Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad

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The tangy cilantro-lime pasta salad is the perfect summer treat as temperatures rise. A refreshing take on pasta salad, this recipe is both beautiful and tasty. This salad is a hit at picnics and garden parties thanks to its fresh vegetables and creamy dressing.

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You can also try this 4-ingredient pasta salad for a quick meal.

What Makes This Recipe Good?

This cilantro-lime pasta salad transforms simple ingredients into something special. The creamy cilantro lime dressing—tangy and sweet—coats the al dente pasta and crisp vegetables, making it healthy and tasty. Avocado offers a silky smoothness that balances lime acidity, making every bite pleasant.

FAQs About the Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad

Here are some commonly asked questions about making cilantro-lime pasta salad:

Can I prepare ingredients in advance?

Yes, you can cook the pasta and chop the vegetables the day before. Just add the avocado and dressing before serving to maintain freshness.

What is the best way to store leftovers?

In an airtight container in the fridge, though it’s best enjoyed fresh due to the avocado.

Key Ingredients for Lime and Cilantro Pasta

The magic of cilantro-lime pasta salad lies in its simplicity and the quality of its components. Each ingredient adds a unique touch, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

  • Pasta: Bow-tie pasta (farfalle) is preferred for its ability to hold the dressing, but other short pastas like rotini can also be used.
  • Corn: Fresh corn is ideal, bringing a sweet crunch to every bite.
  • Tomatoes: Cherry or grape tomatoes add a burst of juicy flavor.
  • Red onion adds a mild, sweet flavor that complements the other ingredients.
  • Avocado: Provides creaminess and rich, healthy fats.
  • Cilantro: is used in both the salad and dressing for its fresh, citrusy notes.
  • Dressing: A mix of plain Greek yogurt, lime juice, garlic, salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Perfect Salad Tips from Chef

Achieving the perfect cilantro-lime pasta salad is all about timing and technique.

  • Pasta: Cook it to al dente and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Dressing: Blend until smooth and season to taste. Keep it chilled until ready to use.
  • Assembly: Toss the salad components gently to ensure each piece is evenly coated without crushing the avocado or tomatoes.

Customizing Your Creamy Cilantro Pasta

This salad is wonderfully versatile, allowing for numerous variations to suit any palate or dietary need.

  • Protein Additions: Grilled chicken or shrimp can transform this salad into a hearty meal.
  • Cheese Options: Sprinkle crumbled feta or cotija cheese for added flavor.
  • Dressing Variations: For a vegan option, substitute Greek yogurt with a plant-based yogurt.

Our recipe for a 4-Ingredient Pasta Salad contains additional delectable salad thoughts along these lines.

What goes best with lime and cilantro pasta?

Cilantro-lime pasta salad pairs beautifully with a variety of dishes.

  • Grilled meats, such as chicken or steak
  • Other summer salads, like a fresh fruit salad or  four-ingredient chicken salad 
  • Light seafood dishes, like grilled shrimp or scallops

Health Benefits

Health-conscious diners will appreciate the many benefits of cilantro lime pasta salad:

  • Avocados: are high in healthy fats and fiber.
  • Greek yogurt: adds a protein boost while keeping the dressing light and tangy.
  • Fresh vegetables: provide vitamins and antioxidants, making this salad a nutritious choice.

Find Out About More Delicious Foods

Why not try Gabriela’s other delicious dishes while you’re eating the cilantro-lime pasta salad? Here are some dishes that complement or contrast our featured salad.

  • For a hearty complement, try the Honey Lime Chicken, which marries sweet and tangy flavors that echo the zestiness of our pasta salad.
  • If you’re in the mood for more pasta, the Lemon Butter Pasta offers a simple yet rich flavor profile that can serve as a perfect weeknight dinner.
  • Or, if you’re looking for something to satisfy your comfort food cravings, the French Onion Mac and Cheese is a creamy, decadent option that’s sure to please.

These recipes should inspire you to cook memorable dinners for your family. Share your recipes, ideas, and changes on social media or in the comments below. Your input enhances our community and inspires new recipes.

Happy cooking!


Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad

Discover the refreshing taste of our Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad, perfect for any summer gathering. Quick prep & full of flavor!

  • Author: Gabriela cardenas
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Boiling, Mixing
  • Cuisine: Mexican-American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 16 oz bow tie pasta (or your choice of short pasta)
  • 1½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears of corn)
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Crumbled cotija cheese (optional for garnish)


  1. Prepare the Pasta: Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Rinse under cold water and drain.
  2. Make the Dressing: In a blender or food processor, combine Greek yogurt, lime juice, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth.
  3. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, corn, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Add Avocados: Gently fold in the diced avocados.
  5. Serve: Garnish with additional cilantro and cotija cheese if desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


  • Grilling the Corn: For an added smoky flavor, grill the corn cobs before slicing off the kernels.
  • Protein Boost: Add grilled chicken or shrimp to turn this salad into a hearty main dish.
  • Storing: If not serving immediately, add the avocados and a little extra dressing just before serving to keep the salad fresh.

Keywords: cilantro lime pasta salad, lime cilantro pasta, summer pasta salad, creamy cilantro pasta

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creamy cilantro pasta / lime cilantro pasta / summer pasta salad

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