With this Southwest Pasta Salad there’s no need to heat up the kitchen during the hottest part of the day. Simply make this easy pasta salad in the morning, and enjoy it for lunch or dinner!
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After a long day at the pool or beach, the last thing that I want to do is stand over a hot stove to make dinner. Pasta salads make it easy in the summer; make one in the morning when it’s nice and cool and enjoy them later in the day for lunch or dinner. Easy Pasta Salad recipes are kind of my “breakfast for dinner” alternative during the summer.
Easy Pasta Salad Recipes:
Cook’s Note – Southwest Pasta Salad:
- This pasta salad makes a TON! We usually have it for dinner twice during the week and then enjoy the rest for lunches. It makes 8-12 main dish servings or 20-24 side dish servings. You can easily half the recipe if needed.
- Make sure you have an extra large bowl to mix this pasta salad in, because you’ll need it!
Cook’s Tools – Southwest Pasta Salad:
ONE YEAR AGO: Patriotic Tunnel Cake
TWO YEARS AGO: Lemon Cream Pie Cheesecake Dip
THREE YEARS AGO: Chicken and Waffle Sliders
Southwest Pasta Salad
- PASTA SALAD:
- 1 Pound Gemelli pasta or any other medium-shaped pasta
- zest of 4 limes
- 1 14- ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 14- ounce can garbanzo beans rinded and drained
- 4 LARGE roma tomatoes diced
- 2 large red bell peppers diced
- 4 green onions chopped
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 3 cups cooked and diced chicken
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- CILANTRO-LIME DRESSING:
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 large avocados peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup tortilla strips
- lime wedges
- freshly chopped cilantro
- COOK PASTA: Cook pasta according to package instructions, and drain and rinse with cold water. Place pasta in extra-large bowl and toss with lime zest.
- MAKE CILANTRO-LIME DRESSING: Add lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and sugar to blender, and blend until smooth. With blender on low, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated and slightly thickened. Add the cilantro and pulse until combined.
- Add cilantro dressing, black beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, diced pepper, green onions, corn and chicken to bowl with pasta. Toss until toppings are evenly distributed and coated with dressing. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving. Right before serving, top with cheese, avocado, and tortilla strips. Garnish with extra lime wedges and chopped cilantro.