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Southwestern chicken pasta salad served in a large glass mixing bowl
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Southwestern Chicken Pasta Salad

Southwestern chicken pasta salad combines spicy Mexican flavors with an easy to make pasta salad. Perfect for entertaining at a barbecue or potluck or as an easy lunch, this pasta salad will leave you and your guests hungry for more.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 328kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts seasoned with taco or fajita seasoning
  • 1/2 pound of bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 12 oz package of spiral pasta
  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing not dry mix
  • 1/2 cup salsa regular NOT a fruity blend
  • 1 teaspoon taco or fajita seasoning
  • 1 fresh tomato chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese or cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Generously season the chicken with either taco or fajita seasoning and bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through, at 350 degrees.
  • Allow the cooked chicken to cool slightly and then dice.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Set aside to cool.
  • Cook the bacon until it's nice and crispy. Allow grease to drain by putting the cooked bacon on some paper towels and when cool, crumble it.
  • Chop the tomato.
  • In a large bowl combine all ingredients, stirring to mix everything together.
  • Serve as is, or cover and refrigerate until chilled first.

Notes

  • You can slightly hack the recipe by using a rotisserie chicken. If you do this, dice or shred the breasts and then generously season and toss with the taco or fajita seasoning.
  • To change the heat or spiciness, you can mix and match your salsa and taco seasonings. You should be able to find mild to hot versions of both. If you love heat, you can use hot of both, but if you prefer a milder flavor, you can use just mild flavors.
  • Make sure to use Ranch dressing, not the dry mix. The dressing gives the pasta salad its creamy sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 452mg | Potassium: 380mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 221IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 1mg