Southwest Pasta Salad
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1/2 lb bowtie pasta
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
zest from 2 limes
16 oz diced cooked chicken seasoned with taco seasoning
1/2 cup cubed pepper jack cheese
6 TBSP fresh or frozen lime juice (approx. 3 limes)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup olive oil or safflower oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, chop vegetables. Zest limes, then juice them.
Place the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and sugar in a blender. Process until smooth. With the motor running slowly, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated. Add the cilantro and pulse so it gets broken up, but some pieces still remain intact.
When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water to cool. Place the pasta in the large salad bowl with the lime zest. Add black beans, tomatoes, diced pepper, green onions, corn and chicken. Toss with small amount of dressing. For best results, chill for 1 hour before serving. Right before serving, add additional dressing, then sprinkle with cheese.
Makes about 4-6 dinner sized servings or 10-12 side servings
Steps that can be completed ahead of time: The following steps can be completed earlier in the day or the day prior to serving: chop bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions and cilantro. Cube cheese. Remove fat from chicken breasts, cube, then sauté with seasonings. Prepare dressing.
Thanks to Our Best Bites for this fabulous recipe. I really enjoy the dressing but next time I’ll try omitting the vinegar and replacing it with additional lime juice.