Recipe: Whole Wheat Chipotle Pasta Salad

This Southwest-inspired pasta salad at Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes featured penne pasta with kidney beans, corn, bell peppers, black olives, red onion, green chilies, and cilantro, all tossed in a creamy dressing.

If this recipe seems different from what you remember, there’s a similar dish that features a vinaigrette instead of a mayo-based dressing: Spicy Southwestern Pasta Salad.

The following is an official Souplantation-provided recipe originally printed by the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2015.

Makes approximately 10 cups.


For pasta

  • 10 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

For the dressing

  • 1 1⁄3 cups mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable base powder (find this in the soup base/bouillon aisle at the grocery store)
  • 2 teaspoons puréed chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic

For the salad

  • 1¾ cups canned kidney beans (drained)
  • 1½ cups corn
  • 1½ cups julienned red bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • ¾ cup diced red onion
  • ¾ cup canned diced green chilies
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro


  • Cook the pasta: In a pot, bring water and salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook for approximately 10 minutes until al dente. Immediately strain pasta and rinse with cold water. Drain water and coat pasta with oil to prevent sticking.
  • Make the dressing: Combine and blend until emulsified the mayonnaise, soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, vegetable base, chipotle pepper and garlic.
  • Assemble salad: Combine dressing with kidney beans, corn, red pepper, black olives, red onion, chilies and cilantro. Add pasta and mix gently to combine.

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