Lunchbox Makeover ~ Black Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

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Black Bean Pasta Salad


Black Bean Pasta Salad for a Change

I get tired of having the same things in my lunchbox everyday, so I can’t imagine that my kiddos like it either.  I’ve been scouring cookbooks looking for something fresh and different, that uses plain old ingredients, that will spice up their lunches.  Boy did I find it, and of course, I made it my own.  Black Bean Pasta Salad is a great way to change things up for lunch, or carry ins, and it’s perfect for everyone in the family!  With a few simple ingredients, you can have a great salad that works as a main dish or as a side.

Simple Ingredients for Black Bean Pasta Salad

Make Spirits Bright with

Of course, there’s black beans and pasta in Black Bean Pasta Salad.  But what makes it amazing?  Four more simple ingredients, and one secret ingredient (so secret, I didn’t put it in the picture below!) makes this dish outstanding.  Your favorite salsa becomes the dressing, giving you a great earthy, and sometimes spicy, flavor.  The additions of shredded Mexican cheese blend, diced onion, and fresh green pepper, add to the flavor and give a bit of crunch to the salad.  The secret ingredient, a clove of fresh garlic, bumps the flavor and rounds it out, giving you a fantastic Black Bean Pasta Salad in minutes.


Lunchbox Makeover ~ Black Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

Lunchbox Makeover ~ Black Bean Pasta Salad Recipe


  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 16 oz jar salsa
  • ⅓ C green pepper, finely diced
  • ⅓ C sweet onion, finely diced


  1. Heat a large saucepan of water to boiling. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes.
  2. Drain the pasta in a strainer and cool down with cold water. Drain again and place in a bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Refrigerate at least 3 hours to chill.
  5. Serve chilled.

Lunchboxes or Carry Ins, Black Bean Pasta Salad is Perfect

Black Bean Pasta Salad isn’t going to get wonky on you like mayonnaise based salads, making it a great choice for unrefrigerated situations like lunchboxes.  If you have a picnic gathering or a carry in at work, it’s also a great choice.  It’s something off the beaten path that will liven things up a bit.  There’s nothing worse than a carry in that has the same things you have every single time.  How boring!  Don’t forget to take the recipe with you so you can share it when everyone compliments you!  Spice it up a bit with Black Bean Pasta Salad!


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  1. I’ve done a similar version of this with whole wheat pasta.. canned black beans, canned diced tomatoes with the spicey seasonings, package of ranch dry mix seasoning and olive oil.. Very delicious.. too.. love those black beans they are so good and so good for you. thanks for sharing.!

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