Creamy Southwest Ranch Pasta Salad

Cook the Pasta: Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

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Prepare the Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together ranch dressing, sour cream, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper until smooth and well combined.

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Add Southwest Ingredients: To the bowl with the cooked pasta, add black beans (rinsed and drained), corn (fresh, canned, or thawed frozen), diced bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange for color), diced red onion, and chopped fresh cilantro.

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Combine with Dressing: Pour the creamy Southwest ranch dressing over the pasta and vegetables. Toss everything together until the pasta and vegetables are evenly coated with the dressing.

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Add Optional Ingredients: For extra flavor and texture, consider adding diced avocado, cherry tomatoes halved, or sliced black olives.

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Chill: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together and the pasta salad to chill.

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Serve: Before serving, give the Creamy Southwest Ranch Pasta Salad a final toss to redistribute the dressing. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro or a sprinkle of shredded cheese if desired.

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