Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad

This Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad is quick, delicious, and full of amazing flavor. It's not too spicy, but has the most amazing flavor and seasoning to it. You will love it.

During the summer months, I try to use my kitchen as little as possible. The last thing that I want to do is cooking over a hot stove when it’s 100 degrees outside.

This recipe is easy to throw together in a matter of minutes and to make it even easier, you could use a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken yourself.

Add whatever vegetables your family likes to make this the perfect meal. Our family likes to take the southwest spin on things and top it off with avocado, bell peppers, corn, cilantro lime ranch, and fresh limes.

Make it your own, and enjoy eating your cooking free meal.

can i use prepared chipotle ranch dressing, instead of the seasoning?

You could most definitely use pre-made chipotle ranch dressing, instead of the dry seasoning mix.

However, if you do use the prepared dressing, we recommend using about 2 – 1 1/2 cups of it, and only using half of the mayo the directions and ingredients state, in the recipe.

You will just want to be sure can taste the chipotle a little better, when eating this salad. You could add more or less dressing or mayo as needed, according to your taste preference.

what could i replace the mayo with?

If you are not a mayo fan, don’t stress it. You could also make this recipe using plain Greek yogurt, or even a little ranch dressing.

You could also use a little bit of sour cream, but we wouldn’t recommend fully switching out the mayo for sour cream. We feel that plain Greek yogurt is probably your safest bet, since it isn’t as strong.

what other noodles could i use for this recipe?

This recipe calls for rotini pasta, however, you could use any pasta you have on hand. Here are a few other pastas we recommend:

  • bowtie
  • macaroni
  • shell
  • ziti
  • cavatappi
  • rotelle
  • spaghetti

Really any pasta you have on hand will work great. We just found it’s easiest for little eaters to stab the rotini pasta, with their forks.

watch how to make another favorite pasta dish, here:

Did you know we have a Youtube Channel? We have hundreds of simple and delicious recipes, your family is going to love. We take you through each recipe, step by step, and show you exactly how to make them.

This Spaghetti Pasta Salad is another favorite dish, and the perfect way to sneak vegetables into diets. Watch how to make it, here:

looking for more delicious pasta recipes? here are a few of our favorite:

Protein Pasta
Fresh Cajun Pasta
One Pan Chili Beef Pasta Skillet
Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Creamy Spinach and Tomato Pasta

Serves: 12

Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad

A new spin on your traditional pasta salad! This comes together in a matter of minutes and makes enough to feed the masses!

20 minPrep Time

20 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 (12-16 oz) package rotini pasta (or your favorite pasta)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (4.25 oz) can diced olives, drained
  • 1 (14 oz) can corn, drained
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or 1 (1 oz) packet of taco seasoning)
  • 4 oz Colby Jack cheese, cut into small cubes
  • Dressing:
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons salsa
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar)
  • 1 (1 oz) packet fiesta ranch dip (I usually find it at WalMart on the salad dressing aisle)


  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
  2. While pasta is cooking, mix together (in a VERY large bowl) the cooked chicken, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, corn, onion, black beans, pinto beans, and taco seasoning.
  3. After pasta is finished cooking, mix it into the bowl with other ingredients (do not add cheese at this point because the hot pasta has a tendency to melt it, so wait to add the cheese until the pasta has completely cooled down).
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together dressing ingredients and fold into pasta/vegetable mixture. Stir until all ingredients are coated with dressing.
  5. Fold in cheese at this time and place in the fridge. I prefer to eat this after it has been in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours, but it tastes even better after staying in the fridge overnight.


*This makes enough for 12 large servings and will require that you use a very large bowl to mix it together. If you need a smaller amount, you can easily cut this recipe in half or even in thirds.



411 cal


30 g


27 g


7 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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6 Responses to “Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad”

    • The fiesta ranch dip seasoning gives it the flavor it needs. You could also use ranch dressing mix packet. If you are using chipotle ranch dressing, you may have to taste test it as you go so you will know when it has the right amount of zesty flavor you like.

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