4.34 from 3 votes

Chili Pasta Salad

This summer I can’t seem to get enough pasta salad. I serve it as a side or the main course depending on the mood I’m in. This Chili Pasta Salad is a meal in itself though, that we never seem to get sick of!

Chili Pasta Salad in a bowl.


I was inspired to make this easy recipe after whipping up a batch of my Pantry Chili a few weeks ago. I wondered what a Chili Pasta Salad would taste like. The answer? Delicious!

Think tender noodles mixed with a spicy chili and tangy garlic dressing. I like eating mine warm, but it also tastes good chilled too. I’ll be making this one again this summer I’m sure!

You’ll also like this Tortellini Salad, Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad, Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad, Bacon Pea Pasta Salad and Greek Pasta Salad.

Why You’ll Love This Chili Pasta Salad

  • It tastes incredible both warm and cold
  • A nice change of pace compared to the normal pasta salads out there
  • Dual-purpose as it can be a side dish or main meal
  • Something the kids will love, and adults too!
  • Only need 10 ingredients that you probably already have
  • Super simple to toss together, great for when you’re out of creativity in the kitchen
Chili Pasta Salad in a bowl.

 Ingredients

  • Bowtie pasta
  • Lean ground beef
  • Yellow onion
  • Green pepper
  • Stewed tomatoes
  • Kidney beans
  • Minced garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • Package of chili seasoning

How to Make Chili Pasta Salad

  • Step 1: Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and put in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Step 2: Add in ground beef, onions, and green pepper. Cook until beef is browned and vegetables are softened.
  • Step 3: Stir in a package of chili seasoning mix. Add in stewed tomatoes and kidney beans and stir together. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Step 4: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, and garlic. Add the mixture to the bowtie pasta and stir to combine. Add the chili into the pasta mixture and stir together. Serve warm or chilled.
Chili Pasta Salad in a white bowl.

Equipment Needed

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    What to Serve with Chili Pasta Salad

    This flavored Pasta Salad is a perfect dish all by itself, but if you’re looking for some other yummy ideas, here you go:

    We have a ton of other pasta salad recipes for you to check out, all you have to do is head to the search bar and type in pasta salad and you’ll be amazed at how many other options are out there for you to try! Bored by the same ol’ pasta salad, no more!!

    Chili Pasta Salad in a bowl.

    Recipe Tips and Tricks

    • Try not to overcook your pasta. You don’t want floppy, flimsy bowtie pasta as it will start to disintegrate over time faster than more al dente pasta will.
    • If you don’t have the chili seasoning mix, use 2 tbsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano instead to create your own homemade chili seasoning mix.

    Variations and Substitutions

    • Swap the bowtie pasta out for other pasta shapes, like the classic elbow macaroni, or try cavatappi or rotini for something different!
    • Add other ingredients. Some other additions would be bacon bits, other colored bell peppers, corn kernels, or shredded cheese.
    • Add some garnishes that you can mix in, like a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt, a handful of shredded lettuce or some shredded cheese like a Mexican blend, cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese.
    • Trade out the lean ground beef for another protein source. Ground venison, ground turkey, and even ground chicken would be great options to try out. 

    Storage Instructions

    Any leftovers of this delish Chili Pasta Salad should be transferred to an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  

    Can I Freeze? 

    You can freeze this dish, simply transfer everything over to a freezer safe container or freezer safe zip top bag, label it and freeze for 2-3 months. 

    To thaw this Chili Pasta Salad recipe, just remove the container or bag from the freezer the night before you need it and place it in the fridge to thaw overnight. 

    You can serve cold, or warm if desired. If you wish to serve it warm, depending on how much is left over, you can reheat it in batches or all together in the microwave, using burst intervals and stirring the pasta salad in between bursts so it heats all the way through. 

    Can You Make This in Advance?

    Absolutely! In fact, this Chili Pasta Bowtie Salad is one of those recipes that it gains more flavor the longer it sits and the seasonings can meld into the other ingredients and pasta even more. 

    When possible, I like to make this dish a few hours to a day in advance and let it sit stored properly in the refrigerator so the flavors can really infuse together. Make sure to give it a good stir before you serve or warm it though!

    Should I Rinse the Pasta for Pasta Salad? 

    There are varying opinions on this process. Some people say you should rinse your freshly cooked pasta with cold water because it stops the cooking process and also lowers the temperature of the pasta which is especially helpful if you’re wanting to serve this Chili Pasta Salad cold. 

    However, I don’t see it as a necessary step as I enjoy this pasta salad warm as well. 

    Rinsing your pasta also rinses off what’s left of the pasta starch that helps the pasta stick together and stick to other things. I find that using warm pasta helps all the “dressing” and other ingredients stick to the Bowtie pasta easier, creating an even more flavorful overall pasta salad. 

    You decide what feels right to you and try it out. 

    A serving spoon with chili pasta salad.

    More Pasta Salads

    You’ll also like Chili Cheese Stuffed Shells and Frito Chili Pie.

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie, TikTok @simplystacierecipes or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes.

    If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!

    4.34 from 3 votes

    Chili Pasta Salad

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 6
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Tender bowtie noodles mixed with a spicy chili and tangy garlic dressing make a delicious pasta salad!

    Ingredients
     
     

    • 4 cups bowtie pasta uncooked
    • 1 lb lean ground beef
    • 1 yellow onion chopped
    • 1 green pepper chopped
    • 1 can stewed tomatoes 14.5oz/540ml can
    • 1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed 15.5oz/540 ml can
    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • cup lime juice
    • 1 package chili seasoning 1.25oz/35g package

    Instructions

    • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and put in a large bowl. Set aside.
    • Add in ground beef, onions and green pepper. Cook until beef is browned and vegetables are softened.
    • Stir in package of chili seasoning mix. Add in stewed tomatoes and kidney beans and stir together. Remove from heat and set aside.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and garlic. Add the mixture to the bowtie pasta and stir to combine. Add the chili into the pasta mixture and stir together. Serve warm or chilled.

    Notes

    If you don’t have the chili seasoning mix, use 2 tbsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano instead.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1g | Calories: 558kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 656mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Salads
    Cuisine American
    Keyword Chili Pasta Salad

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    4.34 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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    35 Comments

    1. HI, I added this to my daily blog post for Mon Jan 25 – 5 AM- Gave you total credit with links to your page! Hope that is okay. We love this recipe.

    2. kathy downey says:

      We have this every other week its very good

    3. I get tired of the same old pasta salads–either mayo based dressing or an Italian style. Great idea for something different! Thank you for linking.

    4. DARLENE W says:

      Love this with the bowtie pasta and kidney beans

    5. Judy Cowan says:

      I made this for a potluck last night and it went over really well, thanks for the recipe!

    6. Judy C (Judy Cowan) says:

      What a different idea for a pasta salad! Thanks for sharing it, I am going to put it on the menu for next week!

    7. I will have to make this summer for the hubby… It sounds like something he’ll love!

    8. Darlene Demell says:

      I love pasta salads in the summer and this one looks very tasty. I will be trying this one out for sure. Thanks for sharing.

    9. Rosanne Robinson says:

      I’ve got to try this recipe, it looks sooooooooooo yummy! 🙂

    10. nikki robak says:

      this sounds delicious but I would substitute beef for vege round and Im sure it would taste just as good

    11. Sherry Compton says:

      Sounds great! I like chili mac so this would be fun to try. Also, you could use different leftover chilis to give it different flavors. Keep on with the pasta salad…summer is a great time for them and what a creative way to “summerize” a “winter” dish.

    12. leslie ross says:

      I am going to make this for myself and maybe share with the hubby

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