Cheese and sour cream can ramp up the calories in pasta salad recipes. This super pasta and pinto bean salad has all the flavors you love, but with healthy ingredients that keep a lid on the calories and fat. A charred poblano chile and charred corn kernels lend it smokiness, while pinto beans and pasta make it more than filling. Scallions and cilantro add a little zip to the proceedings. It’s all tossed in a delicious vinaigrette made with fresh lemon juice and zest, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper, fresh garlic, and olive oil. Make it for weeknight suppers or special occasions. It’s kid-friendly enough for the family crew but interesting and festive enough for company and potlucks. Use our pasta salad with peppers as inspiration to get creative in the kitchen. Remember—pasta doesn’t have to be hum-drum. Dial it up a notch by adding some of your own favorite flavor combos and fresh, healthy produce.


Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

Recipe Summary

30 mins
15 mins
Serves 8


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, honey, kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic clove in a small bowl; slowly whisk in extra-virgin olive oil.  

  • Stir together pasta (cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water), poblano chile, corn kernels, pinto beans (drained and rinsed), and chopped scallions and cilantro. Add vinaigrette, and gently toss to combine. Serve at room temperature, or cover and chill.