Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Southwest Pasta Salad

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great Easter weekend. I felt like I was super busy, but it was a lot of fun.

I need to learn to take my camera with me more often so I can snap blog pics. I've got a really nice camera now, courtesy of my in-laws, and I'm scared that I'll break it if I take it anywhere! I would have loved to take some pictures of our Easter celebrations, but I didn't. Sorry! It didn't help that I'm fighting a cold right now and just didn't feel like doing anything on Easter Sunday. Luckily, I had a quick and easy recipe to bring to our dinners. This Southwest Pasta Salad has quickly become a favorite because it can be made a night ahead, or at least prepped a night (or more!) ahead of time.

I started by using this recipe from allrecipes.com, (I was strapped for something to bring to a potluck, and stumbled upon it before the days of Pinterest) and noted my changes/suggestions in bold print.

Not my picture - but this is about how mine looked. This is from the allrecipes site.


  • 1/2 (16 ounce) package rotini pasta
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil - I use olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice - I use about a half cup because I like tangy dressings
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin - I love cumin so I tend to add a little more
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn - I tend to use the low sodium canned corn when fresh isn't in season. Frozen would probably work nicely, too.
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper - Red, Orange, or Yellow (or all three) Bell Peppers can be used, too. They make it look so nice and bright!
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper - I add in red onion in addition to the peppers. I'm an onion girl!
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves - Green onions would be good, too, if you forego the red onion.
  • 1 cup chopped roma (plum) tomatoes - Rotel diced tomatoes are a great addition, too. I like the heat from the juice.


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large bowl combine oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and garlic. Stir in pasta and set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. - I've found that if you eyeball dressings (like I do) it's best to slowly drizzle the dressing over the pasta and taste it to make sure it's not overdressed.
  3. Stir in corn, beans, green pepper, red pepper and 1/2 of the cilantro leaves. Spoon onto a platter and garnish with tomatoes and remaining cilantro. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Did you make any delicious dishes over the weekend? What's your go-to recipe when you want something easy yet impressive to make?

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