Taco Pasta Salad Recipe (Low Carb & Diabetic Friendly)
This Easy Taco Pasta Salad Recipe with ground beef and whole wheat pasta is full of yummy flavors and quick to make. The perfect main dish for warm summer nights because it doesn't require an oven. Bring it along to a family potluck, bbq or just enjoy it as is for a healthy and complete meal.
Made with fresh greens like romaine lettuce, green onions, avocado, and green bell pepper this taco salad is just as healthy as it is flavorful. I recommend pairing this with my Creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing recipe. It's so much better than store-bought dressing and really complements this dish perfectly. It uses fresh lime juice, sour cream, jalapeno, fresh cilantro, garlic, avocado oil, avocado, and apple cider vinegar.
Don't have time to make a homemade dressing? You can also try a more traditional pasta salad approach by using Italian dressing or Catalina dressing.
What Are Taco Salads Made Of?
Typically a taco salad includes all of the ingredients you might find in a regular taco. But the best part is that a salad can include way more ingredients than a tortilla. I'm guilty of overloading my tortillas when I make tacos at home because I want a little bit of everything. Enter this amazing Mexican dish that's great for including all your favorite taco toppings.
I threw in some whole wheat pasta for some healthy carbohydrates as well. My measurements in the recipe card reflect a lower carb amount of pasta that helps me stay in range for my needs so feel free to increase the amount of pasta if you wish. Since I'm approaching this from a diabetic-friendly standpoint I've included the following ingredients:
- Whole Wheat Rotini (Spiral Pasta)
- Ground Beef
- Green Bell Pepper
- Black Beans
- Green Onions
- Romaine Lettuce
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Taco Seasoning
- Black Olives
- And My Recipe for Creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing
Because I have to be mindful of my carbohydrates I opted to keep it to just black beans for the high-carb item in this salad. However, if you want to skip the beans you could add one of the items below for your desired carbohydrate level.
Or if you're not worried about carb intake, you can use a little bit of everything! The choice is yours and I love to include options for everyone.
Not everything listed below is carb-heavy but depending on your mood or what you have available, these ingredients all work well with this creamy taco pasta salad.
- Tortilla Chips
- Corn Chips like Fritos
- Nacho Cheese Doritos
- Fresh Corn
- Red Onions
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Swap The Rotini for Bowtie Pasta or Tortellini
- Use Ground Turkey Instead of Ground Beef for a Leaner Option
Can I Make This Taco Pasta Salad Without Meat?
Absolutely! Although I personally love the addition of ground beef for added protein, you can choose to omit it from the recipe if you like. A great idea would be to add more plant-based protein instead like additional black beans, pinto beans, a different shredded cheese, or even crumbled soyrizo.
How Long Can You Store This In The Fridge?
As with most salads, this one won't keep fresh for very long. Especially if you've already mixed it all together with the salad dressing. If you're trying to make this in advance for a large crowd and want to store it overnight I would recommend you do the following:
- Wait to add the avocado until you're ready to serve the salad.
- Don't toss it in the dressing until it's time to eat it.
- Leave out the romaine lettuce until the day of.
- Keep it in the fridge in an airtight container.
- Cutting Board
- Large Skillet
- Medium Sized Pot
- Silicone Spatula
- Large Bowl
- Salad Tongs
Easy Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
- ½ Green Bell Pepper (Diced)
- 1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Rotini Pasta (measured dry)
- 3 cups Romaine Lettuce (Chopped)
- 2 cups Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes (Halved)
- ½ cup Cheddar Cheese (Shredded)
- 2 tablespoon Taco Seasoning (Or one Store Bought Packet of Taco Seasoning)
- ½ cup Black Beans (Drained & Rinsed)
- 1 6 oz. can Sliced Black Olives
- 1 Avocado (Diced)
- 1 Green Onion (Chopped)
- Creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing To Taste
- Start by boiling the water for your pasta in a medium-sized pot. Add a dash of your favorite salt. Then cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- While the pasta cooks, it's time to brown the ground beef. Preheat your large skillet over medium heat. Once it's hot, add the ground beef and use your silicone spatula to break it up into smaller chunks.
- Halfway through cooking, add the diced green bell peppers so that they get nice and soft. Add your taco seasoning during this time as well. The ground beef should be done in about 6-7 minutes. Check to make sure that it's properly browned. Drain any excess grease from the skillet.
- While waiting for the pasta and meat to cool it's time to prepare the other ingredients. Chop up your romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and green onion. Add it to a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- When ready to serve, toss with your salad dressing of choice. Enjoy!
Making this recipe? Please tag me on Instagram @natashasfoodadventures so I can see your wonderful creations! I love getting to know you guys and can’t wait to see which recipe you will make next.
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