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I came up with this recipe when trying to find something to take to a potluck BBQ picnic. I wanted something cheap to make that would satisfy and serve a bunch of people. So far on my initial taste tests, it is wonderful! It's spicy, but light, with many beautiful colors, tastes and textures. It does not have a heavy dressing, I'm not usually fond of pasta salads as the dressings always seem to vinegary to me, this is just right. You can vary the ingredients, by adding artichoke hearts, any kind of onions from scallions to purple onions, any additional veggies (cucumber, celery) or any pasta you prefer, cheese would also be a good addition. I tried to not make this too spicy since it was a Boy Scout function feeding a lot of kids. It should go over big, (I hope). These amounts make a ton, so if it's for fewer people, you may want to halve these amounts.
- 24 ounces wacky mac pasta ("Wacky Mac" mixed color & type)
- 1⁄2 lb Coleslaw, mix- shredded cabbage & carrots (1/2 of a 1lb bag)
- 2 (10 ounce) cans rotel (lime & cilantro flavor) or 2 (10 ounce) canschopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 -2 chopped bell pepper (your preference on amount & colors)
- 1⁄2-1 finely chopped sweet onion
- 1 (15 ounce) can corn (or frozen)
- 1 (4 1/2 ounce) canof chopped black olives
- 1 (4 ounce) canof chopped green chilies
- 1 (1/2 ounce) package buttermilk ranch salad dressing mix
- 1⁄3-1⁄2 cup Italian dressing (Cardini's brand)
- 1⁄4-1⁄3 cup balsamic vinaigrette (Cardini's brand)
- 1 -1 1⁄4 cup plain yogurt, to consistency you prefer (half of mine was homemade)
- 1 teaspoon garlic pepper seasoning (more or less to taste)
- Boil pasta in salted water to al dente, drain, rinse with cold water, drain well.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl large enough to accommodate all of the ingredients, starting with solids, ending with the dressings, mixing well, with-out breaking apart pasta.
- Cover, chill until served, this salad is best served fresh, and NOT letting set overnight as is typical for most pasta salads, so time your use accordingly.