Mexican Pasta Salad

by Jen on May 1, 2012

Enjoy this flavourful and healthy dish with pork, chicken, beef, or fish!

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



21 Day Fix: 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1/2 purple, 1-1/2 tsp


  • 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.

Mexican Pasta Salad. A flavourful and healthy side dish. #recipe

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joey Tipping May 1, 2012 at 9:54 am

Oh, yums, my kind of meal. Will make this for sure when I get back down to Tucson this month as it’s hot, hot, hot down there and that looks like a cool salad. I’m sure I’d serve it for company with also some grilled asparagus on the plate as well. TFS. 🙂


2 veronica lee May 2, 2012 at 6:47 am

Mmmmmm! Looks yummy!

Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
Have a nice day!
veronica lee recently posted..Monkey Takes Self-portraitMy Profile


3 Jen May 2, 2012 at 8:13 am

It’s a great salad…so refreshing! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


4 Gloria Stewart June 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Oooh me oh my!
I just made this salad seconds ago and I haven’t stopped eating to type this. What a great salad, so refreshing.

I tried it with and without the onions and cilantro and I have to say, ‘your kids are craazy!’

Tomato Tomahto,


5 Jen June 8, 2012 at 8:25 am

So glad you liked it! Yes, my kids are crazy…but I suppose I didn’t like onions when I was 4 years old either 😉 Hopefully one day they will see the light.


6 Merry120 June 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I’m going to try this for sure. I made a great pasta salad when we were camping & the kids surprised me by actually eating it. This sounds right up their alley.
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7 Jen June 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm

It’s super yummy. The kids love the sweet mango 🙂


8 Claire January 14, 2016 at 11:25 am

I am new at this 21 day fix so I don’t know how to count the containers for these recipes. For example the Mexican salad. How many green yellow or red containers would that be? Please help


9 Jen January 16, 2016 at 10:00 am

I just updated the recipe to include the 21 day fix containers 🙂


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