How to Make Southwestern Chicken Pasta Salad

Love pasta salad? Watch how to make our six-ingredient chicken pasta salad that's spiced with roasted poblano peppers and traditional Mexican salsa.

Pasta salads. They can either be really good or really bad. Today we're making a really good pasta salad with chicken, peppers and a southwestern spin that's sure to be a crowd pleaser at any potluck. The first step of making this pasta is roasting 2 poblano peppers. Cut each poblano in half and then place them cut side down on a baking sheet lined with foil. Pop those into a 450 degree oven. It'll roast for about 20 minutes. So while those are in the oven, we can go ahead and prepare our pasta. Add 8 ounces of large elbow macaroni to a pot of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. When the macaroni is ready, drain into a colander and then run cold water over to stop the cooking and quickly cool down the pasta. By now, the peppers should be just about ready. They're done when they're blistered and have a nice char on them. Wrap the foil on the pan around the peppers and let them steam for 15 minutes or so. This will help loosen the skins. Once they're cool enough to handle, remove the skins, seeds and membranes and then chop them and set them aside. Now we'll make our super simple dressing. In a large bowl combine 4 ounces of soften cream cheese and a cup of salsa and beat them until it's smooth and creamy. It's that easy. Time to add a few more ingredients and put it all together. Add the cold pasta and poblano peppers to the bowl you just made the dressing in. Then add about 5 cups of chopped, cooked crispy chicken strips and a chopped avocado. Give it all a little toss to combine and you've got pasta salad perfection.