FIESTA RANCH CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

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 - full of beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes and chicken tossed with a delicious southwestern Ranch dressing!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! Especially when you live in a home with no air-conditioning. 

Can you make this 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 a couple of days in advance if that’s more convenient! 

This dish is very versatile – you can add or subtract any veggies you want and it still turns out wonderfully each time. 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. And that way I can leave out the tomatoes since as much as I’ve tried, I haven’t found a way to enjoy eating them! 

MY LATEST RECIPES

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 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!

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

  • 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
Dressing:
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pkg. Hidden Valley Fiesta dip mix (I have had best luck finding this at Walmart)
  1. Cook pasta, drain and cool.
  2. Combine with all of the other ranch chicken pasta salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Whisk together dressing ingredients, then pour over salad. Stir to combine. keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  4. Right before serving, add in Frito corn chips to taste.  Enjoy!

If you love this Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad, be sure to try some of these other recipes as well!

Step by step instructions on how to make Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad 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!

5 from 6 votes
Print

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!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 15
Author Butter With A Side of Bread

Ingredients

  • 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

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pkg Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dressing Mix

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta, drain and cool. Combine with all of the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and then mix up the dressing.
  2. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. 

  3. Add dressing to the salad and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Right before serving, add in Frito corn chips to taste. Enjoy!
 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!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!
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!
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!
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!

 

 

60 COMMENTS

    • This salad is really tasty. It has a beautiful blend of southwest flavors and is perfect for hot summer days when you just want something cold rather than hot. I would suggest refrigerating it for several hours after you make it. I found it was even better the next day once it had sat overnight in the fridge. It was equally good with or without the fritos. I had it both ways and loved it just the same! This makes a huge amount of pasta salad, 15 1/2 cups to be exact. If you do not have a large family or are not making it for a get together, I would half the recipe. This is a definite keeper, a bit addictive really…. Highly recommended…..

    • I have made this recipe several times now…and I use sour cream instead of mayo and buttermilk. It’s amazing. I also didn’t have the fiesta ranch dip so I used the regular ranch dip along with taco seasoning and roel tomatoes…was still good.

  1. This response is for Peggy and Cole Long. I make my own Fiesta Dressing which can be as spicy or mild as you like. I mix 8 ounces of sour cream (regular or lite) with a jar of my favorite Salsa. I use mild. I use it on taco salads all the time and would probably use it for this recipe too.

  2. Use salsa instead of ranch mix. Put the taco seasoning on the pasta and mix up, then add veggies. You can also use cumin in place of the taco seasoning if you want to cut back on procesed mixes

  3. This looks absolutely yummy and so very colorful. I don’t see anywhere where it says to print out the recipe. Any suggestions? Thank you so much for you time! Looking forward to giving it a try!

    • If this is being used as a side dish, it would probably be enough for 40 people. When I serve this as a main dish, it usually serves about 14-16 people.

  4. I was wondering if i have to cook the beans and corn.
    And also, do i put the taco seasoning on the chicken when i cook it?

    • Nope- you don’t have to cook the beans or the corn. Put the taco seasoning with the other dressing ingredients, then whisk it to combine. Then you just toss all the ingredients together and add Fritos to the top right before serving!

  5. Looking to make this for a 4th of July gathering tomorrow and getting groceries tonight. What size of box for the pasta? And what size package of frozen corn?

    • I used a 12 oz box of pasta and I’m not sure exactly what size the corn package was, but I’m guessing between 10-16 oz. Sometimes I even use a can of corn instead, just make sure to drain well before adding to the salad. Enjoy!

  6. Do you put the frozen corn in frozen or do you thaw? Also, has anyone used regular milk instead of the buttermilk? Thanks in advance!

    • I just put the corn in frozen because I usually make it at least a couple hours in advance, but it thaws really quickly. I’ve never tried using regular milk but I think it would probably turn out just fine that way too…maybe a slightly different taste?

  7. I think this will be a really tasty dish and am making it right now, but note to the author: it REALLY needs to be re-written with actual measurements and much better directions. I’m ok with winging it as that’s how I cook, but based on the virtual plethora of the same comments, many others need more instruction. And, based on the volume of ads on this page, I completely missed the ingredient list for the dressing. I’m also a bit skeptical as to why you need both taco seasoning AND fiesta ranch seasoning. Plus, you sprinkle the taco seasoning over the plain veggies and pasta??? Not in the dressing? Or season the meat with it? Nice blog but this could use a little editing. Thanks.

  8. this is my second time making this… I decided to review it now… The reason? I have made this two ways.. one as written, tonight.. and the one time before I hadn’t had ginger so used all spice. Didn’t have apple juice so added grapefruit and a 1/4 cup of good Canadian Whiskey. I did as a reviewer suggested to dust chicken with cornstarch.. a very good idea. Without it the sauce is to thin for my family… I gotta say this is my go to recipe for now on.. can be easily made into Curry sauce, BBQ sauce.. anything. I love this recipe and didn’t find it too salty and used regular soy sauce. I am on a HBP diet and this worked out great for even me…

  9. This is a definite crowd pleaser! I’ve made this salad three times now! I left out to pepper and onions but kept everything else the same. It does make a huge batch, but it was nice to have leftovers for lunch for a few days. I also picked up some SantaFe tortilla strips (salad topping) from my local Smith’s (Kroger) to use instead of Fritos and I liked those a lot more. I’m making this again this weekend for a family BBQ and my mother in law cannot have gluten. I’m going to sub my pasta and taco seasoning for gluten free versions. Hopefully it turns out well! Wish me luck!

    • I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! I’ll have to try using the tortilla strips when I make it again – that’s such a great idea!

  10. I am in LOVE ! This recipe just how it is.. Tastes Amazing !
    This will be my go to recipe when I want to impress or wow the crowd !! 😀
    I wouldn’t change a thing! I cannot wait to serve it tomorrow at my granddaughters party !
    Thank you for the recipe !

      • Everyone is asking for the recipe Jessica ! I am so pleased .
        A lot of times it sounds good and you make it and it’s not what you were hoping for …
        This recipe delivers all the way, with flavor and presentation !
        You know the ole saying the proof is in the pudding , well it was 😀
        Thanks again!

  11. Every time I make this recipe, I wonder why I don’t make it more often. It’s sooo easy and sooo good! Everyone loves it.

  12. This would be a great salad to make up for speedy lunchbox packing and my kids would definitely be happy with sprinkling a few Fritos on right before they dive in. i think it would casue some lunchbox envy actually.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here