FIESTA RANCH CHICKEN PASTA SALAD – Butter with a Side of Bread

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad is full of fresh southwestern flavors with black beans, corn, cheese and tomatoes. This hearty chicken pasta salad recipe topped with Fritos is perfect as a main dish or a side dish for potlucks and parties!

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad is one of my favorite summertime meals because it doesn’t require the oven and it makes a huge batch which usually leaves us with enough leftovers to give me another night off from making dinner! Gotta love those no-bake/no-oven dinners! 

Can you make this chicken pasta salad in advance?

This is also a perfect dish for taking to potluck dinners. You can make the salad immediately before serving, or you can make it 2-3 days in advance if that’s more convenient! This pasta salad recipe makes a large batch, so I like to serve it for dinner one night and then eat the leftovers the rest of the week! It stores beautifully in the refrigerator and this pasta salad is one meal that I actually like the leftovers for! Just wait to add the Fritos until right before serving or they will get soggy. 

When do you add the Fritos to the salad?

Don’t forget the final step! Just before serving you’ll want to top the salad with Fritos. They add a lot of crunch and pair very well with the flavors in the salad. When I serve this salad at home, I usually just serve the Fritos separately and let everyone add their own to the top of their portion. That way, any leftovers that we have can be stored without the chips so that they don’t get soggy!

What types of toppings work best in chicken pasta salad?

This dish is very versatile – you can add or subtract any toppings you want and it still turns out wonderfully each time. I absolutely love the corn and the beans in this salad, and the cheese is amazing in it as well.

Sometimes when I serve this to my family, I will leave some of the veggies out and serve them next to the salad. That way everyone can add the ones that they like. Kind of like a chicken pasta salad bar! Olives, green peppers, onions and tomatoes are all toppings that can be added separately to the salad. This way I get to leave out the tomatoes, since as much as I’ve tried, I haven’t found a way to enjoy eating them! 

What type of ranch dressing is used in this chicken pasta salad?

The key to the dressing for this salad is the Hidden Valley Fiesta Dip mix. You use this in place of regular ranch dip mix and the flavor is incredible! I will admit that I have had some difficulty finding it at certain grocery stores, but I have almost always been able to find it Walmart. Since I make this salad many times each year, I just make sure to stay stocked up! When I’m at a grocery store where I can find this, I get several so that I can make sure I have it when I need it. You’ll find it right next to the other dressing mixes.

There have been a few times where I have been in the middle of making this salad and then realized that I didn’t have any of my stockpile left, and I have used regular ranch dip mix in place of the Fiesta flavored one. If you do this, just add a couple tablespoons of taco seasoning or a Southwest seasoning to the dry mix before you add the wet ingredients. It won’t taste exactly the same as the real thing, but it’ll still be yummy! You can even just use regular ranch dip mix – it’s delicious too but doesn’t have the southwestern flavor of the Fiesta Dip mix.

Ingredients in Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

The southwest ranch dressing in this chicken pasta salad requires the following three ingredients:

How to make Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

The first step is to cook pasta, drain and cool.

Combine the cooked pasta with all of the other ranch chicken pasta salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk and Hidden Valley Fiesta dip mix. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Right before serving, add in Frito corn chips to taste. I usually just leave them in a separate bowl and let everyone add as many as they’d like to the top of their pasta salad.

FIESTA RANCH CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad is full of fresh southwestern flavors with black beans, corn, cheese and tomatoes. Hearty chicken salad recipe topped with Fritos!
4.93 from 13 votes
  • 1 pkg. of pasta rotini, bowtie, tri-colored, etc
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts cooked and diced (I usually use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 package frozen corn
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1 can of olives sliced
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 pkg Frito Corn Chips (for topping)

SALAD DRESSING

Cook pasta, drain and cool. Combine with all of the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and then mix up the dressing.
Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. 
Add dressing to the salad and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Right before serving, add in Frito corn chips to taste. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @jessicalovesbutter or tag #jessicalovesbutter!

What kind of chicken works best in chicken pasta salad?

I usually use a rotisserie chicken in chicken pasta salad because rotisserie chickens are easy and I love the taste and texture of the chicken. If I don’t have a rotisserie chicken to use, I prefer to bake chicken breasts (or chicken tenders) in the oven.

To cook chicken breasts in the oven, place them in a baking dish and brush a little olive oil on them, adding a little bit of salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°.

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad is full of fresh southwestern flavors with black beans, corn, cheese and tomatoes. This hearty chicken pasta salad recipe topped with Fritos is perfect as a main dish or a side dish for potlucks and parties!

We send FREE RECIPE cards every month! Want ’em?

FREE Printable Recipe Cards + have access to our FREE 15-Minute Meals! 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *