Easy Oil Free Salsa Pasta Salad!
This Easy Oil Free Salsa Pasta Salad is a quick and flavorful pasta salad that will have your taste buds singing! Serve it at room temperature or cold, this pasta salad is vibrant, fresh, and full of plant-powerhouse ingredients. You won’t believe how fast it comes together. Perfect for your next picnic, potluck, or light dinner.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Who doesn’t love a great pasta salad that comes together quickly and tastes great! We fell in love with the simplicity of this salad. Our family gobbled it right up.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: This pasta salad is flavored by the salsa that you select. The flavor is enhanced by ramping up some additional spices like chili powder and coriander. It is a low-fat pasta salad.
- Low-Fat Dish Expectations: This dish was designed to be low in fat. Because it is low in fat, you are not going to experience that endorphin rush associated with eating high-fat foods when eating this dish. It is very tasty for what it is, and that is a low-fat dish. We just want to make sure that our Readers recognize this when contemplating making this recipe. If you wish to make it more indulgent, top individual servings with chopped avocados or guacamole.
- Taste Testing Salad Dressings: There is an art to arriving at the salad dressing that perfectly suits your tastes. Some salad dressings taste amazing before you dress the salad, then once dressing the salad, the salad falls flat. That is because the salad dressing has to cover all the salad ingredients which then flattens the flavor of the dressing. Additionally, some salad dressings taste really tangy or overly strong before dressing the salad, but once you dress the salad, it coats all the ingredients and tastes amazing.
- Red Onions: We enjoy red onions. If you have concerns, start low and build from there. If you have an especially sharp-tasting red onion, you may wish to consider chopping the red onion, then placing it in a small bowl and cover the chopped red onions with some warm tap water for 7 minutes. This will take some of the sharpness out of the onion. Drain well, shake off any excess water, then use in the salad.
- Beans: Feel free to use your favorite beans in this dish. We used pinto beans, but you could easily substitute with black beans or kidney beans. You can leave them out altogether if you wish and add more elbow macaroni.
- Pasta: Rinse pasta well with cold water until the pasta is no longer warm.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Once refrigerated, when serving, take out the refrigerator and allow to sit for 15 minutes to let the flavors wake up again. Refrigerating tends to stunt the flavor, but if allowed to remove some of the chill, the flavors become vibrant again.
This dish cannot be frozen.
Pantry Products Used:
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
- Salsa: We used Tostitos Mild Chunky Salsa. You can use your favorite brand of salsa, just watch the ingredients label. If using homemade, the measurement is 1 ½ cups of salsa.
- Regular Chili Powder: Feel free to use your favorite chili powder, just be sure to select a mild one and not one that has a lot of heat to it.
- Tajin Clasico Chili Lime Seasoning: Tajin Seasoning is made from a blend of 100% natural chili peppers, lime, and sea salt that brings out the flavor of food. It is gluten free, there are no artificial colors or flavors added. It is completely optional with this dish, but we did enjoy this dish with a tiny sprinkle of Tajin.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Stockpot to cook the pasta
This Easy Oil Free Salsa Pasta Salad is a quick and flavorful pasta salad that will have your taste buds singing!
- 1 – [ 15.5 oz. jar ] mild chunky salsa (1 ½ cups) *
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- 1 teaspoon regular chili powder (+/-) *
- 1/8 teaspoon dried coriander (+/-)
- ½ cup corn
- 1 cup cooked pinto beans, drained, rinsed *
- 1 to 1 ½ cups mini cucumbers, small dice *
- 1 red bell pepper, small dice
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 8 to 10 oz. elbow macaroni
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Sprinkle Tajin Seasoning *
- Avocadoes, small dice
- Cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions, rinse well with cold water, set aside.
- Place the Base Ingredients and Herb/Spice Ingredients into a bowl, mix well to combine.
- Place all the Salad Ingredients and cooked macaroni into a large bowl, then add the Salsa Mix, toss well. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the flavors.
- Serve with a sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro, Tajin, or chopped avocado to individual servings.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: Makes 10 cups
This post contains affiliate links, and we may receive a very small commission if you purchase through those links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures! For more information, see our disclosures here.