Southwestern Pasta Salad

Southwestern Pasta Salad
From Dreamfield Pasta

Mmmmm pasta salad.  I could literally eat pasta salad every day.  I mean, let’s be real, I could eat anything “pasta” every day.  Pasta salads are just the best vehicle for making that dream a reality.  It’s pretty much a resounding fact that pasta salad gets better every day it sits in the fridge (until one day when it suddenly goes from the best thing ever to a kind of weird gray color – but in the HMK they usually don’t last that long).  This one is no exception.  We made it as a side dish for our meat fest last Thursday then got to enjoy stolen bites straight from the bowl, lunches at work, and few late night snacks for the rest of the week and into the weekend.  I thought the half mayo, half salsa dressing combo was the perfect balance between guilty/creamy and flavorful/low cal.  John feels pretty strongly that it could have used bacon and cheese, and while he’s not wrong per se, you have to take it with a grain of salt because he’d add bacon and cheese to just about anything if you let him 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 lb penne pasta (or any other shape you like for pasta salad)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt

Preparation

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and set aside.
  2. Place corn in a microwavable bowl with 1 tablespoon of water.  Microwave 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until corn is thawed and slightly tender but still a little crunchy.
  3. In a large bowl combine pasta, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, avocado, cilantro and jalapenos.  (If you are making it a day in advance, you may want to hold off on the avocado until just before serving).
  4. In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, salsa, lime juice and salt.
  5. Add dressing to pasta mixture and toss to combine.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Serves 8.

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