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Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad

May 25, 2015

Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad

Do you still need a salad to take to a bbq or potluck tonight for the holiday? Well, here you go.  If you are trying to stay on track with your nutrition, it’s very helpful to bring your own delicious options to a get together.  It’s so much easier for me to make a good choice if I actually have a good one to choose!  Hopefully you all have some fun plans with family or friends this Memorial Day.  We usually have some kind of street bbq so if you live by me and don’t have any plans, come on down! I have the best neighbors :).  

So with this salad, it would be awesome to take to something like that, but it’s equally as awesome for any weeknight dinner.  We eat it for dinner often.  And the creamy avocado dressing totally takes these ingredients to the next level!  If you like any kind of southwest style food, I think you would really like this one.  It’s so full of flavor with an excellent healthy balance of macro nutrients.

So first off you will get your chicken grilling, and your pasta cooking.  You really don’t need to season the chicken a ton since it will have a dressing on it, but I just sprinkled some of my Home Made Taco Seasoning on it and grilled it up.

050Look yummy, huh? While these beauties are cooking, cook your pasta according to package directions.  You will want to cook them a little al dente since it will be in a salad.  You don’t want them mushy.  Drain the pasta and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Once these two things are cooked, start chopping all the veggies while the chicken is cooling.

053When you are chopping the tomatoes, you will want to seed out the middles so the salad doesn’t end up to watery.  But it really isn’t that big of a deal.

054Once the veggies are all chopped, dice up your chicken, and add veggies, chicken, and pasta to a bowl.

056Now you  are ready to blend up your dressing.  Put all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until thick and creamy and amazing!


059Avocado just makes everything so wonderful :).  Now you are ready to toss with the salad and you  are set!  This will definitely be a crowd-pleaser.   

Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad

Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad
Serves 6
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  1. 1 lb grilled chicken
  2. 1 can black beans
  3. 6 oz whole wheat bow tie pasta
  4. 1 jalapeno (optional) seeded and chopped
  5. 1 chopped orange pepper
  6. 4-5 chopped green onions
  7. 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  8. 3 oz chopped fresh baby spinach
for the dressing
  1. juice of two limes (4-5 T)
  2. zest of 1 lime
  3. medium ripe avocado
  4. 2 T olive oil mayo
  5. 1 T white vinegar
  6. 1 t chili powder
  7. 1 t cumin
  8. 1/2 t corriander
  9. 4-5 cloves minced garlic
  10. 1 t salt
  11. fresh ground pepper
  12. 1 bunch cilantro
  13. 2 t sugar
  1. Grill chicken and set aside to cool.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions (a little al dente) then rinse with cold water.
  3. Chop veggies and put veggies, chicken, and pasta in a mixing bowl.
  4. Put all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until creamy.
  5. Pour dressing into bowl and mix completely. Store extra in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  1. Macros per serving: Calories 323; Fat 6.7; Carbs 44; Protein 27
  2. Serves 6 11.5-12oz servings
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