Looking for a meal prep option that’s bursting with flavor and satisfies your hunger throughout the week? Look no further than this delectable Taco Pasta Salad! Packed with savory ground beef, vibrant vegetables, and zesty taco seasoning, this dish is sure to become a staple in your meal rotation.

Each bite is a symphony of textures and tastes, from the tender rotini pasta to the crisp bite of fresh grape tomatoes. The creamy cheddar cheese and tangy Ortega taco sauce bring everything together in a mouthwatering medley that will leave your taste buds singing.

Best of all, this recipe is easy to prepare and perfect for batch cooking. Simply follow these steps, and you’ll have a hearty and satisfying meal ready to enjoy all week long. Whether you’re meal prepping for work lunches or family dinners, this Taco Pasta Salad is sure to be a hit!

So gather your ingredients and let’s get cooking. Get ready to indulge in a bowlful of pure deliciousness with every bite of this sensational Taco Pasta Salad!


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 box rotini tri-color pasta
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small package grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 3/4 package shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/2 bottle Ortega taco sauce
  • Crushed nacho Doritos (1 handful per serving)


  • Cook the Ground Beef:
    • Heat a skillet over medium heat.
    • Add the ground beef and cook it, breaking it apart with a spatula, until it’s browned and cooked through.
    • Drain any excess grease from the beef.
    • Sprinkle the taco seasoning packet over the cooked beef and stir well to combine.
    • Let the seasoned beef cool to room temperature.
  • Prepare the Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    • Add the rotini tri-color pasta to the boiling water.
    • Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package until it’s al dente.
    • Once cooked, drain the pasta in a colander and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process.
    • Let the pasta cool completely.
  • Prep the Other Ingredients:
    • Chop the yellow onion into small pieces.
    • Slice the grape tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
    • Drain the sliced black olives from the can.
  • Assemble the Salad:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled cooked ground beef, cooled cooked pasta, chopped onion, sliced tomatoes, drained black olives, and shredded cheddar cheese.
    • Pour the Ortega taco sauce over the mixture, starting with 1/4 of the bottle and adding more to taste if desired.
    • Gently toss all the ingredients together until everything is evenly coated with the taco sauce.
  • Chill the Salad:
    • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and place it in the refrigerator.
    • Let the taco pasta salad chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve:
    • When ready to serve, give the salad a quick stir.
    • Portion out servings into bowls or onto plates.
    • Top each serving with a handful of crushed nacho Doritos for added crunch and flavor.

Why You’ll Love Taco Pasta Salad:

  1. Flavor Explosion: With the bold flavors of taco seasoning, savory ground beef, and zesty Ortega taco sauce, every bite is a burst of deliciousness.
  2. Versatile: Enjoy it as a standalone meal, a side dish, or even as a party appetizer.
  3. Meal Prep Friendly: Prepare a big batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy hassle-free lunches or dinners all week long.
  4. Customizable: Easily adjust the ingredients to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions.
  5. Texture Galore: From the creamy cheddar cheese to the crunchy nacho Doritos, this salad offers a delightful mix of textures in every bite.
  6. Kid-Friendly: Even picky eaters will love the familiar flavors of tacos presented in a fun and colorful pasta salad.
  7. Perfect for Potlucks: Impress your friends and family at gatherings with this crowd-pleasing dish.
  8. Quick and Easy: Simple preparation steps make this recipe ideal for busy weeknights.
  9. Make-Ahead: Prepare it in advance and let the flavors meld together in the fridge for an even tastier dish.
  10. Satisfying and Filling: Loaded with protein, carbs, and veggies, this salad is both satisfying and filling, keeping hunger at bay for hours.

Tips for Making Taco Pasta Salad:

  1. Cook Pasta Al Dente: Be sure not to overcook the pasta to prevent it from becoming mushy when mixed with the other ingredients.
  2. Drain Ground Beef Well: Drain any excess grease from the cooked ground beef to avoid a greasy salad.
  3. Customize Taco Seasoning: Adjust the amount of taco seasoning to your preference for spiciness.
  4. Add Fresh Herbs: Enhance the flavor with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for a burst of freshness.
  5. Mix Ingredients Gently: Be gentle when tossing the ingredients together to prevent the pasta from breaking apart.
  6. Adjust Taco Sauce: Start with a smaller amount of taco sauce and add more to taste, as desired.
  7. Let it Chill: Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to let the flavors meld together.
  8. Top with Doritos Just Before Serving: Add crushed nacho Doritos right before serving to maintain their crunchiness.
  9. Serve Cold: This salad is best enjoyed chilled, making it perfect for hot summer days.
  10. Store Dressing Separately: If making ahead, store any extra taco sauce or dressing separately and add it just before serving to keep the salad fresh.


Add Comment