Everyone's favorite Cowboy Caviar dip made into an easy Pasta Salad. Tender spiral pasta noodles, corn, sweet bell peppers, diced tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, avocado covered in Italian dressing and seasonings.
Cook noodles according to package instructions. I don't care for al dente noodles so I always cook for the higher recommended cook time. Don't forget to salt your pasta water (about 1 teaspoon salt will do the trick). Drain the noodles and rinse in cold water.
Add the cooked & rinsed noodles into a large mixing bowl. Add the other pasta salad ingredients and mix together in the mixing bowl.
In a separate small bowl, combine the Italian salad dressing and seasonings. Stir together and pour over the pasta salad. Stir well to make sure all the noodles and goodies get mixed in together well.
Eat right away OR refrigerate for 2-5 ours before serving. You can add the avocado in with the other salad mix-ins OR leave it off and add it in right before serving. Either way works fine. If you are making it the day before then I would advise waiting to add the avocado until serving time.
Depending on the amount of red onion you want, you could use 1/2 of the red onion. I love the flavor it adds so I use 1 small red onion. Adjust to your liking. Same with the chopped cilantro. Use more or less to preference.
I always use the Olive Garden Italian salad dressing. It's the best flavor and consistency for pasta salads. I highly recommend using the Olive Garden brand (Sold in grocery stores. You don't have to go there and get it :) )
For some added spice, finely dice 1 jalapeno pepper and add it into the pasta salad mix. For more heat, leave the white seeds and membrane attached. For less mild heat, take out the seeds and white membrane part.
My pasta salad leftovers were in the fridge for 4 days. And ironically, the avocado did not turn to brown mush! So this salad is fine to be made ahead of time by a few hours before serving and then refrigerate until ready. Or, add the avocado in right before serving. Either way will work I found!