This Creamy Taco Pasta Salad is the perfect way to usher in picnic season. A Creamy Taco Dressing tops tender pasta, flavorful ground beef and all of your favorite taco toppings to create a crave-worthy pasta salad that everyone will love.
Pasta Salads are one of my favorite things to make in spring and summer. Once the days start to warm, and the evenings too, we are always looking for ways to keep cool, and that includes in the kitchen! Cold salads are a great way to feed your family a complete meal without turning on your oven.
My family loves pasta salads, especially this Creamy Taco Pasta Salad. This salad is a fun way to shake up your usual taco night, and it’s a great dish to being to picnics, potlucks or barbecues. There isn’t a ton of prep-work and the whole pasta salad comes together in about 20 minutes.
The creamy taco dressing is a combination of spices, sour cream, salsa and a little mayo for creaminess. The mayo also isn’t absorbed by the pasta like the sour cream can be, so it helps this pasta salad stay nice and creamy. If you don’t want to mix up all of the spices, a tablespoon of packaged taco seasoning mixed with the sour cream would work just as well.
I like to enjoy this salad at room temp, right after it’s all mixed together, but you can also store it in the fridge for a day or two until you’re ready to serve it. Just be sure to save the diced avocado and tortilla chips and add them right before serving so they’ll stay fresh.
Creamy Taco Pasta Salad
Yield 6 -8 servings
Creamy Taco Dressing
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Taco Pasta Salad
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 pound small pasta (like macaroni)
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 bunch green onion, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can sweet corn
- 1 3-ounce can sliced olives
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, ground beef and garlic and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, gently stir ground beef into macaroni.
- Combine Creamy Taco Dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over macaroni and beef mixture and stir until completely coated.
- Gently stir in tomatoes, green onions, corn, olives and cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Top with diced avocado and tortilla chips just before serving.
For more delicious pasta salads, try these: