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When is pasta salad like a taco? When it’s taco pasta salad of course!
A Different Pasta Salad
There’s quite a number of different pasta salads. From a humble macaroni salad to the more gourmet pasta salads. I think just calling it “pasta salad” makes it more gourmet and if you get technical, macaroni salad is actually pasta salad. But I digress.
This taco pasta salad is pure genius and I can guarantee you that you’ll be a real hero to the taco lovers in your family when you serve it. So I’d make double the recipe because it’ll disappear quickly.
The Best Cheese To Use
This recipe calls for good old cheddar. It’s easy to come by and as always I suggest shredding your own from the block. Since when you shred it yourself, it has none of the drying and anti-caking agents that are in the packets of the commercially shedded kind. Plus, I think it tastes better. It certainly has a better texture.
But what “flavor” cheddar is best? You’ll get more bang for your buck tastewise if you use an extra-sharp variety. That’s my opinion on the subject because a milder variety would get lost with the strong flavor of the seasoning so you’d be better off with something bold.
Seasonings And Additions
I like the taste of my own homemade taco seasoning. However, an envelope of the store bought will work just fine. If you do make up some of my recipe for the taco seasoning, leave out the cornstarch.
You can beef up (so to speak) this taco pasta salad by adding a pound of browned ground beef, chicken or turkey. That will make it a great cold meal for a hot day. If you do choose to add meat, the taco seasoning can be added to the meat when it’s browning.
Taco Pasta Salad
- 2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
- 2 tbs homemade taco seasoning or 1 packet store-bought
- 3 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
- 2 tbs jalapeño peppers diced (optional)
- 1/2 cup Catalina salad dressing
- Corn chips
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle taco seasoning over pasta and toss to coat.
- Add the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onion, green pepper and dressing; toss to coat. Serve with corn/tortilla chips.
- Adding some diced cooked chicken will make this a complete main dish.