Taco Pasta Salad is loaded with savory, seasoned ground beef, black beans, tomatoes, green onions, corn and jalapenos. Tossed in a cool, creamy avocado cilantro dressing with a squeeze of lime, this is an easy Tex Mex favorite for cookouts, potlucks, tailgates and family gatherings.
Pasta salad alone is just one of those amazingly crazy good dishes. But combine it with the Texas-sized flavors of a tasty taco salad, and now… now you’ve got something! Festive, loaded with color, zesty flavor and balanced with a cool, creamy dressing, Taco Pasta Salad is one easy recipe that will keep you coming back for more!
This recipe truly feeds a crowd, so it’s perfect for potlucks, church meals, family reunions and all sorts of get-togethers. However, it also makes the perfect easy weeknight meal. This recipe was created to easily half so you can do just that. After all, we all need a little taco when the craving hits!
What You Need To Make Taco Pasta Salad
- rotini pasta
- ground beef
- taco seasoning
- black beans
- whole kernel corn
- grape tomatoes
- green onions
- Avocado Dressing (see recipe card below)
How To Make Tex Mex Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing
Pasta. Add pasta to boiling pot of salted water. Cook just until al dente. Drain and rinse pasta to keep it from sticking together.
Taco Ground Beef. Brown the ground beed on the stove top. Add the taco seasoning and 1 C of water. Allow to simmer about 10 minutes or until all of the liquid is gone.
Dressing. In a food processor, add all the dressing ingredients and blend on low until smooth. Add a little water if a thinner dressing is desired.
Prep & Assembly. Chop & prepare your veggies. Toss all ingredients with beef, pasta & dressing in a large bowl until everything is well-coated with the dressing and the ingredients are well mixed. Chill or serve immediately.
Tips for Making Delicious Taco Pasta Salad
- Don’t forget to salt your water for boiling the pasta. This is your only chance to season this main component of your salad! Without a little salt, it could leave your whole salad a little bland… even if the other ingredients are delicious and well made.
- Want a less spicy taco salad? Substitute red or green bell peppers for the jalapenos.
- Don’t have what you need to make the Avocado Dressing? Try using a bottled French dressing (surprisingly delish!) or making this Simple Smoky Catalina Dressing.
To add your own flair to this pasta salad and make it even more delicious, consider adding in one or more of the following ingredients:
- chopped cilantro
- diced avocado
- grated or cubed cheddar cheese
- tortilla or nacho flavored corn chips
What to Serve with Taco Pasta Salad
Because of the taco seasoned beef, this salad eats as a satisfying full meal! However, serve with these “extras” for more delicious Tex Mex fun.
- Easy Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
- Fresh Tex Mex Guacamole
- Chilled Avocado Soup
- Fresh Salsa with Cilantro & Lime
- Pineapple Cilantro Lime Spritzers
More Taco Recipes You’ll Love
Other Pasta Salad Recipes
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Taco Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing
- 1 lb rotini pasta
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 packet (1 oz) taco seasoning
- 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
- 10 oz grape tomatoes, halved or diced
- 2-3 green onions, sliced
- 2 medium jalapenos, deseeded, deveined and diced
- 1 med- lg avocado, halved & pitted
- 8 oz sour cream
- ⅓ C chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 med lime, juiced
- Add pasta to a large pot of salted, boiling water. Cook pasta for 7-8 minutes or until al dente. Remove pasta pot from heat. Drain pasta in a colander. Rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the taco seasoned ground beef. Brown ground beef, in a large skillet on the stovetop. Add taco seasoning and ½ -1 C of water to browned meat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a food processor, add all ingredients for salad dressing and mix on low until smooth. If you would like a thinner dressing, add water and pulse. Repeat until desired thinness is achieved. Set aside.
- Chop and prep tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, corn and beans. Add to a large bowl, along with taco meat and pasta. Toss well. Pour all of dressing over the top. Toss again until all ingredients are well coated. Serve immediately or chill for at least one hour and serve cold.