this pasta salad for dinner one night, but knew I needed to add some protein to make my husband happy. I recently made some yummy chicken in another recipe (coming soon) and knew I had to combine the two.
Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad
For the Chicken
2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1-1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1. Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl and set aside. Place chicken pieces in a separate bowl and combine with olive oil. Pour in seasoning mix and stir until chicken is well coated.
2. Heat a pan over medium-heat and cook chicken 3-4 minutes per side until no longer pink. Set aside and let cool.
6 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 3 small, juicy limes)
1/4 cup white wine or rice vinegar
3 tsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1. For the dressing: Process lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and sugar in a blender until smooth. With the blender running on slow speed, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated. Turn off the blender and add cilantro. Pulse 5-6 times so cilantro gets broken up but some pieces still remain intact.
Zest from 2 limes
1 lb. penne or bowtie pasta, cooked according to directions and cooled
1 (14 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup feta cheese
Grape tomatoes, red onions, corn (optional)
1. For the pasta salad: Zest limes and place zest in a large salad bowl. Place cooled, cooked, drained pasta in a large salad bowl with lime zest.
2. Add beans, chicken and other ingredients if desired. Toss with dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. For best results, chill 1 hour before serving. Right before serving, sprinkle feta cheese on top.