Taco Pasta Salad is a delicious pasta salad made with Mexican flavors, seasoned ground beef, crunchy nacho cheese chips, and a delicious creamy dressing! Perfect for a summer potluck or BBQ!
This taco pasta salad is such a yummy dish, and its perfect for a spring or summer potluck or bbq! It makes a lot, so its great for a big family gathering! But the recipe can also be easily cut in half if you don’t need to feed quite as many hungry bellies.
It’s also a great dish because you can customize it. If someone does’t like bell pepper leave it out, if you want more protein, add in some black beans, etc.
Taco Pasta Salad Variations:
- Try adding in some black beans or kidney beans for more protein (or instead of the meat if you want the dish to be vegetarian)
- Add in some sliced black olives
- Add in some sliced scallions, or green onion
- Add in some sliced avocado
- Top with sour cream
- Try Catalina Dressing instead of French Dressing
Taco pasta salad is loaded with taco flavors, from ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning, to your favorite taco toppings, like lettuce, Mexican Style Cheese, diced tomatoes, and green peppers. Instead of a taco shell you have the pasta noodles. The whole salad is mixed up with French dressing, which adds a bit of a sweetness, and the perfect creaminess to the whole pasta salad. Then right before serving you’ll add in crushed up crunchy nacho cheese, or tortilla chips, which add a great crunch to the salad.
If you want to add crunchy Doritos to another delicious meal, I’ll be making this Doritos Chicken Casserole ASAP!
How to make Taco Pasta Salad?
Start by cooking your noodles in a large pot with boiling water, cook them according to the package directions.
Then in a large sauce pan, cook up your ground beef. Add in the taco seasoning.
In a large bowl add your cooked noodles, cooked ground beef, chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, cheese, and lettuce and toss it all together. Then stir in your French Dressing.
When you’re ready to serve the pasta salad add in your crushed chips, you don’t want to add them too early or they’ll get soft from all the other ingredients.
Tips for Making Taco Pasta Salad:
- Buy a bag of already shredded lettuce from the grocery store so you don’t have to cut up a head of lettuce.
- Mix everything together for the pasta salad, except for the dressing and the chips. Mix the dressing into the salad, then the crushed chips when you get to the park, friend’s house, or wherever you are ready to serve and eat the pasta salad so they stay extra crunchy.
- Don’t forget to buy Horizon Organic Mexican Style Shredded Cheese so you and your family are getting the best of the best!
Watch how easy this taco pasta salad is to make here –>
More Pasta Salad Recipes:
- Southwest Pasta Salad
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Mandarin Spinach Pasta Salad
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Taco Pasta Salad
- 16 oz rotini pasta (or other medium sized noodle)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 TBS taco seasoning
- 1.5 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper
- 2-3 cups Mexican Style Shredded Cheese
- 4 cups shredded lettuce (you can buy this already shredded at some stores)
- 15 oz French Dressing
- 3 cups slightly crushed nacho cheese or tortilla chips
- chopped cilantro (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook rotini noodles according to package directions. Rinse off in cold water.
- In a large skillet, cook ground beef. Drain grease.
- Mix in taco seasoning.
- In a large bowl add pasta, ground beef, tomatoes, bell pepper, cheese, and lettuce.
- Pour French Dressing over the top.
- Stir everything together.
- Cover and place in fridge if you're not ready to serve yet.
- When ready to serve add in crushed chips (so they don't get soggy).
- Top with chopped cilantro if desired.
**This delicious Taco Pasta Salad was originally sponsored by Horizon Organics. All opinions are my own. #HorizonOrganic #Ad
SAVE TIME AND BUY ONLINE:
Great recipe but make sure your guests like French dressing. It didn’t go over well and had to throw it out. Easy to make and makes a lot of salad which is great when you have a large garnering. I will try a different salad dressing next time.
Ahh shoot, I’m sorry they didn’t like the dressing. You could even use ranch 🙂
I’ve made this for several pot lucks for different groups and it is always a big hit! I have learned to bring all the prepared ingreadients in small containers and mix it all together at the last minute. Easy Peary and always perfect!!
Great tip! So glad you love it!
emerging india says
The recipe doesn’t specify which type of french dressing to use so I used the California style … big mistake! It was not good at all
Sorry it didn’t turn out for you. We use a standard creamy french dressing. We always list specifics if it’s something different than standard.
