Mexican Pasta Salad

Mexican Pasta Salad

This is a quick, easy, and refreshing dinner that I think is pretty healthy (contains veggies and fiber and can be made pretty low in fat). Although I did get the original recipe from the Moosewood Low Fat Favorites cookbook, I have altered this recipe through the years to meet our tastes. The best thing about this recipe is it can be altered to use whatever crisp veggies you have on hand and whatever spices you prefer. This recipe is also great as a leftover so do not be afraid to make ahead and store in your fridge.

8 ounces chunky pasta (such as rotini, wheels, medium macaroni, etc)
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn (or the equivalent in frozen corn)
1⁄2 large red onion, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large bell pepper, chopped (green, red, yellow - whatever color you have on hand)
1 large tomatoes, chopped
1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
1 -2 tablespoon lemon juice (you can also use lime juice)
pepper, to taste
tastefully simple ranch fiesta dip mix, to taste or 1 spicy seasoning mix (such as Mrs Dash Extra Spicy) or 1 garlic powder
cilantro, chopped,to taste
1⁄2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or to taste, I have also used shredded monterey jack and shredded mexican soft cheese. If you are ve)

1. Cook the pasta (al dente) During approximately the last 2 minutes of cooking time, add the corn.

2. While the pasta/corn mixture is cooking, combine all other ingredients (except for the cheese) in a large bowl.

3. Drain the pasta and corn.

4. Rinse the pasta and corn in cold water until the mixture is cool or cold.

5. Add the pasta/corn mixture to the other ingredients and mix.

6. Before serving, sprinkle mixture with shredded cheese.

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