Taco Pasta Salad

Easy Recipe

Taco Pasta Salad


  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 pound rotini pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water
  • 1 ounce (or 3 tablespoons) taco seasoning
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • 3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups French dressing
  • 9 3/4 ounce bag Nacho Doritos, crushed


  1. Prepare the Beef:
    • In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until it’s browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat. Stir in the taco seasoning until the beef is well coated. Set it aside to cool.
  2. Cook the Pasta:
    • Cook the rotini pasta according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain it, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, and let it cool.
  3. Prepare the Vegetables:
    • Dice the small yellow onion and slice the grape tomatoes in half. Shred the iceberg lettuce, and shred the cheddar jack cheese if it’s not already shredded.
  4. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a very large bowl, mix together the cooked and seasoned ground beef, cooked pasta, diced onion, sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and shredded cheddar jack cheese. Toss everything together until well combined.
  5. Add Dressing:
    • Pour the French dressing over the mixture and gently toss to ensure that all the ingredients are well coated with the dressing. You can adjust the amount of dressing to your taste; some may prefer a bit less or more.
  6. Crush the Doritos:
    • Crush the Nacho Doritos inside the bag or using a rolling pin until you have small pieces. You can leave some larger pieces for added texture.
  7. Add Crushed Doritos:
    • Stir in the crushed Doritos into the salad mixture. They will add a delicious crunch and a hint of nacho cheese flavor.
  8. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Serve your Taco Pasta Salad immediately as a flavorful and satisfying meal. It’s perfect for potlucks, picnics, or family gatherings. Enjoy!
  9. Optional Garnish:
    • If desired, garnish the salad with some extra shredded cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, or a dollop of sour cream before serving.

This Taco Pasta Salad combines the flavors of a classic taco with the convenience of a pasta salad. It’s a hearty and flavorful dish that’s sure to be a hit with family and friends.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Taco Pasta Salad Recipe:

  1. Can I use a different type of pasta?
    • Yes, you can use a different type of pasta if you prefer. While rotini is great for holding the dressing and ingredients, other pasta shapes like penne, fusilli, or macaroni can work well.
  2. Is there a substitute for ground beef?
    • You can substitute ground beef with ground turkey, ground chicken, or even a plant-based meat alternative for a vegetarian version of this salad.
  3. How spicy is this salad?
    • The level of spiciness depends on the taco seasoning you use. Some taco seasonings are mild, while others are spicier. You can adjust the heat by choosing a taco seasoning that suits your preference.
  4. Can I make this salad in advance?
    • Yes, you can make this salad in advance, but it’s best to add the Doritos just before serving to maintain their crunch. Store the salad in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and add the Doritos shortly before serving.
  5. How long does this salad stay fresh in the refrigerator?
    • When properly stored in an airtight container, this salad can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Keep in mind that the Doritos may become less crunchy over time.
  6. Can I use a different type of dressing?
    • While French dressing is traditionally used in this recipe, you can experiment with other dressings like ranch, creamy avocado, or even a homemade taco-flavored dressing for a unique twist.
  7. What other toppings can I add to the salad?
    • You can customize this salad with additional toppings like sliced black olives, diced avocado, green onions, or pickled jalapeños for extra flavor and texture.
  8. Can I make a vegetarian or vegan version of this salad?
    • Yes, you can make a vegetarian or vegan version by using meatless ground crumbles or plant-based meat substitutes and choosing dairy-free cheese and dressings.
  9. Is this salad served hot or cold?
    • This Taco Pasta Salad is served cold, making it a refreshing and convenient dish for picnics, potlucks, and warm-weather gatherings.
  10. What can I serve with this salad?
    • This salad can be a standalone meal, but you can also serve it alongside grilled chicken, beef, or shrimp for a complete dinner.
  11. Can I adjust the level of spiciness?
    • Yes, you can adjust the spiciness by using mild or spicy taco seasoning and by adding or omitting jalapeños or hot sauce according to your taste.
  12. Can I use store-bought taco seasoning or make my own?
    • You can use store-bought taco seasoning for convenience, or you can make your own taco seasoning blend by combining spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder to suit your flavor preferences.

The Taco Pasta Salad Recipe, as provided, is not considered low-carb. It contains ingredients like pasta, Doritos, and French dressing, which are relatively high in carbohydrates. If you’re looking to make a low-carb version of this salad, you can make a few modifications:

  1. Replace Pasta: Substitute the pasta with a low-carb alternative like cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles (zoodles), or a low-carb pasta substitute made from almond flour, coconut flour, or konjac flour.
  2. Choose Low-Carb Chips: Instead of Nacho Doritos, look for low-carb or keto-friendly chips or crisps. There are several brands that offer chips with fewer carbohydrates.
  3. Use a Low-Carb Dressing: Opt for a low-carb or sugar-free dressing, such as a vinaigrette or ranch dressing with minimal carbs.
  4. Limit Onions and Tomatoes: While onions and tomatoes are relatively low in carbs compared to some other vegetables, consider reducing their quantity if you want to further reduce carb content.
  5. Check Taco Seasoning: Be mindful of the taco seasoning you use, as some pre-packaged versions may contain added sugars. Consider making your own taco seasoning without sugar or use a low-carb store-bought option.

By making these adjustments, you can create a low-carb or keto-friendly version of the Taco Pasta Salad that fits your dietary preferences and needs.

Source : Allrecipes.Com

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