Taco Pasta Salad

Taco Pasta Salad — EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with great Mexican-inspired ingredients including corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, and more!! Perfect for picnics, parties, and potlucks!!

Mexican Pasta Salad Recipe

Post is brought to you by Santa Cruz Organic®. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own.

It’s summer and in my world that means carefree days, no-cook lunches, and casual dinners. It also means lots of outdoor grilling, get-togethers, and easy-breezy backyard entertaining.

That’s where this taco pasta salad that’s ready in 20 minutes comes into play. It’s loaded with so many layers of Mexican-inspired flavors, including tender pasta, black beans, juicy corn and tomatoes, creamy avocado, cilantro, green onions, and more. Everything is tossed in limey, taco seasoning-based vinaigrette.

It makes a large batch to feed your hungry family members, friends, and neighbors. It’s accidentally vegetarian and my daughter said it’s one of the best things I’ve made in ages. Simple ingredients that deliver big time results and flavor.

And of course you’re going to need some delicious hydration and that’s where Santa Cruz Organic® is here to help. From their iconic lemonades to the lightly sweetened Agua Frescas and the new Carbonated Tea Lemonades, Santa Cruz Organic offers the perfect way to refresh your summer with unique flavors.

Santa Cruz Organic’s line of organic, non-GMO lemonades and fruit juices are an easy way to beat the summer heat. They’re made with 100% organic fruit juice and Santa Cruz Organic lemonades are a summertime favorite we can all feel good about drinking.

The Half & Half Iced Tea Lemonade and their Mango Lemonade go down so easily, and the Mango Passionfruit Agua Fresca is the perfect complement to the Mexican flavors in the recipe. If you’re into fizz and carbonation, you’ll love the and Carbonated Tea Lemonades.

Chilled Santa Cruz Organics beverages are the perfect refreshments for almost any casual party, picnic, or potluck you’re throwing or attending and will help you beat the heat! 

What’s in Taco Pasta Salad? 

To make this easy pasta salad recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Pasta
  • Black beans
  • Mexican shredded cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Green onions
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Avocados 
  • Olive oil
  • Santa Cruz Organic Lime Juice®
  • Honey
  • Taco seasoning 
  • Garlic

How to Make Taco Pasta Salad

To make this taco pasta salad, simply stir together the cooked pasta, beans, tomatoes, avocado chunks, corn, green onions, cilantro, and cheese. 

Whisk the pasta salad dressing together in a separate bowl, then drizzle over the pasta mixture and toss to combine. 

You can enjoy this Mexican-inspired taco salad immediately or pop it into the fridge and serve later.

What Pasta Should I Use for Pasta Salad? 

I recommend using a short, sturdy pasta in this taco pasta salad. Bow-tie, macaroni, rotini, and shells are all good options. They’ll hold up nicely against the heftier ingredients, like black beans and tomatoes. 

How Long Does Pasta Salad Last? 

This easy pasta salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days, noting the avocado will oxidize as time passes.

Tips for Making Taco Pasta Salad

Be sure to generously salt the water before cooking the pasta in it. You want the pasta itself to have some flavor as well! 

If you don’t want the cheese to melt, let the pasta cool completely before tossing all the ingredients together. 

You’re welcome to add extra veggies or your protein of choice to this Mexican pasta salad. Chicken, ground beef, and ground turkey would all be good additions! I bet a vegan chorizo would also be tasty, if you want to keep this salad vegetarian. 

Yield: 8

Taco Pasta Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with great Mexican-inspired ingredients including corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, and more!! Perfect for picnics, parties, and potlucks!!

Ingredients

Salad

  • 3/4 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions (small shells, rotini, bowtie, etc.)
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used no-salt added)
  • 2 cups Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • about 1 1/2 cups sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
  • 1 or 2 medium/large Hass avocados, peeled and diced small

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Santa Cruz Organic Lime Juice®
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey or agave
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning (I use reduced-salt, medium heat)
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely pressed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Santa Cruz Organic® Lemonades, Agua Frescas, and Carbonated Lemonades for serving

Instructions

    1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a very large bowl.
    2. Add the black beans, cheese (note – if you don’t want the cheese to melt, make sure the pasta has cooled before adding the cheese), tomatoes, corn, green onions, cilantro, and stir to combine.
    3. Add the avocado and stir gently to combine.
    4. To a medium bowl, add the olive oil, lime juice, honey, taco seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, and whisk to combine.
    5. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the pasta bowl, stir well to combine, taste, and check for seasoning balance. Add more salt, pepper, lime juice, honey, cilantro, etc. if desired.
    6. Serve with Santa Cruz Organic beverages.

Notes

  • Pasta salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days, noting the avocado will oxidize as time passes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 477Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 781mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 10gSugar: 16gProtein: 16g

More Pasta Salad Recipes: 

BLT Pasta Salad — EASY, ready in 15 minutes, feeds a crowd, and PERFECT for potlucks and parties. Creamy ranch dressing perfectly coats the pasta and BACON. Guaranteed family FAVORITE!

Italian Chicken Pasta Salad — Easy, ready in 20 minutes, and showcases some of my favorite summer ingredients. It’s perfect for summer potlucks and BBQs, or as a no-fuss family dinner!

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad – EASY, ready in 30 minutes, and packed with Asian-inspired flavors!! Juicy sesame chicken, pasta, and lots of healthy vegetables!

Club Sandwich Pasta Salad – All your favorite club sandwich ingredients in an EASY pasta salad!! Turkey, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese with ranch!

Tomato and Mozzarella Pesto Pasta Salad – Tender pasta, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella are coated in Parmesan cheese and DELICIOUS pesto sauce!!

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo Pasta Salad – EASY, ready in 25 minutes, and feeds a crowd!! Juicy lemon chicken with orzo, fresh spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes make this a dinnertime WINNER!

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad — This is a fast and easy recipe the whole family will love, ready in 20 minutes, and it’s one of the best pasta salads I’ve eaten in ages.

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