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Taco Pasta Salad

Taco Pasta Salad

Alright this one may not be the healthiest recipe in the world…but it’s not the worst for you either. In fact, I think you could make Taco Pasta Salad a little unhealthier…if that was your goal. But it’s not right? That’d be weird….

“Yup, that’s muh wife right there.”

Pasta salad is huge in my house. I blame my wife and her family. I think she has literally decided to go to a cook out based strictly on the fact that there would be pasta salad there. I thought this was just her obsession until her sister was at a family dinner where their mom made pasta salad. Needless to say, I remember seeing them both hovering over the bowl before we all got our plates, picking noodles and veggies out with their fingers.

Not to be pushed to the side…

This dish is almost never a side in my house when we make it for ourselves. I mean why does it need to be a side? It’s noodles with veggies and a sauce or dressing. Why wouldn’t it be a main dish? I know you all love hearing me talk about my amazing wife, so I’m going to do it more! She is the creator of this dish. I can’t take any credit here. I chalk this one up to her love for pasta salad, and taco themed things.

taco pasta salad

Up until now, this recipe has lived in her head. Case in point: As I was making it for dinner and this post the other day, I sent her a text about the dressing. “Any hints on the dressing? How much of everything?” I get back, “nope, sorry.” I knew what went into it and had a faint idea of the ratios so I just went at it. Isn’t that what cooking is all about?

Getting Dressed Up

The dressing is the overseer here because it holds everything together and makes it run like a finely tuned pasta salad machine. We make it with pre-packaged spices, so it comes together in a snap. The beauty of it is: you can make these spice on your own if you don’t already have them on hand. The two I’m talking about specifically are Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix (grab some here)and McCormick’s Taco Seasoning (grab some here). Both of these you can find countless recipes and guides to making your own. Which I’ve done in the past, but I’ll just say I’m too lazy to get together the different spices and mix up my own batch.

I know it’s not that much work, what are you my mom?

The two-combined sing together like Sonny and Cher. Too old?

Ummmm Outkast? Still pretty old.

I got nothin’. Either I’m out of touch with modern day pop, or there aren’t any good duos or deuts.

“1, 2, 3, UH, my baby don’t mess around because she loves me so and this I…” God I love that song.

It’s not toooo bad…

I say that my taco pasta salad isn’t healthy for you because of two things here…the mayonnaise, which is the base of the dressing for the pasta salad, and the pasta in general. I know neither of those things are awful for you, but something about putting around a cup of mayonnaise in something automatically makes me feel a little like I’m using something I shouldn’t…Again, I know it’s NOT THAT BAD, I know that. It’s just weird self and how I feel. Same thing to the pasta. I know it’s not super unhealthy for you, but after eating a bowl of pasta sometimes you just feel a little….bleh.

taco pasta salad

This pasta salad is WORTH IT AND SO ARE YOU. So treat yourself to this little delight. Use it as your next meatless meal main, or take it to your next family potluck. Either way, you’ll impress yourself and those around you. It’s simple, cheap, easy and tasty. What more could you ask for?

Recipe

  • 1 box of pasta, cooked al dente and run under cold water (I used farfalle)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced bell pepper
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced and removed of gelatinous seed areas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or other cheese of choice
  • 1-1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tbsp dry ranch mix
  • 2-3 tbsp taco seasoning
  1. To a large mixing bowl, add cold pasta, onion, peppers, black beans, tomatoes, and corn. Toss to combine.
  2. In a smaller bowl, make the dressing by adding the mayonnaise, ranch  mix, and taco seasoning. You may have to adjust the ratios depending on the brands of what you are using.
  3. Add dressing to the large mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Add cheese  and stir.
  4. Dance around because now you get to eat.
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