Southwestern Vegetable and Pasta Salad

We barbequed some Memphis style baby back ribs the other week and decided to pair them with a southwestern vegetable and pasta salad. The flavors of the southwest are actually pretty complimentary to some southern style meals as well. It is a pretty simple salad and can be done with a variety of pastas that catch the dressing like orecchiette (little ears), bowtie, or small shells. It is also a great vehicle for a variety of vegetables, so feel free to mix it up and make it your own.

Southwestern Vegetables


  • 1/2 lb Orecchiette Paste – cooked to the package directions
  • 1 Yellow Pepper – grilled, skins removed, and julienned
  • 1/2 Red Onion – sliced
  • 3 Tomatillos – diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup Corn Kernels – fresh or frozen that has been thawed
  • 1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 canned Chipotle Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Vegetable and Pasta Salad Paired with Ribs


In a large bowl, combine the pasta, yellow pepper, onion, tomatillos, and corn. Place the vinegar, chipotle pepper, and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. This recipe creates more dressing than is needed, so slowly add the dressing to the pasta, being sure to toss the pasta and vegetables until coated.

Chipotle Dressing
Charring the Yellow Pepper
Large Bowl of Pasta Salad
Wonderful Side Dish

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