Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Margarita Chicken Pasta Salad

It's summer and it's hot!  I don't know about you, but where I live it's been well into the 100s for a couple months now.  This salad makes such a delicious "no-cook" dinner.  It is so flavorful and the best part is that it can be made ahead for those busy days when you know you will need a quick dinner!  I sometimes serve it with cheese quesadillas.  It would also make a great side dish for a picnic or a pot luck.

I've had this recipe for a long long time and have made it several times.  It comes from Pillsbury and I believe may have been a bake-off recipe.  I remember first making it pre-kids which would have put me back to about 2001.  So it is definitely tried and true!  I hope you will give it a try!

Margarita Chicken Pasta Salad
via Pillsbury

10 oz. (4 cups) uncooked rainbow rotini (spiral pasta)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken strips for stir-frying
1 (1-oz.) pkg. Old El Paso® Taco Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 (11-oz.) can Green Giant® Mexicorn® Whole Kernel Corn, Red and Green Peppers, drained
1 can (15 oz) Progresso® black beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons tequila, if desired (I usually omit this for the kids)
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 (4.5-oz.) can Old El Paso® Chopped Green Chiles
Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool.  
Meanwhile, in resealable food storage plastic bag, combine chicken and taco seasoning mix; shake to coat. In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook and stir 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and no longer pink in center. Remove from heat.  
In blender container or food processor bowl with metal blade, combine all dressing ingredients. Blend 30 seconds or until well blended. 4 In large serving bowl, combine cooked rotini, corn, beans and dressing; toss to coat. Fold in cooked chicken. Serve warm or cold.


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