Taco Pasta Salad is a perfect summertime meal for a crowd. It’s great for bringing to picnics or pot luck dinners, and it’s adaptable for any palate.
Here’s the thing. Different members of my family like different things in their salads. No big deal. If you want to leave something out; do it! If you want to make a substitution; do it! If you want to add 5 ingredients that aren’t even in my recipe; do it! This is your salad, and you’re the boss. However for informational purposes, these are the dressings that we like best, French, plain old Ranch, and Creamy Cilantro-Ranch (which recipe you can get right here).
- 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
- 1 pound rotini pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed in cold water
- 1 package (1 ounce or 1/4 cup) taco seasoning
- 3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup sliced black olives
- ½ cup finely diced green pepper
- ½ cup finely diced red pepper
- 5 green onions, finely sliced
- 2 cups grated cheese (cheddar or jack)
- 1 ½ cups salad dressing (French, ranch, cilantro ranch, etc)
- 9 ounce bag Nacho Cheese Doritos, crushed
- Add dry taco seasoning to the cooked beef, and mix thoroughly.
- In extra-large bowl, or two large bowls, combine taco beef, pasta, lettuce, tomatoes, green and red peppers, onions, and cheese. Toss well.
- Pour dressing over top, and stir until well coated. Don't add crushed chips until right before serving.
While you’re waiting for the pasta to cook, prepare the meat as follows.