Taco Pasta Salad

taco-pasta-salad

I came up with this recipe because I love pasta salads in the summer, and I love Southwestern flavors.  So I decided to put the two together and it was an instant hit with my family.  This recipe is very easy to customize to your own tastes and diet restrictions.  You can use gluten-free pasta; Vegan mayo, sour cream, and cheese; you can use fresh ingredients instead of the frozen corn and black bean mix; and you can adjust the heat level to suit your own taste by using either hot or mild salsa, or by adding jalapenos or other spicy chile peppers.  I went with what I had on hand and you can, too.  I suggest adding the sauce mix to the pasta a little at a time and stirring it together so that you get it just as creamy as you like.  You can always add more if you like.   This is sure to be a fast favorite in your family!  It was in mine.

Taco Pasta Salad
Serves 8

Ingredients

1 box pasta (spiral, bowtie, etc.)*
1 pkg. frozen black bean, corn, onion, pepper mix; thawed
1 can whole black olives, halved or sliced black olives
1 pkg grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup mayonnaise**
1/2 cup sour cream**
1/3 cup salsa*
1/2 envelope taco seasoning, or to taste*
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (optional)

Directions

1. Boil pasta in salted water to al dente (you don’t want mushy pasta salad). Drain and rinse under cold water.

2. In a large bowl, add pasta, black bean and corn mix, black olives, and tomatoes; toss.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, salsa, taco seasoning, and cilantro. Pour over pasta and stir to combine.

4. May be served immediately or after chilling in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Can be topped with shredded cheese**, sliced jalapenos, avocado, shredded lettuce, crushed tortilla chips, etc.

*This salad can be gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free pasta, taco seasoning and salsa. 

**This salad can easily be made Vegan by using Vegan mayonnaise, sour cream and shredded cheese.

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