Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

I love pasta salads, and I’ve tried many that are so good I eat them for breakfast. But this one is the absolute tippity-toppest of them all. Oh. My. Tongue. It disappeared too quickly, and I can’t wait to make more. We ate it for breakfast and lunch the next day.

This recipe came from Butter With a Side of Bread, and I didn’t change a heck of a lot with it. The original recipe had a can of kidney beans and a can of olives in it, both of which I didn’t use. I felt the can of black beans was plenty, and the olives would have been great, but I didn’t have any. I amped up the flavor and zip with a teaspoon of chili powder. I also discovered, after eating it, that this would have been just as great without the chicken in it, so that’s an option for me in the future. The black beans gave enough protein by themselves. I know you’ll like this one as much as my family did.

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a large pot of water to boil for your pasta. I used a fusilli for this, also known as rotini. Cook until al dente, drain, and rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process.

In a skillet with a little oil, sauté the chicken breast. When done and cooled, cube into small pieces.

Grate the sharp cheddar cheese and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, place the drained, cooled pasta, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cubed chicken, corn, and black beans.

For the dressing mixture, in a medium bowl, use a whisk to mix together the mayonnaise, milk, Hidden Valley Fiesta Dip mix, taco seasoning, and chili powder.

Add the cheddar cheese and dressing mixture and blend well. The original recipe added Fritos to the pasta salad, but I couldn't imagine adding something so crunchy to this. Add it if you'd like. ;)

It’s ready now. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

1 lb fusilli (rotini)
2-3 chicken breasts
1 Vidalia onion
1 green bell pepper
2 tomatoes
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 c mayonnaise
½ c milk
1 pkg Hidden Valley Fiesta Dip mix
½  pkg Taco Seasoning mix
1 tsp chili powder

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