Creamy Taco Pasta Salad

5 from 1 vote

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Creamy Taco Pasta Salad made with pasta, hamburger, chopped vegetables, and a creamy taco-inspired dressing to bring it all together. Bonus: It’s done in about 20 minutes!

The pasta salad variations are endless. Simple Italian Pasta Salad, Pesto Pasta Salad and Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad are all worth trying!

white bowl with potato salad with tomatoes peppers and olives inside
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Creamy Taco Pasta Salad

You all know my love of all things taco/Mexican, and this pasta salad is right up my alley. I love this stuff and could eat it over and over again. I love this taco pasta salad recipe because it’s hearty enough to serve as a main dish and simple enough to make as a side for a picnic or cookout too. Who doesn’t love a side that you can also use as a main dish? You know what that means? You are going to make this recipe over and over again this summer. Serve it up with some homemade lemonade, and you’ll have yourself one delicious summer meal!

I added a half of a pound of ground beef to this recipe (though it’s super easy to make it meatless too, just see my notes below), and that makes this a very economical main dish. You can get away with serving just that half a pound of meat to a family of four for dinner; I love light-on-meat meals as much as I love meatless meals! I think my favorite part of this dish is the super simple creamy dressing that you mix together to bring this all together. It’s mayo and sour cream mixed with all kinds of spices. Have you tried smoked paprika yet? It’s so good! You could coat just about anything with that dressing, and it would taste great. I can’t wait for you to make it.

Tips and Tricks for Making Taco Pasta Salad:

  • Want to make this meatless? Omit the hamburger and add a can of black, small red, or pinto beans instead (or add those in addition to the hamburger to add another serving or two on the cheap).
  • My auntie makes a taco salad super similar to this but she adds a few cups of chopped lettuce and some crushed Doritos or tortilla chips just before serving. Delicious!
  • Feel free to serve this with some sliced avocado and hot sauce on the side.
  • Plan on this feeding 4 adults as a main dish (or 2 adults and some kids), or 8-10 as a side.

Can I make pasta salad ahead of time?

If you are making this ahead of time, keep the dressing separate and add it right before serving. Planning on taking this to a party? I love this set of 4 bowls with lids from Costco (which you can purchase on Amazon).

What does al dente mean?

In Italian, al dente means “to the tooth”.  This describes pasta that is cooked to be firm to the bite.

Creamy taco pasta salad made with pasta, hamburger, chopped vegetables, and a creamy taco inspired dressing to bring it all together. Bonus: It's done in about 20 minutes!
5 from 1 vote

Taco Pasta Salad

Creamy taco pasta salad made with pasta, hamburger, chopped vegetables, and a creamy, taco-inspired dressing to bring it all together. Bonus: It's done in about 20 minutes! It's simply the best family-friendly pasta salad recipe!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 2 cups small dry pasta, about 8 ounces
  • ½ pound hamburger
  • ½ cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
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  • Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  • While the pasta cooks, in a small skillet cook the hamburger over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain extra grease and set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the cooked hamburger, bell pepper, olives, tomato, red onion, and the cheddar cheese. Add the mayonnaise mixture.
  • Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.



To make this meatless sub the hamburger for a drained and rinsed can of black or pinto beans.


Serving: 1 of 12 servings, Calories: 247kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 400mg, Potassium: 139mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 458IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 115mg, Iron: 1mg
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Looking for more pasta recipes, check these out:

If you loved this Taco Pasta Salad recipe as much as I did, then you are going to love all of the other pasta salad recipes that I have coming!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Ashley says:

    5 stars
    My husband enjoyed this dish tonight! Definitely going to make again!

    1. Melissa says:

      Ohhh now I want to make it again too. Fun twist on classics isn’t it?