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Cowboy Pasta Salad Will Be The First Side Dish to Disappear!

Summer is the season for vibrant picnics, poolside dinners, and backyard get-togethers, and Cowboy Pasta Salad is here to steal the spotlight. Combining the best of cowboy caviar with al dente bowtie pasta, this dish is a feast of creamy beans, crunchy seasonal vegetables, and a zesty citrus dressing. Quick to prepare and irresistibly delicious, Cowboy Pasta Salad promises to be the first side dish to disappear at any gathering. Here's how to make it and wow your guests!

Recipe from The Kitchn

PREP TIME: 35 minutes

COOK TIME: 10 minutes to 15 minutes

MAKES: 11 cups

SERVES: 10 to 12


  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 3 medium limes

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 medium red onion

  • 12 ounces dried farfalle pasta

  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces)

  • 1 medium orange bell pepper

  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper

  • 1 (about 15-ounce) can black-eyed peas

  • 1 (about 15-ounce) can black beans

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels (about 2 ears fresh)

  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro or parsley leaves


  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette.

  2. Finely grate 3 garlic cloves and the zest from 3 medium limes (about 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons) into a small bowl or jar. Juice the limes until you have 1/4 cup and add to the jar. Add 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Seal the jar and shake well to combine and emulsify, or whisk if using a bowl.

  3. Transfer about half of the vinaigrette (about 1/3 cup) to a large bowl; reserve the remaining vinaigrette for serving. Dice 1/2 medium red onion (about 3/4 cup). Add to the bowl and stir to break apart the layers and coat with the vinaigrette.

  4. Add 12 ounces dried farfalle pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions until al dente, 11 to 13 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the following, adding each to the vinaigrette in the large bowl as it is completed: Halve 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes. Core, seed, and dice 1 medium orange bell pepper (about 1 1/4 cups). Seed and mince 1 medium jalapeño pepper (about 2 tablespoons). Drain and rinse 1 (about 15-ounce) can black-eyed peas and 1 (about 15-ounce) can black beans. Add 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels. Stir to coat with the dressing.

  5. When the pasta is ready, drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to coat. When ready to serve, coarsely chop 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro or parsley leaves until you have 1/4 cup. Add the herbs and reserved vinaigrette to the salad, and toss to coat. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.


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