hot taco pasta salad with avocado crema (2)
Fast Dinner Recipes, Recipes

Hot Taco Pasta Salad With Avocado Crema

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Taco Tuesday needs to get shaken up, so this taco pasta salad with avocado crema is so yummy! The taco salad is perfect for summertime and makes a huge batch fit for a crowd! Top with a dollop of crema and sour cream for a refreshing taco salad! With all the usual fixings for tacos, the possibilities are endless to create a personalized pasta salad dish that satisfies your whole family.

I love a good taco as much as the next person. Eating them frequently with taco shells or even wraps can become repetitive. So I like to innovate new ways to enjoy that great Mexican flavor with fresh foods. This is my recipe for an easy taco pasta salad that comes together in under half an hour and is served hot! The best part is you can tweak it so it’s got any of the fixings your family loves and none of the toppings they don’t. Anyway, you make it is sure to be a hit.

Suppose you aren’t into eating cold leftover taco salad, either. In that case, it also reheats for lunches the next day. Or you can freeze some of the taco salad and eat it later. Just omit the lettuce if you are freezing it.

Love Taco Tuesday? Be sure to see our taco salad with roasted tomato salsa recipe as well for a refreshing take during the summer.

So break out the pasta pot; let’s make this yummy Taco Tuesday lifesaver recipe.

 Starting to make a taco salad that is served hot means you want to be ready with all the fixings. So get everything out and drain the beans, corn, and black olives. Set them aside until ready. Chop up the green onions, tomato, red bell peppers, and lettuce set aside.

We will now go ahead and make the crema. It is a straightforward avocado side that offers some cooling and refreshing flavor. If you love guacamole, you’ll love this simple avocado crema. Two ripe avocados are blended in the blender with juice from half a lemon (traditionally, lime is used, but for cost-effectiveness, I used lemon) with a teaspoon of cumin. This must be made fresh for the day, so don’t make it ahead too much, as the avocado crema can brown if not sealed tightly. An unsightly crema won’t be a delicious accompaniment. 

The next thing we need is a big pasta pot. We want to cook an entire package of your favorite pasta shape. Around here, rotini is a favorite, as are the larger pasta shells. You want to cook these as you would for any pasta salad. Al dente is best. What is al dente? It simply means you want it to be cooked but not overly soft. After the pasta has become al dente, you can check by eating a piece; you will want to drain it. Because we are eating this taco salad hot, we won’t be running the pasta under cold water like you would for a regular pasta salad.

While the pasta is cooking, you can work on the taco meat. Brown your ground beef, and then add the spice blend. I opt for premade taco seasoning simply because it’s convenient. You can easily make up a batch of your own using a mix of cumin powder and chili powder with a touch of garlic powder. As I’ve mentioned before, my family is a spicy foods-loving home less myself, so we usually use one regular packet of taco seasoning with one hot pack. It brings enough heat to satisfy them and still allows me to eat the food, lol.

So taco meat is finished, as is the pasta. What’s next? Toss all the ingredients, less your avocado crema, in a big mixing bowl or serving dish. Remember, we just cooked a whole bag of pasta shells, so this is making a big batch. If you want to have a smaller amount of pasta, cut the amount of pasta in half. 

Once it’s all together, serve immediately! Top with the crema and or sour cream for extra yumminess. Add in some crushed nacho cheese corn chips and a sprinkling of tex mex shredded cheese for a mouthful of flavors that pop! This easy taco meal is one the whole family will love!

Substitutions for taco salad

  • The pasta is the first obvious choice you can play with. Any pasta will work for this salad, even spaghetti! Gotta love how easy that is. 
  • For toppings, you can switch out any that don’t work for your family’s palette for ones that do. 
  • The crushed nacho cheese corn chips offer a nice crunchy texture but are completely optional. If you prefer a regular corn chip, you can use those or omit them altogether. 
  • If you don’t like avocado cream (you really need to try it at least once), you can sub in guacamole. 
  • Another way to add some pizzazz is to toss a bit of salsa directly into the pasta salad as you are mixing.

 Expert tips:

  1.  Make sure to cook the pasta evenly!
  2. Chop most of the ingredients to the same size when making the salad. 
  3. If you have leftovers to reheat or plan on freezing some for later, leave the lettuce out and add a bed of lettuce to each plate as a serving. 
hot taco pasta salad with avocado crema (1)

Hot Taco Pasta Salad With Avocado Crema

Amber Bondar
This taco pasta salad is served hot with fresh homemade avocado crema! Add in as many or as little toppings as you like for a quick and easy meal the whole family will love. Let's shake up Taco Tuesday with this delicious pasta salad served with refreshing crema!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian, Mexican
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 1 Pasta Pot
  • 1 Frying Pan
  • 1 knife
  • Blender or Food Processor For Making the Crema
  • 1 mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

Avocado Crema

  • 2 Ripe Avocado
  • ½ Lemon Juiced
  • 1 Tsp Cumin

Taco Pasta Salad

  • 1 Package Pasta
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 Packets Taco Seasoning Old El Paso 1 Hot + 1 Medium
  • 3 Green Onion
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Can Black Beans Drained
  • 1 Can Sliced Black Olives Drained
  • 1 Can Corn
  • 3 Tomatoes Chopped
  • 2 Leaves Romaine
  • 1 Cup Tex Mex Shredded Cheese
  • Crushed Nacho Cheese Corn Chips Optional

Instructions
 

Avocado Crema

  • Peel and remove seed from avocado. Toss into blender.
  • Add lemon juice and cumin and blend on high until creamy.
  • Wrap in dish tightly to avoid browning and keep in fridge.

Taco Pasta Salad

  • Drain the corn, black olives, and black beans and set aside.
  • Chop up into bite sized pieces the tomatoes, green onions, and romaine. Set aside.
  • Bring water to boil for pasta. Add pasta and continue to cook until al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and then add to large mixing bowl.
  • Heat pan and brown the ground beef.
  • Add the taco seasoning as per directed on package to the ground beef.
  • When ground beef is finished cooking add it to the pasta in the mixing bowl.
  • Add in other ingredients you chopped and drained.
  • Serve while hot with the avocado crema and tex mex cheese.
  • Optional: Serve with crushed nacho cheese corn chips, sour cream, and/or salsa
Keyword avocado, easy dinner, fast dinner ideas, Taco

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