Monday, June 11, 2012

Taco Pasta Salad

I wanted to have a cold dish for dinner tonight, I also need something I could have prepped and cleaned up ahead of time since it is Tae Kwon Do night(shameless brag about my 10 year old son here, he just earned his red belt!! Super proud of him!) I had settled on Taco Salads but I decided that I would take it a little further and make it into a pasta salad!
This would be good as a hot pasta dish too, just dont mix the spinach/lettuce in, sprinkle it on top instead!

1 lb ground beef
1 recipe taco seasoning(1 commercial packet can be substituted)
1 lb pasta, (I used homemade gluten free chili macaroni, fusilli or rotini would be a good shape too)
3/4 cup tomato salsa
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach(or shredded lettuce if you prefer)
3/4 cup shredded cheese(cheddar, Monterrey Jack, pepper jack, Mexican blend, you decide)
crushed tortilla chips to taste

Feel free to add any additional toppings you enjoy on your tacos, these can be mixed in or added individually per each persons tastes.
minced jalapeno
chopped onions
guacamole or chopped avocado
hot sauce
diced tomatoes

I even put a scoop of peach salsa leftover from the other day on mine

Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat until all the pink is gone. Add taco seasoning (plus 2/3 cup water for homemade seasoning, follow directions of packaging if using premade) and reduce heat to medium.

Simmer until the sauce is thickened.
Cool completely in the fridge.

Cook pasta according to package instructions to your desired firmness. Drain hot water and rinse in cold water. Drain well and place in a large bowl, add chilled taco meat.

Mix salsa and sour cream  and add to pasta mixture

Fold in spinach, cheddar and additional toppings.

Top with a few more sprinkles of chopped spinach and shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips

You can serve it immediately or you can cover it and put it in the fridge for later. We like it to sit a while to allow the flavors to mingle. If you decide to pre-make it add the tortilla chips right before serving.

My pasta was a reddish brown color so in these photos it is hard to see mixed into the taco meat and salsa but there is pasta in there LOL!

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