Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Cheesy Taco Pasta Salad

Cheesy Taco Pasta Salad takes your favorite taco ingredients and wraps them up with tender cheese tortellini for a fusion of flavors, in the ultimate taco salad. It is sure to be your next potluck favorite!

How to Make Taco Pasta Salad:

I love keeping prepared salads in my fridge during the summer months. They keep so well and make a perfect, cool and filling lunch.

This Taco Tortellini Salad brings two worlds of flavor into one big bowl and it keeps in the fridge for days, making it a perfect grab-and-go lunch.

Hey guys, it’s Heather from Heather Likes Food and I’m a new contributor here at TSRI. I’m so excited to share some of my favorite recipes with you each month.

Simple, delicious food is my love language and I hope it’s yours too!

This Taco Tortellini Pasta salad includes seasoned ground beef, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, black olives, green onion, and the best part—crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos!

They add that cheesy crunch that makes this salad incredible.

To make things super easy, we’re using bottled Catalina Dressing to dress this tortellini salad. It adds a sweetness and tang that compliments the rich cheese tortellini and ground beef and really makes the flavors in this salad pop.

If you’re looking for other salads that keep well in the fridge for a quick summer lunch, check out this Somen Noodle Salad with Grilled Chicken or this Bowtie Chicken Caesar Salad.


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Helpful Tips to make Taco Pasta Salad:

  • Make sure to cook the tortellini just until tender. Overcooked tortellini will be more likely to turn soggy and fall apart in your salad.
  • Add the Doritos to the salad just before serving so they stay crunchy. If you’re taking this salad to a potluck, crush the chips in a big layer on the top so every serving gets a good helping. If keeping in your fridge for individual servings, take a handful of chips and crush them over the top of your plate before eating.
  • Drain your cooked ground beef well. Make sure to remove any excess fat from your cooked ground beef before seasoning. Since this is a cold salad, ground beef that has not been drained can taste gritty and undesirable. 

What you will need to make Taco Pasta Salad:

  • Large slotted spoon- Use this to remove the cooked tortellini from the cooking water to avoid broken pasta and uneven draining. 
  • Wooden SpoonYou’ll want a nice, sturdy spoon to help you stir this hearty salad together
  • Mixing Bowl- This tortellini salad is perfect for a crowd and will need a large bowl to mix and store it in.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Taco Pasta Salad
food, recipe, Pasta
Yield: 8-10

Taco Pasta Salad

Taco Pasta Salad takes south-of-the-border ingredients and wraps them up with tender cheese tortellini for a fusion of flavors, sure to be your next potluck favorite!


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 packed taco seasoning
  • 16 ounces frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bottle catalina dressing
  • 1/2 bag Nacho Cheese Doritos, Crushed 


  1. Cook Cheese tortellini according to packaged directions. Remove from cooking water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium high heat cook ground beef until cooked through. Add taco seasoning (about 1 1/2 tablespoons). Stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup water and cover. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove cover and cook until the liquid cooks off. Set aside.
  3. Combine tortellini with cooked and seasoned ground beef, olives, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and green onions.
  4. Dress salad with Catalina Dressing, adding just enough to coat all of the ingredients. Taste and add additional dressing as needed.
  5. Top salad with crushed Doritos just before serving. 

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1 comment:

  1. Just took this to a pot luck gathering......it was a hit! Actually making it again tonight for my sis! 👌👌👌


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