Taco Pasta Salad

This Taco Pasta Salad is everything you love about tacos in a pasta salad! Served cold, it makes a fun dish for a party or BBQ! 

Taco Pasta Salad

Looking to level up your pasta salad game this summer!? This Taco Pasta Salad is just the thing to spice things up! Pasta salads are the perfect compliment to any backyard BBQ. This Taco Pasta Salad also stands alone as a fun dinner idea the whole family will love! 

Loaded with flavor from the homemade taco seasoning and packed full of all your favorite taco fillings this is bound to become a favorite dish you will make over and over again! 

Taco Pasta Salad on a Platter

What goes into Taco Pasta Salad? 


Pasta – duh! I like using a medium sized, short cut pasta like shells, penne would work well too. 

Taco Seasoning – we are using my favorite homemade taco seasoning!

Ground Beef  – we cook the beef with half of the taco seasoning, I like that the ground beef breaks up and you get some with every bite. 

Black Beans, Tomatoes, Olives, Red Onions, Cheese and Avocado – Additional add-ins that round out the perfect taco! 

Sour Cream Sauce – A zesty sour cream sauce made from sour cream mixed with lime juice, lime zest and taco seasoning serves as the sauce or dressing on this pasta salad. 

Toppings – Shredded lettuce, crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cilantro and sour cream to dress up the pasta salad however you like it! 


Homemade Taco Seasoning

Why You Should Use Homemade Taco Seasoning


Rather than buy a taco seasoning mix, it is really simple to make your own taco seasoning at home! By making your own you can control the ratios of the seasoning as well as the sodium which can often be really high in store bought mixes. 

This homemade taco seasoning is made with chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and salt. If you have a well stocked spice drawer you likely already have all of these spices on hand. If not, they are all very accessible and easy to find at any grocery store. 

The best part is, all you have to do to make the seasoning is mix the spices together! Follow the recipe for quantities, mix and that’s it – it’s ready to go! 

Taco Pasta Salad

How to Serve Taco Pasta Salad


The toppings really take this pasta salad from good to great! Top it with shredded lettuce, cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, avocado and sour cream.

There are really two ways to go when you serve this pasta salad. You can serve it with all the toppings piled on top or you can serve with the toppings on the side and let people top their own salad with whatever they like. 

This pasta salad can stand alone as it’s own dinner or as a side dish. Depending on the setting you are serving it in you can decide how you want to do the toppings. 

Taco Pasta Salad


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Taco Pasta Salad

  • Author: Laura


This Taco Pasta Salad is everything you love about tacos in a pasta salad! Served cold, it makes a fun dish for a party or BBQ! 



Taco Seasoning

2 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

Pasta Salad

1 pound medium pasta shells

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pound ground beef

Taco Seasoning, divided

1/2 cup black beans

1 3.8oz can sliced black olives

2 roma tomatoes, diced

2 tbsp red onion, diced

1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 1/4 cup sour cream

Juice and Zest of 1 large lime

1 large avocado, diced


2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 large avocado, sliced

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

2 tbsp sour cream

lime slices


Taco Seasoning

In a small bowl, mix together all of the spices, set aside

Pasta Salad

Cook pasta according to package instructions for “al dente”, set aside to cool

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat

Add the ground beef

Working with a wooden spoon brown meat

Add half of the Taco Seasoning to the meat, mix

Keep cooking until meat is fully cooked, remove from heat to cool

When the pasta and meat are cool, add them to a large bowl

Add the black beans, black olives, tomatoes, red onion and cheese, toss

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, remaining taco seasoning, lime zest and juice

Add the mixture to the pasta salad, toss

Refrigerate salad at least 1 hour and up to 1 day

Right before serving add the avocado, toss


Top the pasta salad with the shredded romaine lettuce, cilantro, avocado slices, tortilla chips, sour cream and garnish with lime slices right before serving*


*You can also serve these as toppings on the side and have people add what they want to their own bowl.

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Taco Pasta Salad

If you make this Taco Pasta Salad let me know how you like it!  Leave a star rating and comment here! If you snap a photo, I’d love to see it – share it over on Instagram and tag me @sprinklesandseasalt!

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