Pasta salad is the go-to picnic/cookout side, but I tend to find it – GASP! – boring. This recipe is anything but plain Jane and it’s so so simple. I followed this recipe, but the best thing about it is that I did so loosely. The ingredients themselves matter, but simply eyeball and taste as you go. There’s also not a ton of ingredients, almost all of which are consistently stocked in my home. The only thing that takes time is boiling the pasta so I don’t want to hear any complaining. Next time a picnic rolls around and someone suggests a pasta salad, you just raise your hand and say “I got you.”
Cook and drain pasta (I used elbows) and toss with a bit of olive oil so it doesn’t clump together. This is also a good time to add a bit of salt and pepper. In a large bowl (just use what you intend to serve the pasta salad in) combine sour cream, mayo, lime zest/juice, garlic powder, chili powder, and cayenne. Add the pasta, crumbled cotija cheese, and a couple handfulls of cilantro. Toss to coat.