Southwest Pasta Salad

We love TEX-MEX foods at our house, so this recipe really hits the SPOT. It's great to take to potlucks, or add some CHICKEN and have it for dinner. Either way, it's DELISH! (Sorry for the terrible picture! I really need a nice new camera . . . and maybe some cuter dishes!)

Southwest Pasta Salad
1 (16-ounce) box penne or rigatoni pasta, cooked according to directions
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
3/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
1/2 cup roasted and salted pepitas (dark, small pumpkin seeds)
1 bottle Hidden Valley Farmhouse Southwest Chipotle dressing
1/4 to 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped

In a bowl, combine the pasta, beans, corn, peppers, cilantro, bacon, and pepitas. Stir in about 1 cup of the dressing and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Just before serving, stir in the lettuce and more dressing to moisten. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

TIP: Add some cooked or grilled chopped chicken to make this a main course meal. Another great addition is some sort of cheese. I've added shredded taco blend cheese, and I think cubed pepper jack or cheddar would also be good. For tomato lovers, add tomato. And if anyone decides to add beef (shredded, ground), let me know how it turns out!

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