Mexican Pasta Salad

by Jen on May 1, 2012

Hi, and welcome!

I often wonder if you read my blog and think, gee, she seems to have it all together.  She cooks, she meal plans, she eats healthy…

Oh, if only you could be a fly on my wall!  Yes, you would see me cooking, meal planning, and eating healthy.  But, you would also see the Costco sized Nutella(s) I have in the pantry for the kids (and occasionally myself), the bag of frozen fries I keep in the freezer to keep the hubby and kids happy, or me, banging my head on the counter struggling to plan meals that will keep everyone happy.

It’s hard work to eat whole, fresh, and healthy foods while at the same time trying to please 3 small boys and 1 big man.  If I only had to cook for myself, life would be so much easier…not to mention cheaper!

However, sometimes I do enjoy the challenge of finding and coming up with new recipes that I think the whole family will like.  And these are the recipes I want to share with you.

I recently came across a recipe in Clean Eating Magazine (great magazine BTY) for a Mexican inspired pasta salad.  Usually, pasta salad is loaded with unhealthy fat such as mayonnaise, but this recipe was light and refreshing.  Plus, it had foods in it that my kids would like, such as tomatoes and mango.


This salad is a little bit tangy and a touch sweet, the perfect combination if you ask me.  I like to serve it cold on a warm spring or summer evening.


Mexican Pasta Salad


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: serves 4

Serving Size: 1 cup




  • 1 cup whole wheat fusilli, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup no-salt added canned black beans
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine beans, tomato, onion, mango, and avocado. Immediately toss in lime juice to help prevent avocado from browning.
  3. Add in pasta and toss to combine. Add oil, cilantro, salt, and pepper and mix gently.
  4. Eat at room temperature or chill in fridge for an hour to enjoy a more refreshing flavour.


My kids typically don't like onion or cilantro, so I just leave them out until after I served them their salad. Then I add it in for hubby and I!


As you can see, this salad pairs perfectly with some grilled steak.

A few things that make this salad healthy:

  • the use of whole wheat pasta (if you wanted to make this salad gluten-free, you could use corn pasta or another gluten-free pasta)
  • healthy fats from the avocado and extra virgin olive oil
  • fibre from the whole wheat pasta and black beans
  • high amount of antioxidants from the mango

So the next time you plan on firing up the grill, consider making this salad to round out your meal.

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