Taco Pasta Salad

It has been a billion years since I’ve made a homemade pasta salad. Don’t get me wrong; I love pasta salad. It just doesn’t cross my mind that often. If you ask me, however, it is a staple of any good picnic. Most people eat pasta salad in the summer or the spring and there are a bazillion different types. The base may be vinegar or mayonnaise and you could put just about anything in as long as the other ingredients were complimentary. Scratch that, I wouldn’t put chocolate brownies in there. Nope, not going to happen.

This version of pasta salad is really like a dump meal. Ever heard of those? A lot of busy people turn to dump recipes because of their good flavors and quick prep time. It’s where you basically open a bunch of cans or packages in the same container, like a crockpot or sheet pan, and magic happens.

For this recipe, I combined some canned items with cooked pasta, cheese, mayo, a fresh avocado, and taco seasoning and voila! A delicious side for my family. I used store bought taco seasoning because I already had it but check out Diane’s DIY taco seasoning. Yummy! (Good job, Diane!)

You can serve this salad as a side or mix in some cooked taco meat or shredded chicken to create a main dish.

Ingredients:

16 ounce can of black beans drained and rinsed

16 ounce can of whole kernel corn drained

16 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes drained

1 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 cups fiesta blend shredded cheese (or Mexican blend)

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 avocado cubed

Juice of 2 limes

12 ounce package of pasta cooked

Directions:

1. Combine lime juice and avocado in a large bowl. Stir to coat.

2. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, mayo, taco seasoning, and cheese.

3. Rinse pasta under cold water in a colander to cool. Add to pasta salad. Stir.

4. Cover and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes to allow flavors to be incorporated.

5. You can serve on a bed of greens and top with tortilla strips or fried red bell peppers.

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