This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Need a new spin on pasta salad? This taco pasta salad recipe comes together in 25 minutes and is loaded with tons of fresh veggies and a creamy homemade dressing loaded with taco-inspired flavors. Get ready for a new summer favorite!
You Will Love This
- This taco pasta salad is an unexpected and completely delicious side (or meal, honestly, I’m not judging) that comes together in no time. It blends all the delicious flavors of a black bean taco salad with a snappy creamy dressing.
- If you love this pasta salad, be sure to try my Street Corn Pasta Salad, Southwest Pasta Salad, or (for something a little different) my amazing Caprese Pasta Salad.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Black Beans - Black beans are going to give this taco pasta salad its heartiness. You could also use pinto beans for a lighter, creamier texture.
- Fire-Roasted Corn - Fire-roasted corn has a little extra sweetness and lends some of that charred flavor. You can also use regular canned corn.
- Grape Tomatoes - Grape tomatoes are my favorite for pasta salads because they’re quick to slice and they’re meaty enough to hold their shape.
- Bell Peppers - Did you know that red, orange, yellow, and green bell peppers are the same veggie at different stages? We’re using a couple different colors to get the full range of flavors and to create that fajita-like pop of color. If you have a favorite, though, or a strong aversion, use whichever peppers you prefer.
- Sour Cream - Sour cream is the base for this creamy dressing, so opt for full fat instead of low fat or fat-free. If you want to make a vegan taco pasta salad, all you need to do is use a vegan sour cream instead!
- Lime Juice - You can use bottled lime juice if you need to, but fresh-squeezed adds a distinctively fresh, tart flavor that you just can’t get anywhere else. I like to slice up an extra lime or two to serve with this pasta salad.
- Honey - We expect tang and spice from taco flavors, but a spoonful of honey is the secret to this pasta salad’s signature sauce. You could use agave in its place.
- Spices - Cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder are the basic building blocks of a classic taco seasoning.
Mix the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour over pasta salad.
Toss to coat evenly.
Make Ahead Instructions
- This creamy taco pasta salad can be made up to 3 days in advance. But if you're planning to enjoy it a couple days after making it, just add half the dressing initially. Then just before serving, add the remaining dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve! This will ensure that the flavors are fresh as can be and that the noodles don't get soggy.
Food isn't good or bad! Food is food. Everything should be enjoyed in moderation and taco salad is no exception! The best part about taco salad is that you can sneak your favorite veggies in to make it more filling and delicious.
The best pasta for salad is any short noodle with lots of shape and texture. Spirals, holes, nooks, and crannies help the noodles hold onto whatever dressing or sauce they are stirred in, for the very best pasta salad experience.
You may have heard that you should rinse pasta for pasta salad to stop the cooking process, but it's not necessary! Toss the noodles in olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and pop them in the fridge to cool! Rinsing them removes the starch and that's what helps the dressing coat every noodle!
More Pasta Salad Favorites
- Easy BLT Pasta Salad
- Greek Chickpea Pasta Salad
- Creamy Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Vegan Cucumber Pasta Salad
- Quick Sesame Noodle Salad