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Southwestern Pasta Salad

  • Author: Morgan
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


  • 16 ounces swirly short cut pasta such as rotini, cooked to al dente
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole corn kernels, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 12 jalapeno peppers, minced, plus slices to garnish
  • 6 ounces colby jack cheese, cubed
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, to garnish

For the Chipotle Ranch Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotle chiles from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely minced to a paste, or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk


  1. Prepare the chipotle ranch dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, chipotles in adobo, garlic, cilantro, dill, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, while whisking, until you reach the desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the pasta, corn, colby jack, black beans, cherry tomatoes, green onions, jalapeno, and bacon. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine. Add dressing as needed.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, at least one hour. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and sliced jalapeno, if desired.