Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad

One of my favorite things about summer is all the fresh food and salads. Whether they are at a barbeque with friends or just a simple light dinner at home, the salads are one thing I look forward to when the weather starts to warm up. I have my favorites, but I always like to try new kinds to mix things up a bit, and this cilantro-lime salad is one of the best I've tried in a long time. A really long time. It has already cemented itself in the "Favorite Salads" list in my head. (Don't tell me you don't have lists of favorites in your head, too.) It is full of different textures and flavors and they all go together so well. The cilantro and lime dressing keeps it fresh and light-tasting, and the chicken makes it filling enough for a meal. I love the sweetness of the mango and the crunchiness of the bell peppers. It's a mark of my love that I shared it with my one year old because I wanted to eat the entire bowl myself. Try it yourself and you'll understand. 

Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad

HeatOvenTo350 Published 06/4/2013
Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad


  • 4 ounces dried rotini pasta
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cubed chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 medium mango seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, combine lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, sugar, salt, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend or process 30 seconds.
  3. Drain pasta once it has finished cooking and place in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from bhg.com

8 Click For Comments:

I just love how colorful it is! I made a salad with mango and peppers last week and though I was skeptical of the combo, it totally won me over. I know I'd love this!

I can tell that this would be on my list of favorite salads too! I need to make this -- it sounds wonderful. Cilantro and lime are two of my favorite flavors, and the mango and peppers are terrific! I make a mango salsa with those flavors and love it!

this looks amazing! I'm on it! "one year old..." gosh. Can't believe she's already 1!

This looks amazing and it's light for summer making it perfect. I'll have to add this to my recipes!

I've been making cilantro lime dressing for my salads the past month and I love it. Great idea to add it to a pasta salad. I will definitely be trying this soon!

I've definitely been in a pasta salad mood lately...and i adore anything with cilantro! This looks great, Nicole :)

This looks great, Nicole. Love the pics too. ;)

I imagine this would be good hot or cold. It looks like great picnic food!

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