Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Taco Ranch Pasta Salad

Y'all, it is officially the last day of summer!  Can you believe it?  Tomorrow, at 9:21 a.m. to be exact, we can start wooing that crisp, fall air to come our way.  Break out the boots, sweaters and indulge in as many pumpkin spice lattes as possible!

But, it's not officially fall.  Yet. 

So today, let's focus on the season at hand.  Summer.  Steamy, hot, toasty summer.  And yes, here in The Natural State it still feels like 100% summer.  And I've got the perfect recipe to enjoy on this warm day.

Pasta salad is one of my favorites.  It's easy, quick and so very versatile.  It's can be customized to suite your tastes and you can use whatever you have on hand to create a delicious side or meal in a matter of minutes. 
I think it may be safe to say that this is one of my all time favorite pasta salad recipes.  It's got it all; chicken, tomatoes, black beans, corn, onions, starchy pasta and it's all tied together with the oh-so-delicious, cool, creamy ranch dressing.  But the goodness doesn't stop there; it's topped with tons of shredded cheese and crunched up cheesy Doritos.  Yes, Doritos!  This salad truly does have it all.

It comes together quickly, especially if you use the help of a rotisserie chicken.  (Gosh, rotisserie chickens are a lifesaver when I have to fix a meal in a pinch!)  Plus, it can be made ahead of time making it ideal for quick weeknight meals or when you're getting ready for a big gathering.  This salad is perfect for a side at a cookout, but is hearty enough to be a meal alone. 
This salad is delicious, refreshing and packed full of juicy chicken and tons of veggies.  It's incredibly addicting and you truly can't stop with just one bite!  And, it's not your basic pasta salad.  I mean, how many pasta salads have you had that involve a delicious, cheesy tortilla chip crunched up and tossed over the top? 

Do yourself a favor and make this pasta salad.  Like now! 

Taco Ranch Pasta Salad
Ingredients:

1 Package ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
1/2 Cup mayonnaise
1 Cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 Cup sour cream
Juice from 1/2 a lime, more if desired
2 Cups cooked, shredded chicken ( I used rotisserie chicken)
16 Oz (1 box) rotini pasta, cooked to al dente, drained and set aside
14.5 Oz can corn, drained
14.5 Oz can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
15 Oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Bunch green onions, diced
1/3 Cup chopped cilantro
1 Cup shredded cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
1 Cup crushed cheese Doritos

Directions:

Combine ranch mix, mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream and lime juice in a medium blow and mix to combine.  Set aside.
In a separate bowl combine chicken, pasta, black beans, corn, tomatoes, onions and cilantro, stir to mix.  Add the mayonnaise mixture to the chicken mixture and stir until ingredients are coated.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, top with cheese and Doritos.  Enjoy!

Recipe source: barely adapted from Pip and Ebby

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