southwestern wagon wheel pasta salad

I have had this recipe starred in my Google Reader since last August and various mishaps (not bringing the recipe with me to the mountains, not having the correct spices on hand, etc, etc) have prevented us from trying it. Well, with the pantry and the spice cabinet fully stocked, company coming in from out of town (Hi Cherrie and Lanis!), and the weather being waaaaaay too warm and beautiful for my original plan of mac n’ cheese, this little gem finally made it’s way to the menu lineup.

We are sooooo glad it did! It was easy to double for a crowd and delicious. Added bonus: no mayo in the dressing, so you can easily bring it to a cookout without worry of spoilage.

adapted from Good Eats N’ Sweet Treats
8 oz wagon wheel pasta, uncooked
1/2 can (15oz) low sodium corn, drained
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs fresh lime juice
3 tbs cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1. In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, lime juice, cumin, chili powder and garlic. Set aside.

2. Cook the pasta as directed on package. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool to room temperature.

3. In a large bowl, add the beans, corn, salsa, tomatoes and cilantro and mix. Add the cooked pasta and dressing. Fold to coat each piece (be careful not to break down the wagon wheels). Add cheese and fold to combine.

This was the perfect compliment to our Drunken Chicken, and that way we didn’t end up with 1/2 a bunch of cilantro, wondering what to do with it later in the week.
**update** The leftovers of this are good too! I just had some for lunch, and threw in some avocado and pickled jalapeno slices for some variety!
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2 Responses to southwestern wagon wheel pasta salad

  1. Colleen says:

    This is one of my favorite pasta salads – I think its originally from Cara’s Cravings – I make it multiple times each summer!

  2. zainylainy says:

    Just so you know, the reason for the lots of views on this post today is because I was making it. It turned out so yummy! Miss you and Tom!

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