Beef Taco Pasta Salad

This beef taco pasta salad has a kick and takes traditional pasta salad to a whole new level. Perfect for serving to a crowd!

Tis the season for fall football and meals for the football team. I’ve learned there is a BIG difference between feeding the choir department and the football team. They eat. They eat a lot and they eat seconds and thirds. I had a little over a day to throw this meal together since they changed the game times and I had to bring something that would stay good during the game. The boys have had a lot of pizza, barbeque, and watermelon so I went with a higher protein light meal.

And it was a winner.

One of the coaches came back for thirds and then had his son steal a couple of more cookies. For him.

Overall for the little amount of time I had and for the grocery store screwing up on the lettuce they gave me (they gave me taco shredded lettuce–whoops!) the meal still turned out great.

Here’s what we went with:






A light but protein rich meal filled with black beans, protein pasta, steak, chicken, and other good things that are totally football player friendly!

If you’re looking for some other great meals to feed large crowds, make sure to check out our post on feeding football players and other large crowds.

I got the most compliments on this taco pasta salad. They couldn’t believe it was high protein and they loved the twist on a traditional pasta salad. And if you DON’T like mayonaise or sour cream, DO NOT worry! I’m the same and worried this was going to be too much but it wasn’t. It was perfect! Everything blended well.

Beef Taco Pasta Salad

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning (decrease to 1 tbsp for less spicy)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 10 oz can Ro*Tel or diced green chilies with tomatoes (use mild for less spicy, use original for a little bit of a kick) (DO NOT DRAIN)

For the Pasta:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 oz elbow pasta, cooked and drained (we used Barilla Protein Plus, you can use any elbow pasta or gluten free)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup diced green onions
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup petite diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained (can use fresh tomatoes, diced)
  • 1 11 oz can Mexi corn (corn + red and green peppers)–we found that Green Giant sold it at Kroger
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, diced

In a medium bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients and then set aside. In a large bowl stir together the pasta ingredients, then pour the sauce over the pasta and stir until combined. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. Meal stays good for several days in the refrigerator.

Makes 10-12 servings. We doubled this recipe to feed 24.

Recipe inspired by The Blond Cook

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