Quick, easy and perfect for picnics, this Taco Pasta Salad is full of all of your favorite taco salad fixings with a twist. Fast to whip up and feeds a crowd.
So tacos are kind of a big deal around here. I mean, they are one of those recipes that my kids will eat over and over and over again without hesitation.
Pretty much anything “Mexican” themed and we are sold with the flavor, just check out my Slow Cooker Street Tacos, Carne Asada or even my homemade Churros!
This Taco Pasta Salad is one of our go-to summer recipes because salads are just one of those things that you bring to get togethers, pasta is one of our favorite things and we never have any left when it comes to this dish.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
- Taco salad is an iconic recipe, the flavors of the seasoned beef, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, etc have the perfect flavor, but without the hassle of falling apart.
- The addition of pasta in this recipe really soaks up the flavor of the taco seasoning, also giving it a fun summer vibe that everyone loves.
- The addition of crushed Doritos not only gives this salad flavor, it also gives it a nice flavor texture that you won’t be able to resist.
Please tell me that you are taco fans, I don’t think that I have ever met someone who didn’t love tacos in one form or another, but when you turn it into this Taco Pasta Salad, you really have yourself a winner recipe.
HOW TO MAKE TACO PASTA SALAD, STEP BY STEP:
In skillet add your ground beef and cook until no longer pink then drain. Add in your taco seasoning and water and heat until combined and evaporated, then seat aside to cool (Photos 1-3).
Cook your pasta according to package directions, or cooked to your liking. Strain and run under cool water to chill the noodles then add to a large bowl (Photos 4 & 5).
Add cooled taco meat, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and olives to pasta and stir until combined (Photos 6 & 7).
At this point you can chill your mixture longer if you do not plan on serving right away, if you do plan on serving right away add in your crushed Doritos and mix until incorporated (Photos 8 & 9).
Lastly add in your Catalina dressing and stir until all ingredients are coated, then either serve right away or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (Photos 10 & 11).
This Taco Pasta Salad recipe is truly a fun twist on tacos and taco salad. Everyone loves it around here and it is one of those recipes that we just cannot seem to get enough of.
WHAT MIX IN’S CAN I USE:
The simplicity of this salad is that you can add any kind of mix in’s you like. Some examples would include onions, chopped peppers, diced jalapeños, etc.
Whatever your favorite taco additions are, they would be great to add into this easy Taco Pasta Salad recipe!
TIPS AND TRICKS:
- We like to use lean ground beef (80/20 is our preference), creates less grease in the recipe.
- Buy pre-shredded lettuce from your grocer instead of a head of lettuce, less chopping involved.
- You can use Catalina or French dressing, there are some people who have a preference, ours happens to be Catalina.
- Any type of shredded cheese will work, you can also add some crumbled cojita cheese in this recipe as well.
- If you don’t mind soggy Doritos you can make this recipe ahead of time and store until later, otherwise add your Doritos and Catalina dressing right before serving.
If you want a fun and tasty summer salad this Taco Pasta Salad is exactly what you’ve been craving. Super easy to whip up, very adaptable and feeds all the people!
Some other pasta salad recipes you might like:
If you’ve tried this TACO PASTA SALAD or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and what shenanigansI’m getting into!
Taco Pasta Salad
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 pkt taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 16 oz pkg rotini
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 2.5 oz can sliced olives drained
- 1 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
- 1 1/2 cup crushed Doritos
- 1 16 oz bottle Catalina dressing
- In skillet brown your ground beef until no longer pink then drain.
- Add in your taco seasoing and water and cook until reduced, set meat aside to cool.
- Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, strain and run under cold water to cool, add to a large bowl.
- Add in your lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and olives and stir until combined.
- Whe your ready to serve add in your crushed doritos and stir until incorporaetd, then add in your Catalina dressing and stir until everything is coated.
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