Tacos, ranch seasoning and pasta join forces to create this delicious taco pasta salad recipe! Enjoy pasta salad and taco salad in a single bite! Delicious party food or side dish.
Original post: May 2016 | Updated: April 2021
Why This Recipe Works
Are you looking for a unique but oh-so-tasty dish to bring to your next gathering (large or small!)? This taco pasta salad recipe is your match! There are so many varieties of pasta salad that make people yawn, but this is not one of those recipes.
I brought this easy taco pasta salad to a party recently and got rave reviews from a family member who “does not like pasta salad.” YESsss. I always love putting the spin on a dish that changes a person’s mind. This is one of those family favorite recipes that you will make over and over!
Dry ranch dressing mix – This is the secret ingredient that adds a ton of flavor! If desired, however, add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning in place of ranch dressing mix for a more intense taco flavor. Homemade taco seasoning is super easy to make!
Mayonnaise – Cut the mayo in half for a healthier recipe.
Sour cream – Cut sour cream in half (or replace with reduced fat variety) for a healthier recipe. Another option is to replace the sour cream entirely with yogurt.
Rotini pasta – Use any variety of spiral pasta for this salad. Elbow macaroni noodles or rotini work great, too. Use GF pasta for a gluten free salad (omit the Doritos, as well, for a gluten-free recipe).
Green onions – Red, yellow or white onions would be a delicious replacement for green onions.
Corn – Use fresh corn on the cob that has been grilled and cut from the cob for an added punch of flavor.
Doritos – Replace with corn chips or any variety of tortilla chips to cater to specific diets and taste preferences. Chips are mandatory for this recipe, in my opinion, because it adds a little crunch.
How To Make This Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
In a medium bowl, combine seasoning mix, mayo, sour cream and lime juice. Mix well and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pasta cooked to al dente (bring to room temperature first), black beans, corn, tomatoes, onions and cilantro.
Add seasoned mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, top with shredded cheddar cheese and crushed Doritos!
- Add protein to this dish by adding 2 cups of cooked shredded chicken or cooked ground beef or ground turkey.
- For extra spice, stir in 1 diced jalapeno. Remove seeds first!
- Wait until just before serving to top with the cheese and Doritos.
- Top with a few handfuls of chopped iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce or your favorite taco toppings such as chopped bell pepper or other fresh veggies.
- This tasty side dish makes a very large batch, but can easily be store in the fridge for up to 7 days. If you have leftovers, serve as a main dish for your next taco night and snack on it throughout the week.
- This is the perfect dish to bring to your next summer potluck.
Other Delicious Pasta Salad Recipes
- This is the best pasta salad recipe you will ever find. It is packed full of delicious bites (olives, salami, tomatoes and artichokes). Perfect for parties!
- This Caprese salad is a huge hit at parties! Serve this delicious dish as a side, salad or appetizer. The combination of cherry tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and basil is absolute perfection! Everyone loves this salad.
- Spruce up your next pasta salad by making this tangy Asian Pasta Salad! Packed with an irresistible sweet and salty flavor and tons of colorful, crunchy vegetables.
- If you are a pickle lover, this Dill Pickle version is for YOU! It is creamy, flavorful and crunchy all in a single bite. This is a great, quick recipe to throw together for summer gatherings and potlucks.
- This zesty Italian Salad is a delicious cold salad that does not lack in flavor! Packed with pasta, crisp veggies, fresh mozzarella, black olives and salami.
- Easy Classic Macaroni Salad is creamy, crunchy, filling and totally delicious! You have hard boiled eggs, crunchy celery and dill pickles chopped up and mixed in.
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad – Fill your fork with an incredibly tasty salad that combines pasta with fresh, crisp vegetables and a light vinaigrette straight from the Mediterranean!
FAQ About Pasta Salad
When pasta salad contains mayo and sour cream, they are not ideal for freezing. Cream-based ingredients will not separate entirely after being removed from the freezer and may have an undesirable texture. Pasta salad made without these ingredients freeze really well when stored in an airtight container for up to 4 months.ingredients freeze really well when stored in an airtight container for up to 4 months.
When served as a party food or side dish, assume that each person will eat between 1/2 and 3/4 cup total. Twelve people can easily eat one batch of a typical pasta salad recipe.
Cheddar cheese tastes great in taco pasta salad, cojack cheese is best in pasta salad with Italian dressing and mozzarella cheese is a wonderful addition to caprese pasta salad.
Pasta salad is made creamy by adding ingredients such as mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese and/or yogurt. Do not exceed 2 cups total.
Pasta salad will stay fresh when stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
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Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 oz dry ranch dressing mix
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp Lime juice
- 16 oz rotini pasta cooked to al dente and rinsed with cold water
- 15 oz black beans drained and rinsed
- 14.5 oz corn drained
- 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
- 1 bunch green onions sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup Doritos crumbled
- In a medium bowl, combine seasoning mix, mayo, sour cream and lime juice. Mix well and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, black beans, corn, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Add seasoned mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, top with cheese and crushed Doritos!
- Add protein to this dish by adding 2 cups of cooked shredded chicken or cooked ground beef.
- Add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning in place of the ranch dressing mix for a more intense taco flavor.
- For extra spice, stir in 1 diced jalapeno. Remove seeds first!
- To slim the recipe down a bit, cut the amounts of both the mayo and sour cream in half.
- Be sure not to top with cheese and Doritos until just before serving!
- Use GF pasta for a gluten free salad!