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southwest pasta with black beans, corn, red bell pepper, in a pan with a spoon

Vegan Southwest Pasta

  • Author: Allie
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This is an easy vegan Southwest pasta dish for a fuss-free dinner made with mainly pantry-stable items, plus frozen spinach and red bell pepper.


  • 8 ounces (227 g) whole-wheat dried pasta (short like penne or rotini)
  • 1 can ((15 ounces) 425 g)) black beans or pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen corn (135 g), no need to thaw (or 1 can corn drained)
  • 1 ½ cups chunky mild salsa
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup (15 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup (90 g) frozen spinach (no need to thaw or a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach)



  1. Add everything except nutritional yeast and spinach (unless using frozen) to a large pot.  Stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer, cook covered for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. First, check the pasta at the stated time on the packaged instructions. If it’s not done, give it a couple more minutes.
  4. When the pasta is done there should be some liquid left to create a creamy sauce with the nutritional yeast.
  5. Stir in the nutritional yeast and fresh spinach (if using instead of frozen) until the spinach is wilted.
  6. It will thicken up as it cools.


Cooking times will vary depending on the type of pasta you are using.

I use my homemade vegetable broth, which is salt-free.  If your vegetable broth is not salt-free, you may want to adjust the salt.

I use this homemade salt-free chili powder, if your chili powder has salt you want to adjust the salt in the dish.  You can taste the pasta once it’s done, and you can always add more if it needs it.

If your vegetable broth has a very strong flavor, you can substitute 1 cup of vegetable broth with 1 cup of water.

If using frozen spinach, use loose leaf not a block of frozen spinach.  If block frozen spinach is all you have, try thawing it first, squeezing out most of the liquid so it doesn’t throw off the liquid to pasta ratio, and portion out the needed amount for the recipe.

I only tested with white and whole wheat pasta, not gluten-free pasta.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: One pot pasta, vegetarian southwest pasta, vegan southwest pasta, southwest pasta