Pasta salad is a classic, versatile dish but you’ve never had it like this before. Our taco pasta salad recipe will be the hit at your next BBQ or potluck.
This dish is best served cold, which can dull the heat of the spices. So, unless you prefer the milder side of life, be sure to buy the spiciest taco seasoning you can find for the best bold flavor.
If you’re feeling motivated and want to make your own, try our homemade taco seasoning mix! Or, if you want to make it a little easier, replace the corn on the cob with one can of corn kernels. Easy peasy.
Enjoy this taco pasta salad as a main dish or serve it alongside a juicy bacon jalapeno burger. Either way, it only takes about 15 minutes of prep time and stays fresh in the fridge for about a week in an airtight container. Fabuloso!
Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 lb small shells
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 package taco seasoning mix
- 15 oz black beans
- 2 corn on the cob
- 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
- 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups salsa
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Cook pasta shells in 4 quarts rapidly boiling salted water according to package directions. When ready, drain and shock in ice water or run cold water over pasta until cool. Drain well and set aside. Toss pasta in a small drizzle of oil if you like to help prevent sticking. It will take less oil than you think so be frugal.
- Brown meat in a large sauté pan breaking it up as it cooks. When no pink remains, drain any excess fat if necessary and add water and seasoning mix. Continue to cook until thick. Remove from pan to cool and set aside.
- Drain black beans and rinse under cold water. Drain again and set aside. Grill corn on a very hot grill or grill pan 20 25 minutes. Rotate corn only after black grill marks have formed (if you are in a rush, use canned corn). When corn has blackened all around the ear, remove from grill and when cool enough cut kernels from cob. Set aside.
- Have diced Roma tomatoes, chopped cilantro and salsa ready. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the pasta and toss to combine. You now have the option of serving the pasta in individual bowls with the ingredients arranged on top (resembling a power bowl) or toss everything together and serve in one large bowl. Either way, OLE!
Don’t limit yourself to shells. Try any pasta you’d like! Angel hair or cavatappi, perhaps?