Pinspiration: Chicken Taco Pasta Salad

January 17, 2014 in Kitchen

pinterest_sceneWhen I first discovered Pinterest, I would spent hours and hours pinning delicious-looking food, fun-looking activities, and cute-looking crafts. Pinning and pinning for hours and hours.

Do you know what happens when you spent hours and hours pinning things on Pinterest? You run out of time to actually DO any of the things you pinned!

When I realized I was so busy pinning fun activities I could do with my kids instead of actually doing them, I walked away and didn’t even look at it for months.

Yes, I tend to be a bit extreme…

After shaking the addiction, I went back and rediscovered all of these fabulous ideas I wanted to try. Only this time, I had time to try them!

Balance is a beautiful thing. If only I could remember that all the time…

Now Pinterest has become an incredible tool for me, and I have found some of my favorite ideas there – and some of my very favorite recipes. yum

During soccer season, we tend to live on one soccer field or another. With three soccer players, we usually have games 4 nights a week, almost always at dinner time, for several months. My kids (and Mr. 4018) tend to get awfully cranky when they get hungry, and honestly, they’re not big fans of *watching* soccer games. They love to play, but they would rather not sit around and watch someone else play.

Mostly out of desperation and an attempt to save my sanity and avoid the whining that would inevitably fill every soccer game night, I went in search of great game night meals I could serve on the sidelines. You can only have pizza and burgers so many times, afterall.

I went to my Pinterest boards (you should follow me if you’re not already!) and found this Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad from Butter with a Side of Bread. We love ranch, chicken, tacos, and pasta, so it sounded like a safe bet.

Oh. my. goodness.

I’m not very good at following a recipe exactly, so I did change it up a bit. Now this is one of our favorite go-to meals – even when we’re not at soccer games – and EVERYONE loves it.


Chicken Taco Pasta Salad

  • 1 pkg of pasta (rotini, bowtie, tri-colored, etc)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, boned and cut down to bite-sized piecesĀ (or you can use cooked chicken breasts or any other chicken meat you love)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c frozen corn
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 avocadoes, diced
  • 2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar)

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Add all of the other ingredients and then mix up the dressing. I add the corn frozen and the pasta hot, so the pasta thaws the corn when I mix it up.


  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch dip mix (Walmart has it when no one else does)

Mix dressing well and toss with salad. The taco seasoning was listed with the salad ingredients in the original recipe, but I always mix it in with the dressing. You can use original ranch and add some salsa in place of the rest of the dressing, just be sure to add the taco seasoning.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Add Frito corn chips to individual servings. This salad is great the next day, too, and everyone asks for it for lunch, but it doesn’t last another day after that. The photo above is pre dressing, and the photo below is after the dressing has been added. Honestly, it’s fab either way.


What have you pinned and tried lately???

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