Prep 1 hr
Cook 10 mins
This hearty, spicy salad is as colorful as it is flavorful! It makes a wonderful main dish or side dish. It's well balanced with beans, pasta, and lots of veggies. This salad travels well and is a hit in my kids' lunchboxes. It takes some time to make but is well worth the effort. By far my favorite pasta salad and very yummy!!
- 1 lb pasta (I prefer small sea shells or elbow macaroni)
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
- 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans
- 2 (15 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans
- 1 (16 ounce) package frozen corn, thawed
- 12 ounces monterey jack pepper cheese, cubed
- 1 (15 ounce) can black olives, sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 3 green onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled & shredded
- 1 cup bell pepper, seeded & diced (assorted colors add to presentation and flavor)
For the Dressing
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 limes, juice of (enhances flavor of olive oil) or 1 lemon, juice of (cuts olive flavor)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried cilantro
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
- Boil pasta according to pkg directions; set aside to cool.
- While waiting for pasta, combine dressing ingredients and set aside. (Rolling the lime while putting pressure on it with the palm of your hand helps release the juice.).
- Once the pasta is cool, place into large mixing bowl.
- Place beans in colander, rinse and drain well, and add to mixing bowl.
- Place frozen corn into colander and allow to thaw. (I sometimes run cold water over corn to thaw faster.) Drain well and add to mixing bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and dressing to mixing bowl; mix well.
- NOTES: Salad tastes great when served immediately but is even better the next day.
This as good, I made as stated but next time I will reduce the olive oil, I felt it was too much, I omitted the dried cilantro and used cayenne in place of dried chili flakes, thanks for sharing!...Kitten