This Southwest Pasta Salad with a creamy homemade chipotle ranch dressing is going to be a staple this season. Loaded with veggies, made with gluten free brown rice and quinoa pasta, and vegan friendly!
This post is sponsored in partnership with ALDI. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for your support in helping to make Fit Mitten Kitchen possible!
Anyone else grow up on pasta?! I’m fairly certain we had some kind of pasta dish for dinner at least once a week.
As the weather started to get warmer, we’d gravitate towards pasta salad – easy to throw together, loaded with chopped veggies and flavorful dressing.
BONUS: It lasts all week long!
So, as we approach warmer weather and backyard BBQ’s at home, pasta salad becomes a staple once again. I have a feeling this Southwest Pasta Salad is going to be my new go-to this season. Made with gluten free brown rice and quinoa pasta, corn, black beans and fresh veggies – ready in less than 20 minutes!
And guess what? You can find everything you need at your neighborhood ALDI.
I love shopping at ALDI because you can get in, get out and be on your way! Given the season of life we’re all currently in, I understand a lot of us are trying to limit the amount of time we’re spending at the grocery stores, and ALDI makes this super easy. No need to spend extra time wandering the aisles and searching through shelves of ingredients with TONS of different brands. ALDI carries the best options at the best prices.
Pasta Salad Ingredients to get at ALDI
- liveGfree Organic Gluten Free Brown Rice and Quinoa Fusilli Pasta
- Simply Nature Organic Black Beans
- Happy Harvest Canned Sweet Corn
- Red onion
- Orange bell pepper
- Roma tomatoes
If you haven’t been to an ALDI yet, you need to check it out. Seriously, they have amazing high-quality products, often at a fraction of the price compared to other retailers. Their selection of organic products is amazing too. Not to mention their gluten free products. ALDI became the first grocery store to offer its own exclusive private label line of gluten free products: liveGfree.
The ALDI liveGfree Line
If you or someone you know follows a gluten free diet, ALDI carries a wide range of products in their liveGfree line – everything from bread, pasta, baking mixes, granola, snacks and frozen meals. The ALDI liveGfree line is also backed by The Good Housekeeping Seal and many of the products have been recognized by the Gluten Free Buyer’s Guide, so you know it’s a quality product you can trust.
Okay but back to this Southwest Pasta Salad! Because I’m also sharing an easy homemade recipe for:
Cashew Chipotle Ranch Salad Dressing Recipe
I wanted to give you a homemade salad dressing option that was dairy-free and vegan friendly so all could enjoy this Southwest Pasta Salad. I came up with this delicious chipotle ranch salad dressing, made with cashews! You won’t believe how creamy it is.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Pueblo Lindo Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
- Stonemill Chili Powder
- Stonemill Onion Powder
- Stonemill Minced Garlic
- Freshly chopped dill
- Friendly Farms Original Unsweetened Almondmilk
NOTE: If you don’t need a dairy-free salad dressing and you’re looking for a store-bought version, ALDI Simply Nature makes a great alternative.
Southwest Pasta Salad Ready in 20 Minutes
Pasta salad is a great dish to prepare ahead of time, but it’s also ready in about 20 minutes time!
As the water boils for the pasta, chop the veggies, rinse the canned corn and black beans, then add to a bowl.
You can also start on the salad dressing while the water comes to a boil/pasta is cooking.
TIP: cook the pasta al dente for this pasta salad.
To make the dressing: You’ll need boiled water to let the cashews soak and soften for 15 minutes. Then rinse, drain and add to a blender with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Taste test as you blend, adding more salt, or a little more adobo sauce for a kick or lime juice for extra tang.
After you’ve cooked the pasta, then drained and rinsed in cold water, add to the bowl of veggies and toss with the dressing.
AND THAT’S IT!
This Southwest Pasta Salad pairs wonderfully with ALDI Simply Nature Organic Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips (also gluten free!) and their Simply Nature Organic Medium Salsa. The chips are thick and crunchy, and the salsa is DELICIOUS.
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 1 (16 ounce) package liveGfree Organic Gluten Free Brown Rice and Quinoa Fusilli Pasta
- 1 (15 ounce) Happy Harvest Canned Sweet Corn
- 1 (15 ounce) Simply Nature Organic Canned Black Beans
- 2 large orange bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 5 medium roma tomatoes, chopped
Cashew Chipotle Dressing
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice (or lime)
- 1 Pueblo Lindo Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce + 2 tsp sauce
- 1 TBSP Stonemill Chili Powder
- ¾ tsp Stonemill Onion Powder
- 2 tsp Stonemill Minced Garlic
- 2 TBSP freshly chopped dill
- 1 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1 cup Friendly Farms Original Unsweetened Almondmilk, to thin as needed
- 1 large ripe avocado, pitted, fleshed and chopped
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- Juice of 2 limes
- Cook pasta: In a large pot, bring to boil 1 gallon of water for package of pasta. After water comes to a rolling boil, add pasta; cook uncovered for 6-8 minutes, until al dente. Be careful not to overcook! Drain and rinse pasta with cold water; set aside.
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse canned corn and canned black beans. Add to large bowl with chopped veggies (bell peppers, red onion and roma tomatoes).
- Make dressing: add cashews to medium bowl with boiled water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and add to blender cup with the rest of Chipotle Ranch Dressing ingredients. Blend until smooth; taste test before adding more adobo sauce, lime juice, and/or salt.
- Combine pasta with veggies, and pour on about half of the dressing. Toss to combine, adding more dressing as desired. Chill in fridge until ready to serve with chopped avocado, cilantro and lime, as you wish. Enjoy!
Recipe can be cut in half for less servings if needed.
Store leftovers in covered container; best enjoyed within 3-4 days.