This Taco Pasta Salad was easy to throw together and is a great side dish to go with all the Mexican dishes we are always making.
Mexican Pasta Salad = keeper
Our family gatherings are a good way to get a consensus on whether or not a recipe is a keeper. Today’s recipe for Taco Pasta Salad was a new one we brought to a family BBQ, and it was a hit!
It’s a Mexican Pasta Salad filled with black beans, corn, cilantro, avocado, cheese and more. What’s not to love about all those ingredients?
How to Make + Variations
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and pour in a large bowl.
Add black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa and cheese to the bowl and mix with the pasta.
In another bowl, whisk together olive oil lime juice, cumin and chili powder. Pour this over the pasta salad and seas on with garlic salt and pepper.
Right before serving add chopped cilantro and diced avocado. Top with queso fresco if desired.
This salad can easily be changed up based on the ingredients you add/omit. Here are some other great ingredients:
- Different meat – shredded beef, pork and steak also work great
- Salsa – change it up by adding a sweet salsa verde or tomatillo salsa
- Beans – Pinto, Red or White Beans all work great
Can you make this recipe gluten free? This recipe is easily adaptable to being gluten free based on the pasta that you include. If you replace the normal shells with gluten free shells you will be set!
What is the best pasta shape to use for this recipe? We like using classic shells but macaroni, penne, or bow ties would work well too. I wouldn’t quite advise using spaghetti noodles for this specific recipe.
Making Ahead of Time
You can make this pasta salad ahead of time. Just store in an airtight container, and the cilantro and avocado right before serving. You may need to add more of the dressing right before since that will get absorbed a bit.
For leftovers, keep in a tupperware in the fridge, but once the avocados are browned, it’s no longer good. If you omitted the avocados, this can be stored for up to 5-6 days in the fridge.
For more pasta salad recipes, check out:
- Classic Pasta Salad
- Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Chinese Pasta Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
- Chicken Pasta Salad
Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 box pasta shells
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 10 oz corn frozen
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 8 oz shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3-4 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1-2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup cilantro fresh and chopped
- 1 avocado diced
- garlic salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and pour in a large bowl.
- Add black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa and shredded cheese to the pasta.
- In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Season to taste with garlic salt & pepper and mix well.
- Just before serving, add cilantro and cubed avocado.