Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is so delish!  Of course I borrowed the recipe from Our Best Bites.  I made this numerous times at the end of last summer and even brought it to people as a meal and everyone loves it!  This is a great summer meal, especially here in Phoenix, when you don't want your whole house heated up at dinner-time. 

The only changes I made are to roast the bell peppers first, which is entirely optional, and I like to use Trader Joe's fire-roasted corn--yum!  I also prefer diced red onion instead of green onions--your choice, you really can't go on.

Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad
recipe minorly adapted from Our Best Bites
1 lb bowtie pasta, boiled al dente
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
4 Roma tomatoes or 2 big beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
3 colored bell peppers, roasted and chopped
3/4 c. minced red onion
1 c. frozen corn, defrosted.  Prefereably fire-roasted corn
zest from 4 limes
1 lb grilled chicken, chopped
1 c. crumbled feta or cotija cheese

3/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/2 c. white vinegar or rice vinegar
8 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 Tb. sugar or more, to taste
1 1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. cilantro

To make the dressing first zest the limes and set zest aside.  Add lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt & sugar to the jar of your blender.  Blend until mixed and while the blender is running on low, slowly stream in the canola oil until emulsified.  At the end toss in the cilantro and blend for another 20 seconds.  Set dressing aside.

In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, black beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, corn, lime zest and chicken.  Toss ingredients together.  Pour over dressing to coat, there may be some leftover for later.  Refrigerate at least one hour and serve with a sprinkling of cheese. 
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