Southwest Chipotle Pasta Salad

5 from 2 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links.

This chipotle pasta salad will knock your socks off with flavor. It’s vibrant, crunchy, creamy and totally dairy free. The perfect healthy pasta salad to change up the rotation.

I love all pasta salad, but several of them will leave me feeling super full and sluggish. This pasta salad doesn’t do that! It’s got equal parts of veggies to pasta as far as ratios go. This pasta is full of nutrients and the chipotle lime dressing is zesty, bright and addictive.

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Why Make This Chipotle Pasta Salad

This southwest pasta salad is full of flavors, lots of colors and fresh crunchy veggies. This salad is dairy free, and vegan. You can choose to make it spicer or more on the mild side. This is a great meal prep dish. Add a side of protein for a filling, complete meal.

Ingredients Needed To Make This Recipe

Pasta. I like to use rotini, but really many shapes will work great.

Red Cabbage. This is to add color and crunch to this tasty salad.

Bell Peppers. Any color of choice.

Red Onion. This adds a nice bite to the salad, and the purple adds a great pop of color.

Zucchini. Any kind. Zucchini is mild in flavor and a great light crunch for this salad.

Canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. This is found in the international aisle at most grocery stores near the salsa.

Fresh Lime. This brings out the flavor and adds a pop of citrus.

Garlic. Fresh cloves are always the best and offer the most flavor for aromatics.

Seasoning. Salt, paprika, dried oregano

Olive Oil. Neutral in flavor, high quality olive oil.

Apple Cider Vinegar. Red Wine Vinegar will also work.

Maple Syrup. Or honey. This is to help sweeten the dressing and make it way less spicy and bring out the depth of flavors.

Optional ~ fresh cilantro for garnish.

How To Make This Recipe

Southwest Chipotle Pasta Salad steps on a cutting board and bowl.

Step one. Boil/cook the pasta according to the package. While that is cooking, chop all of your veggies, red cabbage, bell peppers, zucchini, red onion up into equal-ish sizes. Set aside until pasta and dressing is finished.

Step two. Get all the dressing ingredients; lime juice, chipotle peppers, maple syrup, olive oil vinegar, seasonings, into a high speed blender, food processor or use an emulsion blender to mix up.

Southwest Chipotle Pasta Salad Step three, in a white bowl.

Step Three. Add all the chopped veggies, cooked hot pasta, dressing to a large serving bowl and mix together well until everything it evenly coated. Serve and enjoy!

Southwest Chipotle Pasta Salad in a white bowl.

Tips and FAQ’s

This pasta salad will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just mix well again before serving. Great for meal prep.

Do I eat this cold?

Yes, cold or room temp will work great.

Where do I find Chipotle peppers in adobo?

Typically in the international aisle at the store or nearby the salsa aisle.

Can I skip the red onion?

Yes.

Is the zucchini raw?

Yes, it is raw and delicious that way in this recipe.

Other Recipes To Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Southwest Chipotle Pasta Salad in a white bowl.
5 from 2 votes

Southwest Chipotle Pasta Salad

This southwest pasta salad will knock your socks off with flavor. It's vibrant, crunchy, creamy and totally dairy free. The perfect healthy pasta salad to change up the rotation.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups rotini pasta
  • cup bell peppers, chopped, about two large peppers
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped, about two zucchinis

Dairy Free Chipotle Dressing

  • tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, *see notes
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, *see notes
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lime
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup , *more to taste if needed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp crushed dried oregano
  • ½ tsp smoky paprika

Instructions 

  • Boil/cook the pasta according to the package. While that is cooking, chop all of your veggies, red cabbage, bell peppers, zucchini, red onion up into equal-ish sizes. Set aside until pasta and dressing is finished.
  • Get all the dressing ingredients; lime juice, chipotle peppers, maple syrup, olive oil vinegar, seasonings, into a high speed blender, food processor or use an emulsion blender to mix up. 
  • Add all the chopped veggies, cooked hot pasta, dressing to a large serving bowl and mix together well until everything it evenly coated. Garnish with cilantro or parsley (optional) Serve and enjoy! 

Notes

*to make the dressing spicier, add more chipotle peppers. do not drain the adobo sauce. 
*red wine vinegar will also work.
*add 1 tbsp of water if dressing is too thick

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 284mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1686IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 328
Keyword: 30 minute, vegetarian
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About Bailey


You may also like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This has incredible flavor to it!!! I wasn’t sure how the flavors were going to go together especially with maple syrup but I always trust Bailey’s recipes & the dressing was so flavorful & like nothing I’ve had before when it comes to a southwest dressing! Plus the vegetables that are used were great! Definitely give this recipe a try & you’ll be hooked!

    1. What a sweet compliment! Thank you so much for trusting me and making my recipes! Happy cooking (and eating). Xoxo