In this article, I will tell you about Taco Pasta Salad. It is a Tex-Mex dish that combines ingredients used in Tex-Mex tacos. Whether you are preparing this mouth-watering dish for a potluck, picnic, or family dinner, this recipe is sure to become a favorite.
Table of Contents
About Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
Taste: When it comes to taco pasta salad recipes treat yourself to delicious taste buds. This unique recipe incorporates the familiar flavor of tacos into a delicious pasta salad. With taco seasoning included in both the ground beef and the three-ingredient sauce, Mexican flavor is boosted, so customize the seasoning to suit your taste and enjoy the explosion of flavors.
Texture: This recipe is rich in texture, but may lack the desired crispness. However, adding a small amount of red onion and tomato perfectly complements the cool and creamy sauce, ensuring a satisfying and refreshing taste.
Get ready to enjoy a remarkable fusion of flavors and textures with this irresistible Taco Pasta Salad recipe.
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To make a scrumptious Taco Pasta Salad, you will need the following ingredients.
Pasta: Any pasta will work for the salad, but you can choose your favorite pasta shapes, such as rotini, penne, or farfalle, for the base of the salad.
Ground Beef: For best results use lean ground beef as it adds protein and richness to the salad. You can also use ground chicken or ground turkey if you prefer.
Taco Seasoning: Taco seasoning is a mix of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and a few other pantry staples that bring taco flavor to the dish.
Fresh Vegetables: For more crunch and freshness, add colorful vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and corn.
A kind of cheese: Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese adds creaminess to the salad.
Dressing: The combination of sour cream, mayonnaise, and taco sauce makes a tangy and creamy dressing.
Taco Pasta Salad Toppings Ideas
While the basic taco pasta salad recipe is delicious on its own, you can add your own creative twists and variations to suit your taste preferences.
Here are some ideas that make this salad even more special:
- Add sliced avocado or guacamole for a creamy and delicious flavor.
- Add black beans or kidney beans for extra protein and fiber.
- Sprinkle some crushed tortilla chips or crispy bacon on top for extra texture.
- Experiment with different types of cheese, such as crumbled queso fresco or feta.
- Sprinkle with fresh coriander, sour cream, Frito, and lime juice for extra texture. Fresh lime juice never ruins a Mexican side dish.
Serving and Storing
Once your Taco Pasta Salad is ready, it’s time to serve and enjoy! However, if you’re making it ahead of time, here are some tips for storage:
- Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Before serving, give the salad a quick toss to re-bring the dressing and flavor.
- If the salad seems dry, you can add a little extra dressing or a squeeze of lemon juice to freshen it up.
Can I make the Taco Pasta Salad in advance?
Yes, Taco Pasta Salad is a great dish to make in advance. You can cook pasta, brown meat, and chop vegetables ahead of time. Set ingredients aside until you are ready to prepare the salad. Just before serving, mix all the ingredients including the dressing together and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop.
Can I customize the Taco Pasta Salad to my liking?
Absolutely! Taco Pasta Salad is a versatile dish that can be tailored to suit your taste preferences. You can experiment with different types of pasta, such as rotini, Botti, or penne. Additionally, you can add or replace ingredients based on your preferences. Consider adding black beans, corn, avocado, or sliced olives for extra flavor and texture. Don’t forget to adjust the seasoning and dressing to your liking.
Is Taco Pasta Salad Suitable for Vegetarians?
Taco Pasta Salad can be adapted to suit a vegetarian diet. To make it vegetarian, remove the meat and replace it with plant-based alternatives like textured vegetable protein (TVP) or crumbled tofu with taco seasoning. For a vegetarian version, use vegetarian-friendly pasta, cheese substitutes, and plant-based dressings. Make sure the taco seasoning and any other packaged ingredients used are also free of animal products.
Taco Pasta Salad brings together the best elements of tacos and pasta salad in a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. It is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish at any function. By following the simple steps mentioned in this article, you can do so.
Taco Pasta Salad
- 2 cups spiral pasta
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tbsp Taco Masala
- 3 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup French salad dressing
- 1 (7 ounce) bag corn chips
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Step 1 Cook the Pasta: Boil salted water in a pot and cook the pasta well. After cooking, drain the pasta and wash it with cold water to cool it.
- Step 2 Brown the Ground Beef: In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Skim off excess fat and add taco seasoning. Stir well to coat the meat.
- Step 3 Prepare the Vegetables: While ground beef is cooking, cut fresh vegetables into small pieces.
- Step 4 Mix Dressing: In a small bowl, mix sour cream, mayonnaise and taco sauce. Stir until well mixed and keep aside.
- Step 5 Mix the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add cooked pasta, browned ground beef, chopped vegetables, and shredded cheese. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and gently toss everything together until evenly coated.