How is your summer? Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying summer! It is 100 degrees here in Austin, TX. As soon as I step outside, I feel like my body immediately starts to melt. The sun is no joke here. All I want is ice coffee, ice tea, ice cream, ice everything…
So naturally, quick and gigantic salads are on the menu to make this long summer tasty, filling, and healthy. This pasta salad is one of these recipes. It is packed with flavor and proteins, but without the meat. All you need to do is to cook some pasta, make a dressing and throw some everyday ingredients all together.
The dressing features taco seasoning (I like to use spicy version as if Austin is not hot enough still), Italian dressing, and ranch dressing, plus some freshly chopped jalapeños. Interesting combination, right? I call it Italian-Mexican fusion dressing, which is THE thing that makes this pasta salad so delicious that I somehow always find my mouth full while putting it all together.
You want to let it chill for at least an hour after assembling. This recipe yields quite a bit, so you’ll most likely have leftovers. But the good news is that the longer you leave the pasta salad in the fridge, the better it tastes. Therefore, it’s almost perfect for summer, right? You spend 30 minutes making a huge amount of pasta salad and leave it in the fridge to become tastier and tastier. Have it as a side or as a quick lunch. I usually snack on it throughout the day. Hope you enjoy it.
Vegetarian Taco Pasta Salad
A delightful vegetarian pasta salad packed with flavor, fresh vegetables and beans.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
- Category: Salad / Side
- Cuisine: Italian Mexican Fusion
- 1 (16 ounce) package rotini, cooked and drained
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 ounce) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 ounce) corn, drained
- 3–4 stalks green onion, chopped
- 1 cup Mexican blend cheese (or more)
For the dressing:
- 1 (16 ounce) bottle ranch dressing
- 1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope of hot and spicy taco seasoning mix
- 1/4 cup Italian dressing
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- Chipotle chili powder (optional)
- Cook pasta according the package instruction. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the dressing by mixing all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Place cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, corn, and green onions.
- Pour the dressing over pasta (1 cup at a time) and add cheese to your liking. Mix thoroughly. Taste, add more dressing if desired.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour.
You will probably have more dressing than you need. The remaining dressing can be used for another salad or simply enjoy it as a dip.
This pasta salad can be chilled in the fridge for up to one week.
Recipe adapted from Food.com.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 927
- Sugar: 18.1g
- Sodium: 621mg
- Fat: 12.7g
- Saturated Fat: 4.5g
- Carbohydrates: 170.8g
- Fiber: 27g
- Protein: 45.3g
- Cholesterol: 22mg