Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
Fancy & Delicious - great to bring to a potluck cookout! Cooking time is chill time after the salad is prepared.
- 6 cups rotini pasta, uncooked (1 pound)
- 1 -2 tablespoon lime zest, grated (from 2 medium limes)
- 3 -4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
- 1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 medium green onions, sliced (including tops)
- 1 (19 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (6 ounce) can pitted ripe olives, drained and cut in half
- 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can green chilies, drained and chopped
- cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain well.
- Meanwhile, grate peel from limes; place in a small bowl. Squeeze juice from limes; add to peel in bowl.
- Stir in dressing and taco seasoning mix.
- Stir in avocado into dressing mixture.
- In a large serving bowl, toss pasta with all remaining ingredients.
- Pour dressing mixture over salad; toss gently to mix.
- Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving to blend flavors.
Great pasta salad! I increased the ranch dressing to 1 1/2 cups and kept all other ingredients the same. This was quick, easy and very tasty! Thanks for sharing, MA HIKER. Edit to add: I was looking for something different to bring to Taco Night during the 4th of July weekend. Looked up my reviews and found this little gem. Changed it up a bit by using bow tie pasta, black beans, adding corn, omitting the green onion and cilantro and replacing the tomatoes with two cans of Rotel. It was a huge hit! Thanks again!
I loved that this was a spin on the traditional macaroni salad. I normally gag when thinking about macaroni and mayo, but the fact that this used rotini and ranch really interested me. Sadly, the kids didn't like it at all. Dh and I thought it was okay. It really could have been smoother, in my opinion. I'm thinking about maybe subbing sour cream for half the ranch next time. Or maybe adding more ranch, like another poster mentioned. That would help it "blend" more, I think. I really did like the flavors, though. I made the mistake of using whole grain noodles, which didn't go well in here at all. Regular would have been much better. I'll definitely try it again. It's possible if I cut down on the taco seasoning, I might be able to get the kids to eat it as well. I let it refrigerate for about 2 hours, but I'll bet it would be even better if you could do it overnight, to give the flavors more time to soak in.
I really kinda changed this with this, but kept the main idea of the dish the same. I used whole wheat pasta, corn, green onions, and green beans for the veggies because thats all I had... But I LOVED the dressing for this pasta salad. The mixture of ranch and taco seasoning was awesome! I packed this in lunches yesterday with cheese to sprinkle when they ate it. Made for zwt 3!