This was a hit at my picnic. So different but yet so easy to make. Thank you!!!
Gail T. says
Made this for a work potluck and Everyone Loved it!! Will definitely make this again and again
I gave 4 stars because I didn’t make it exactly. I used what I had on hand which was twisted ranch parmesan dressing..I had nothing close to french since I hate french lol..its very versatile and I loved it..the only thing I would do different if I had it for pot luck would be put the chips on the side..they got soggy kinda fast and I’m a texture person ..and i used the hint of lime chips which gave it a little extra flavor..very good thank you!
OMG I am cooking this now and I can not wait to try it. I did use ground turkey instead of ground beef. But still this is going to be spectacular I just know it. ❤️❤️❤️
Yay! I hope you love it!
Made this for up at the trailer, made everything ahead. Left out lettuce, chips and dressing until serving time. It was a huge hit and was gobbled up. Thanks for the delicious recipe! I’ll be sure to make this for future family gatherings. They think it’s hard and complicated..our secret!
I have made a taco salad similar but never with pasta. Didn’t think I would care for it but we did. I added sliced black olives, sliced scallions,
Drained Kidney beans and Catalina dressing instead of the French.
SCHERYL LYNN CAZAREZ says
Do u mix tacco saesoning as direcred on packet or no
Amazing. I used black beans instead of ground beef, I’m a veg head and it was tooo good. I couldn’t stop eating it
That’s a great idea! I’ll have to add black beans next time!
Pam Fisher says
Tried this yesterday. It tastes terrific. My son and husband think it should be warm. I did not add chips, but dressing is in it, so is it safe to heat if someone prefers it warm?
I think you should be able to warm it up, no problem – I’d just add the lettuce, and cilantro, and maybe the peppers or any other veggies after heating it up.
Megan Williams says
I am planning on making this en masse for a football team dinner. What would you suggest to serve with it?
You could serve it with a lot of different things, I usually treat it more like a side dish already, but if you want it as the main dish, some side dishes could be corn (on the cobb or corn salad), beans, chips and salsa/seven layer dip. And maybe a fruit salad or something too. Good luck!
Joanna L Hogan says
Great salad, I limited the tomatoes by using some Medium ChiChi’s salsa in their place and loved it.
Sounds yummy, but I would add black olives and sliced avocado.
Sounds yummy with those too!
just made this today for dinner and it’s awesome.. can’t stop tasting lol but I added onions and black olives and will top it with sour cream..thanks so much will be making this for my nieces and nephew real soon.
Those sound like great additions. Glad you liked it!
Can you make this the night before? Will the lettuce get soggy?
I haven’t made it the night before but it should be fine. As stated in the post, I’d recommend not adding the dressing or the chips till you are serving the mixture, otherwise it will definitely be soggy. Let me know if you try it.
CarieAnn DeLeo says
Lettuce gets soggy. Don’t add till your ready to eat.
Ah shoot, I’ve never had mine get soggy without the dressing on it.
Can you make this the day before and serve it cold or is it better warm?
It should be totally fine made ahead of time, and still yummy cold. I just don’t mix the dressing or chips in until I’m ready to serve so I don’t have a soggy mix 🙂
Can I get nutritional info on this anywhere? Calories mainly.
I added that for you. The calories seem high, but the serving size depends on if you’re eating it like a main dish, or just a side dish or something at a potluck.
Has anyone tried this without the lettuce?
I haven’t tried it without lettuce, but I think it should work great. The only difference is you may not need as much dressing!
Gayle Onohan says
Can you make this without the ground beef. Will it taste okay? I have a vegetarian in the family?
I haven’t tried, but it should be good still! Maybe add a little taco seasoning to the whole mix since you won’t cook that into the ground beef!
Connie Sturtz says
I would mix the taco seasoning in the dressing and leaving out the meat or saute some mushrooms and add the seasonings to them or toss some seasoning on some canned black beans.
Can I use something other than green peppers?
You are welcome to use any bell peppers, or just leave it out if you prefer as well.
The flavors are fantastic! This is my “go-to” dish to bring to every get-together and I always bring home an empty bowl.
Sounds good to me, thanks