filled with tomatoes, chopped cilantro, & creamy vegan southwest dressing.

Vegan Southwest Pasta Salad Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 15 reviews
  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 15 mintues
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-12 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


An easy vegan pasta salad with plenty of Southwest flair. Made with black beans, roasted corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, & an easy & creamy cashew southwest dressing. Perfect to make-ahead for parties & quick dinners this summer. You will LOVE this Vegan Southwest Pasta Salad recipe! 


  • 16 ounces whole wheat pasta (see Recipe Notes)
  • 16 ounces cherry/grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded & diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups fire-roasted corn (frozen is fine!)
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

for the Creamy Vegan Southwest Dressing: 

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raw cashews (unsalted)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 23 chipotle peppers, packed in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, generously salt the water. Add in the pasta and cook to al dente, according to package directions. Drain the pasta, rinsing with cold water, and set aside.
  2. Make the creamy vegan southwest dressing: Meanwhile, as the pasta boils, prep the dressing. Add all listed ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  3. Assemble the vegan southwest pasta salad: Add the halved tomatoes to a large mixing bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, tossing to combine. Add in the bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, black beans, corn, and cooked pasta. Pour the creamy vegan southwest dressing over top. Toss to combine, seasoning with additional kosher salt & ground black pepper as needed.
  4. Serve & enjoy! You can serve this pasta salad immediately, though we like it best after it has sat for a few hours (the flavors come together even better!). Serve it at your next potluck-style summer BBQ or alongside your favorite summer dinners, like these grilled black bean burgers. Enjoy!


  • Pasta: Obviously, to make this pasta vegan, use your favorite vegan pasta. I love DeLallo’s whole wheat pastas – they’re totally vegan-friendly. While I prefer a textured short noodle for this vegan southwest pasta salad recipe (the creamy vegan Southwest dressing clings to it really nicely!), you can use whatever shape you like best.
  • Storage: Creamy vegan Southwest pasta salad will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. 
  • 15-Minute Meal Prep: This Vegan Southwest Pasta Salad recipe is easy & quick to make, especially if you’re able to do a little prep in advance. Simply follow the steps below & at dinnertime all you have to do is boil the pasta & toss it all together – easy! 
    • Halve the cherry tomatoes & dice the bell pepper & red onion. Store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
    • Blend the creamy vegan Southwest dressing according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions, above. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The dressing will thicken quite a bit as it sits – simply stir in a few splashes of water before tossing together the pasta salad.