Summer is in full swing here.....it's been about a week and a half in the 90's. Although I love grilling to get out of the kitchen, sometimes hot food just doesn't sound very appetizing. I've heard great things about this recipe, and I love Mexican/Southwest flavors, so I just had to try it. I'm sorry I waited so long - it's awesome! It would be perfect for any occasion, but would be great at picnics, etc, since there's no mayo or meat (although I did add some grilled chicken for the hubby)
This salad is light, healthy and full of color....although you will notice mine has an unusual color...blue. I appologize - I had some University of Michigan shaped/colored pasta on hand, so I used that, not really thinking of the weird color it would add. This is a must try for your summer menu!
University of Michigan aka Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad
*I cut the recipe in half
*I added one grilled and sliced chicken breast, recipe below
1 lb wagon wheel pasta
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10oz package frozen corn
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
8oz shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp cumin
1-2 tsp chili powder2 garlic cloves, minced
freshly ground salt & pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced
Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix well.
In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Pour over the pasta salad, add the cilantro, and mix well. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
Just before serving, stir in the diced avocado.
Southwest Grilled Chicken Breast
1 chicken breast, pounded thin to about 1/2 inch thickness
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning
In a bowl, whisk all ingredients, minus the chicken. Add marinade and chicken to a ziploc bag or covered container, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove from marinade, grill on medium-high heat for 7 minutes per side, or till cooked through. Remove from grill, slice and place on top of pasta salad.