Fiesta Pasta Salad

By Marie Powell

Fiesta Pasta

Yields: 6-8 servings

Total prep time: approximately 20 minutes

If you find yourself adopting new dietary plans, accommodating picky eaters, or looking for inexpensive easy meals, this fiesta pasta is a terrific “core recipe” to play around with. If you avoid wheat or gluten, simply swap standard pasta for your preferred gluten-free or paleo version. Think vegan recipes are challenging? Not so; simply omit the cheese or sub a dairy-free variety. No corn on hand, or just not a fan? Swap it for olives, marinated peppers, or extra beans. Salsa is my favorite way to update this dish – keep it mild, spice it up, or try a tropical variety like peach-pineapple.


  • 12 oz. rotini or penne pasta
  • 12 oz. salsa
  • 16 oz. canned beans, rinsed (black, pinto, or kidney)
  • 16 oz. whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cups cubed cheese (cheddar and/or jack)


  1. Cook pasta in boiling water until tender, approximately 9-10 minutes.
  2. Drain pasta and cool slightly.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to pasta and stir to combine.
  4. Serve cold as pasta salad. For a warm, melted cheese version: Transfer to baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees F until hot, approximately 15-20 minutes.