Pasta salads are a favorite of mine, but I don't make them often because it seems like we can never eat them fast enough! I also find myself always making the same old pasta salad. My work was having a potluck and I wanted to try a new pasta salad recipe. I brought the question to my What's Cooking board and received all sorts of new recipes to try. Bridget of The Way Thee Cookie Crumbles posted a recipe for Taco Pasta Salad and it sounded so delicious! I made a few changes to the original recipe to suit my tastes and I though the result was wonderful! Like Bridget, the idea of using salsa in a pasta salad was new to me, but I was super happy I tried this recipe. My co-workers all loved this pasta salad and thankfully this recipe makes a large amount. This is a great recipe to try if you are looking for a new type of pasta salad.
1 lb wagon wheel pasta
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn
1 1/2 cups salsa (I used medium heat)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3-4 tablespoons lime juice
1 large avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and Pepper, to taste
¼ cup olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. Cook according to the package directions. Drain; stir the frozen corn into the pasta to cool the pasta and defrost the corn. Stir the salsa into the pasta and corn, then add the beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and cheese.
Squeeze the lime juice into a small bowl and add the avocado; stir to coat the avocado. Remove the avocado from the lime juice and stir it into the pasta mixture. Add the spices, garlic, and salt to the lime juice, then slowly whisk in the oil. Stir the dressing into the salad. Serve immediately or chill for up to 1 day (longer if you don’t add the avocado).