Southwestern Pasta Salad

I have said it before and I”ll say it again. Summer is for salads.

There. I said it again. And I’m sure I’ll say it a couple more times too.

I’m sorry if anyone out there doesn’t like cold salads because this will be the third one that I have given you in the past week. I just can’t help it. I eat them and I have to make them and share them because I feel like there is nothing easier or better for a summer dinner!

Well, maybe watermelon and corn on the cob, but who says we can’t eat a salad along with those things? I’m pretty sure I have never heard anyone say we can’t….so I think I will. I think I just came up with my dinner for tonight.

Don’t let the long ingredient list to this salad scare you. They are all ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen right now and, if you don’t, I can guarantee that you can substitute something that you do have in your kitchen!

That’s the great thing about pasta salads…you can make them pretty much whatever you want them to be. For example, my salads rarely ever have onions in them because they make me break out in a sweat when I think about them. Or, I have to make separate salads for my police officer that don’t include olives because they make him break out in a sweat! You get the idea! Make them so you love them!

Southwestern Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

16 ounces small shell pasta

2/3 cup cider vinegar

6 green onions, sliced (I omit these!)

1/2 cup chopped green peppers

1 can black eyed peas (rinsed and drained)

1 can (11 oz.) corn, drained

1 can (2.5 oz.) olives, drained and sliced

1/2 cup sliced green olives

3 tablespoons diced pimentos

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup oil

1-2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8-1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Directions:

Cook pasta per directions. Drain and rinse in cold water and place in large bowl.

To pasta, add vinegar and toss to combine. Stir in next seven ingredients, up to and including the pimentos.

In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients to make dressing. Stir into pasta mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

Yield: 10-12 servings

I ate this for lunch three days in a row after I had it for dinner. The only reason I didn’t eat it for dinner was because I wanted to save it for lunch. I figured it would make my work day a little bit better.

It totally worked.