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Overhead photo of a bowl of taco pasta salad.
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Taco Pasta Salad

Taco Pasta Salad with Doritos puts a zesty twist on regular pasta salad! Made with Mexican spices, ground beef, and fresh veggies, it’s tossed in creamy chipotle dressing and topped with cheesy tortilla chips!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 680kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spiral pasta like cavatappi or rotini
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 8 ounces Habanero Cheddar cheese or other cheddar cheese cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper minced and optional
  • 16 ounces Southwest Chipotle Dressing see notes
  • 4 cups Spicy or Nacho Doritos lightly crushed
  • 3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, drain and add to a large bowl.
  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through, drain excess oil. Add the ground beef to the pasta. I recommend prepping your cheese and veggies while your pasta and beef cook.
  • Stir in the taco seasonings and mix with the beef and pasta until evenly coated.
  • Add in the cheese, pepper, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, black beans, lime juice, and jalapeno pepper (if using) and toss to combine.
  • Add in the dressing and toss to coat the salad evenly. I recommend making the pasta salad at least 2 hours before you want to serve it and chilling it the fridge so the flavor can build.
  • Add the shredded lettuce and crushed Doritos as close to serving as possible so they don't get soggy.

Notes

  • I used Hidden Valley brand Southwest Chipotle dressing if you can't find it or another brand, you can also use Creamy French or Thousand Island as well.
  • Pasta Salad will keep for about 5 days in the fridge, just notes that lettuce and Doritos will get soggy after a couple of hours. You can serve them on the side for freshness if desired. 
  • Ground turkey could also be used instead of beef.

Nutrition

Calories: 680kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 751mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 875IU | Vitamin C: 16.4mg | Calcium: 214mg | Iron: 2.1mg