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Mexican Style Pasta Salad

A simple salad that bursts with flavor.

Course: main dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, salad, summer
Keyword: cotija, pasta, pinto beans, poblano, sun dried tomatoes
Author: HelenFern
  • 4 cups cooked orecchietta pasta
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup minced poblano, slightly charred
  • 2 whole green onions, sliced
  • 1-1/4 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 2 medium avocado
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing (use your favorite)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon regular chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic granules
  1. Start by charring the poblano. Using a cast iron skillet or griddle, get the pan hot! Lay the pepper onto the hot surface and leave it there, turning from time to time, until all the sides are charred. I like it just slightly crunchy so don't cook it completely.

  2. When you have some good charring (the part that gives it a smoky flavor) remove it from the pan. Place it into a plastic bag and close it up tight. Let it cool in the bag. The steam it creates will loosen the skin and help you to peel it off. If it's only partially charred you can keep the skin on.

  3. After about ten minutes, remove it from the bag and gently rub the skin under cold running water. Cut in half and dice the bottom half. Set aside. 

  4. Mix up the dressing. Put everything into a bowl and stir until well blended. Set aside.

  5. Crumble to cotija cheese. Cotija is a sharp, salty cheese. You can substitute feta if you can't find it, but use just a little less. Feta is sharper. 

  6. Place all the ingredients except the avocado in a bowl and mix with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.

  7. Chop the avocado and add just before serving. 

  8. Serve it cold - We enjoyed it with some homemade taquitos and guacamole! Or you can turn it into a main dish salad by adding some 

Recipe Notes

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