Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fiesta Pasta Salad

I told you I love salads this time of year!!:)  This is one of my favorites and I was surprised when I realized that I hadn't blogged about it yet!!  Well, I'm here to fix that!

Fiesta Pasta Salad
2 boneless, skinless chicken breats
1 box (12 oz.) bow tie pasta
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can black olives, drained and sliced
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or regular tomates diced)
4 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1/2 green pepper, chopped

Dressing:
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1/3 cup ranch dressing

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and fry in a skillet in a little oil until browned and completely cooked.  Set aside.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain (you do not need to rinse).  Put pasta in a large bowl.  Prepare all the vegetables and add to the pasta.  Then add the black beans, corn, olives, and chicken and then stir to mix. 

Make dressing by mixing oil, vinegar and taco seasoning together.  Whisk until combined and then add the ranch dressing and mix again.  Pour over the pasta mixture and stir until combined.  Let cool in the refrigerator for at least a few hours before eating (I always have to take a few bites before I put it in the frige...just can't help myself!). 
This is one of those salads that's even better the next day when it's had lots of time for all those flavors to combine and soak in to the pasta, veggies and chicken! 

I like to serve this as a main dish with some breadsticks to go with it and possibly a fruit (like grapes).  Perfect spring meal!! 

This is also a really good side dish!  You can serve it as a side as is, but if you have a meat main dish you could also just leave the chicken out of it and serve it as a side to your meat dish.  I've had it many times without the chicken and it's still delicious!!

Honestly, you're gonna love this one!
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