Spicy Southwest Pasta Salad

I feel like side salads are a staple at backyard parties. But sometimes cole slaw gets boring, and standard deli macaroni salad always tastes a little sour to me. As someone who loves spice, my first inclination is always to make a spicy salad—one that would add a kick to the backyard menu. This Southwest salad is tossed in a jalapeño dressing, which adds the heat. (Tip: Remove the seeds and white membrane from inside the jalapeño for less spice.) It’s best served cold and is perfect for any summertime dinner. I used veggie-infused pasta, but you can easily swap that for white or whole wheat pasta.

Ingredients: Makes 4 servings 
2 1/2 cups pasta
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 jalapeño, chopped
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
black pepper
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup canned yellow corn

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package instructions. In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, jalapeño, lime juice, salt, and pepper and mix until smooth. (It should create a dressing-like sauce). Set aside. When pasta is done, run under cold water to cool. In a large bowl, combine pasta, peppers, tomato, beans, and corn. Add dressing and toss pasta to fully coat. Serve immediately.

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