A bold smoky sauce coats the tender noodles, seasoned beef, and chunky vegetables in this taco pasta salad. This dish is as flavorful as it is hearty, and the secret ingredient will really grab people’s attention!
Taco Pasta Salad
This is not just any ol’ taco pasta salad, this recipe features a distinctively creamy and smoky sauce that really makes the flavors sing! This quick and easy dish should be served cold and is perfect for bringing to a potluck or an easy summer dinner!
Taco Pasta Salad Ingredients
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons El Yucateco Black Label Reserve hot sauce
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 ounce taco seasoning packet
- 8 ounces rotini noodles – Can substitute any other short pasta.
- 2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese – Can substitute taco cheese.
- 1 white onion – White onions have the best raw crunch!
- 1 cup chopped roma tomatoes – roma tomatoes are meatier with less liquid, but sliced cherry tomatoes can be substituted.
- 1 cup sliced black olives (about 4 oz)
The secret ingredient in my taco pasta salad is El Yucateco Black Label Reserve hot sauce, which has a deep smoky flavor which just the right amount of kick. Most major grocers carry it, or it can be found online. If you can’t find it or don’t care for it, you can omit it from the recipe altogether.
How to make taco pasta salad
Begin by browning the meat in a skillet. You want to do this right away because the pasta salad is served cold and you don’t want the warm meat melting the cheese when everything is combined.
The sauce for this salad consists of a mixture of mayo, sour cream, and hot sauce. You can add more or less hot sauce to taste, depending on your preference. The flavors will continue to meld as it sits in the refrigerator which makes this dish great to make in advance.
Once the noodles have cooked you will want to rinse them under cold water to cool them off. After the meat and noodles are cool, all of the ingredients for the salad can be tossed together in a large bowl.
Optional: If you want more crunch, add broken Doritos to the top of the salad prior to serving, similar to my taco salad recipe.
More pasta salad recipes
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad – This unique salad features tangy dill pickles and creamy cheddar cheese!
- BLT Pasta Salad – All of your favorite BLT flavors in a creamy pasta salad.
- BBQ Pasta Salad – A creamy pasta salad infused with the smoky flavor of barbeque!
- Seafood Pasta Salad – This classic pasta salad can be made with imitation crab meat.
Taco Pasta Salad
- Combine mayo, sour cream, and hot sauce in a dish and set aside.*
- Brown the hamburger and add taco seasoning packet according to packet instructions, then set aside to cool slightly.
- Cook the noodles according to box instructions, then rinse with cold water till cool.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl, including the sauce, and mix to combine.
- Can be served immediately, but best if set in the fridge overnight to allow flavors to meld.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com May 9, 2017.
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