Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Allison's Fiesta Taco Pasta Salad

This is a fabulous main dish salad - just right for a cool summer meal.  It makes a great impression as a side salad as well.  As I’ve always heard it said - “the secret is in the sauce”.  That is certainly true of this salad.  The only challenge to this recipe is locating a store that carries the seasoning, and making sure your avocados are perfectly ripe.  

I’ve been waiting to post this recipe for a few months now - because it’s one of my favorites and it deserved to wait until summer appeared.  Everyone who tries it asks for the recipe - and I’m willing to share it with one condition...  That you acknowledge where it came from!  
The food blogging world can be a bit selfish sometimes - and I’m probably guilty of it myself.  Some recipes are borrowed from good friends and genius cooks.  And there really are some recipes that are truly my own. Then there are those that are combinations of both.  But I have always felt that a wonderful recipe should not be passed on without acknowledging the source.  I would call it “truth in sharing”.  
That said - this is from a person I barely know:  Allison Peterson (no relation - my “Petersen” is spelled with an “E”)  She was so happy to share it - and I thank her.  It was served at a Relief Society meeting and I begged her for the recipe.  I knew it would be perfect for my father-in-law’s 90th birthday in April - and everyone loved it.  

As mentioned above - Hidden Valley Ranch FIESTA Ranch Dip makes all the difference.  Most stores only carry the traditional Hidden Valley Ranch flavor.  Then a few more carry the “Spicy” version.  But I’ve only found this FIESTA Ranch at Walmart and (when I’m lucky) at Harmon’s here in the Salt Lake Valley in Utah.  I know you can also find it online.   It’s a wonderful mix of southwest flavors - not entirely unlike taco seasoning.  In fact - when I can’t locate it, I’m going to try substituting taco seasoning.

A few reserved fresh tomatoes and avocados sprinkled over the top are the teaser.  The remainder are hiding in the wonderful mix of Fiesta sauce-bathed ingredients.  (For a great way to prepare avocados EASILY - check out the link HERE.  Note:  make sure you place the avocado on a CUTTING BOARD before removing the pit... that’s my disclaimer!)  
This doesn’t look like much - but it is pretty tasty!  For the recipe with a few bonus tips thrown in - go to:


  1. Thank you for this recipe. I am excited to try it.


  2. Looks wonderful! Great recipe! Yummy!