Southwestern Shell Pasta Salad

Chop, chop, chop and get your frustrations out making this pasta salad with south-of-the-border appeal. Choose your heat level by amount of peppers, hot sauce and chilies you add. This yields a generous bowl and serves 12-14. Make this ahead of time and chill ~ if you can wait and can keep everyone out too!


  • 1 pound small shell pasta, cooked al dente, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 2 to 4 ounces canned diced green chilies, drained
  • 6 to 8 green onions sliced w/green
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (can be part green bell pepper)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro (more or less to taste)
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • Several dashes Tabasco (or sub equivalent heat of red pepper flakes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 medium avocados, peeled and cut in cubes (optional)


  • In large bowl combine shell pasta, beans, corn, olives, green chilies, onions, bell pepper, celery, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers.
  • In small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, lime juice, mayonnaise, Tabasco and salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over pasta mixture and toss lightly, coating evenly.
  • Cover and chill a few hours or overnight. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  • If desired, lightly fold in avocados and serve.


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Southwestern Shell Pasta Salad