Our taco pasta salad is a fusion between beef tacos and pasta salad, leaving you will a hearty meal or side that the whole family will love.
Saucy Taco Pasta Salad
Made with ground beef taco meat, tons of veggies, and your favorite pasta, we know you will love this recipe.
This taco pasta salad doubles as a main meal because it’s so jam-packed with protein and veggies!
In this post, we’ll teach you how to make this yummy pasta salad + a few ways to store it and eat it as leftovers.
What You Need
Meat: This wouldn’t be a “taco” pasta salad without ground taco meat! We chose to use ground turkey, but the good news is that you can use any ground meat that you wish.
Veggies: Gimme all the taco veggies. We are using classic taco veggie toppings. Here’s what you need:
- black beans
Pasta: The great thing about pasta salad, is that you can use any kind of noodle you wish (white, whole wheat, gluten-free, etc.)! Just make sure you use around 12 oz. so that the ratios stay the same.
Dressing: We’ve been a little obsessed with our cilantro lime dressing and we actually used 2 whole recipes-worth in this pasta salad.
Swap the Ground Meat: don’t love ground turkey? Feel free to use ground beef, chicken, or even a plant-based ground.
Use Different Veggies: any kind of fresh or roasted veggie would work in this pasta dish! Try baked zucchini, fajita veggies, or diced avocado.
Try Another Salad Dressing: any of our salad dressings would be delicious on this. Try our lemon vinaigrette or green goddess dressing.
This recipe will last anywhere from 3-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you scroll all the way down, you’ll find some meal prep inspiration. That little meal prep container is exactly what we ate the week we made this!
Healthy Taco Pasta Salad
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons Frank’s hot sauce
- 12 oz. uncooked pasta use your favorite kind
- 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
- 3 oz. can sliced black olives
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 medium red onion diced
- 12 oz. bag of frozen corn
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
For the Dressing
- Double the recipe for our Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing. You should get around 2 cups of dressing.
- Queso Fresco
- Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente. Then, strain water and set aside.
- Next, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. When olive oil is fragrant, add ground turkey, cumin, garlic, chipotle, chili powder, and hot sauce. Mix well and cook for 5-10 minutes or until turkey is fully cooked. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Add cooked noodles, turkey meat, and the rest of the taco salad ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.
- Next, pour on 2 cups of homemade cilantro lime dressing and toss with pasta salad. Make sure all ingredients are coated with dressing.
- Place in the refrigerator and let cool.
- Enjoy chilled and top with optional topping ingredients.
Tips & Notes
- Storage: will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Maybe a stupid question but do you cook or thaw the corn before you put it in the salad? Or just put it in there frozen and it thaws while the salad refrigerates? What about the black beans? Also, do you think it’s too spicy for a toddler?
The corn should be pre-cooked if it’s frozen! You can just thaw it under hot water!
I just found my new favourite pasta salad!
It’s creamy, spicy, and has a nice zing. Will definitely be adding it to our regular rotation!
It’s SOOOOO good, right?!
This is a light, bright and delicious salad. I subbed ground beef and added a jalapeño and some bell peppers to the salad. I used less pasta, and think you could even leave it out if you’re worried about starchy carbs. It taste great even without it. Thanks Fit Foodie Finds!
Glad you loved it!