Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Taco Mac Salad

I don’t know why we call this Taco Mac Salad when there is no macaroni in the salad. It should be called Taco Pasta Salad but then I’d mess myself up when I’m looking for the recipe. :D I think I got it from Menus4moms way back when it was free. It is one salad recipe that my family really enjoys and I’m getting some veggies into them.

This recipe is easily adaptable to whatever you have, there are just some items that are musts: pasta, raw greens, meat, and cheese.

Let’s get started. When we made this yesterday, I cheated and had purchased a bag salad. :) So we just emptied that into a bowl.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I chopped up about a half cup of green pepper.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meBrown the ground meat and put a pot of water on to boil for the tri-color spiral pasta.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meShred the cheese. This night we used Pepper Jack Cheese.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the meat is browned and broken up into small bits, add the taco seasoning. So far I’ve used pre-packaged seasoning because it is easiest but in the future we may use a mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, freshly ground pepper, paprika, cumin, and chili powder OR we may just forego the taco seasoning altogether since it seems to bother some members of the family.

Combine the lettuce, green pepper, cheese, meat, and drained pasta.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI let each person put the nacho chips on their plate rather than mixing it in the whole bowl; that way, if we don’t eat it all in one sitting, the chips don’t get all soggy and thus nasty.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd salad and combine.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI also do not put dressing on this in the bowl, but let each person put on how much they want. Some of my kids don’t use any dressing at all. I also have diced tomato and either diced onion or green onion available for those that want them. As you may guess, some of my kids don’t like these items either. This night I had some avocado available as well.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI like a little Catalina (as the recipe calls for) and a little Ranch on mine. :)

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meMike chose to use plain tortilla chips in his because he said there was enough spiciness with the taco meat and pepper jack cheese.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo you can see this is a very versatile recipe and lends itself to whatever you happen to have on hand. :)

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI hope you’ll give this a try. It really is quite good.

Taco Mac Salad


  • 1 box (8 oz) tri-color spiral pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 head of lettuce, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 8 oz. cheese, shredded (We've used cheddar, colby-jack, and pepper jack cheeses.)
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 bag (16 oz) Nacho chips (like Doritos)
  • other items as desired: tomato, onion or green pepper, avocado, et cetera
  • 1/2 cup Catalina dressing (or dressing of your choosing)


  1. Boil the pasta and drain.
  2. Brown the ground meat, drain if greasy, and add taco seasoning.
  3. Combine all ingredients except chips and taco seasoning.
  4. Serve with chips crushed in bowl with salad and add dressing as desired.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. The original recipe said to combine the cooked pasta, lettuce, green pepper, and 1/2 cup diced onion with some salt and pepper and chill. Then when you are ready to serve it, add the warm meat, chips, and 1/2 cup French dressing; toss gently and sprinkle with the cheese just before serving.

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