Vegan Taco Pasta Salad | Easy & Tasty!

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This easy Vegan Taco Pasta Salad is creamy, packed with Tex-Mex flavor,  and the perfect one-bowl recipe for summer picnics, barbecues, and more!

Everything is better with pasta, right? Since we all know the answer is a resounding yes, let’s combine it with another favorite meal option: tacos.

This Vegan Taco Pasta Salad is smothered in a delicious lime and cashew-mayo dressing while hearty, protein-packed veggies make it a proper, fuss-free meal. It’s the perfect Tex-Mex inspired meal, side, and/or anything in between! 

close up photo of bowl of vegan taco pasta salad topped with avocado and cilantro on white background

INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN TACO PASTA SALAD

ingredients for vegan taco pasta salad in small white bowls on grey background

This pasta salad combines the classic American idea with Tex-Mex veggies and seasonings for a totally delicious dish! You’ll only need 10 wholesome ingredients to whip up this easy summertime recipe:

  • Pasta: I thought shells would be the most fun (it’s like a mini taco!), but any shorter pasta shape will work here, glutinous or gluten-free
  • Vegan Mayo: I used my Vegan Cashew Mayo recipe, but store-bought will work as well
  • Seared Corn: dry-searing the corn takes this recipe to the next level and adds a smoky richness that pairs perfectly with the rest of the ingredients. It almost tastes as if it was grilled! You don’t have to sear the corn if you don’t want to, but I strongly recommend it. You’ll be standing around in your kitchen while the pasta cooks anyways! ????
  • Black Beans add plant-based protein and make this pasta salad even more hearty and filling
  • Red Onion adds an extra kick of flavor and delicious crunch – just make sure to finely chop it
  • Cilantro Stems won’t wilt like the leaves, are still packed with flavor, and add a nice subtle crunch

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN TACO PASTA SALAD

vegan taco pasta salad recipe ingredients in large glass bowl before mixingvegan taco pasta salad recipe ingredients in large glass bowl after mixing

This creamy Vegan Taco Pasta Salad recipe is simple and to-the-point. In just 20 minutes (or less if you’re speedy) you can have this flavor-packed pasta salad ready to go!

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook your pasta, then rinse the cooked pasta with cold water.
  2. Sear your corn in a skillet until kernels start to brown.
  3. Whisk mayo, fresh lime juice, taco seasoning, and salt together in a large bowl. 
  4. Add the chilled pasta, seared corn, and all of your vegetables to the bowl and gently mix until fully coated in dressing. 
  5. Top with avocado and cilantro leaves (or whatever your heart desires) and serve!

bowl of vegan taco pasta salad with serving spoon and avocado and cilantro on the side

Pasta salad is one of those win-win dishes because it’s super easy to make and keep in the fridge for ready-made lunches, but it’s also fancy enough to whip up for a backyard barbecue or summertime get-together with friends.

This recipe tastes great, but is also packed with protein and veggies, making it a great fuss-free dinner or party side. You can enjoy it as-is, or with tortilla strips or corn chips on the side! Feel free to also add in your favorite taco toppings, like olives, jalapeños, radishes, or even cooked vegan ground meat.

bowl of taco pasta salad topped with avocado on white background

This pasta salad is best served fresh on the day it’s made, but it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. To keep your veggies from getting soggy, you can also store the dressing and pasta salad separately in the fridge and combine them before serving. If you’re looking for more pasta salad recipes, you’ll also love this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, this Vegan Macaroni Salad, and this 5 Ingredient Hummus Pasta!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

Print

Vegan Taco Pasta Salad

This easy Vegan Taco Pasta Salad is creamy, packed with Tex-Mex flavor,  and the perfect one-bowl recipe for summer picnics, barbecues, and more!

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces (225 g) gluten-free pasta (shells, rotini, elbows, etc)
  • 1 1/4 cups (180 g) frozen corn
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) Vegan Cashew Mayo*
  • Juice of 1 medium lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning*
  • 1 1/2 cups (250 g) grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup (209 g) black beans, rinsed well (approx. 1 can)
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp finely diced cilantro stems*, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (54 g) dairy-free cheddar cheese shreds (optional)
  • To serve* (optional): avocado, chopped cilantro leaves

Instructions

  • Cook the Pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add your pasta, and cook according to the package instructions. When finished cooking, rinse the pasta with cold water to bring it down to room temperature – otherwise it will par-cook the fresh ingredients.
  • Sear the Corn (Optional): While the pasta is cooking, add the frozen corn kernels to a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring the corn occasionally to cook all of the liquid out. The corn will start to brown around the edges and brown “bits” will appear on the bottom of the pan; once the corn is seared to your liking, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bits off of the pan and onto the corn. Cook until all of the water is evaporated, then set aside. If you don’t want to sear your corn, simply thaw and add to the pasta salad with the rest of the vegetables.
  • Make the Dressing: Add the mayo, lime juice, taco seasoning, and salt to a large bowl; whisk until well-combined.
  • Assemble & Serve: Add the chilled pasta, seared corn, tomatoes, black beans, onion, cilantro stems, and vegan cheese (optional) to the bowl; use a spatula to gently mix everything together until all pieces are coated in dressing. Divide the pasta salad into serving bowls, then top with avocado and cilantro leaves (or as desired). Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, but this is best served the day it is made.

Notes

  • Mayo: if you do not want to make your own mayo you can use a vegan store-bought version; the final sauce will be a little runnier, but this won’t affect the final taste
  • Taco Seasoning: I followed this recipe to make my own blend, but you can use store-bought as well! Just read the ingredients before buying because some taco seasoning blends contain dairy.
  • Cilantro Stems: I recommend using cilantro stems instead of leaves in this recipe because they have the same flavor, but will not wilt.
  • Serving: top the pasta salad with avocado and/or cilantro leaves only just before serving! I do not recommend mixing them into the salad as they will wilt and get mushy.

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. My boyfriend and I LOVED this pasta salad! I used your cashew mayo and it was delicious.

  2. I can’t wait to do potlucks again!!! This is sooo delicious. I used your vegan mayo recipe. Also delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  3. Good news and bad news. The good news is I made it and it turned out AMAZING. The bad news is I liked it so much I ate half of the recipe in one sitting when it was supposed to last me the whole week. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Any tips for how I can manage to control myself?

    1. Loving the good news! As for the bad news, our best recommendation is to not cook on an empty stomach! Hope you’re able to successfully meal prep some day.

  4. Thanks for the cilantro stem tip! Great idea. Loved this recipe, very great for meal preppring.

  5. The Taco Pasta Salad was delicious. Yum! Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely be making this meal again.

  6. Made this last night, now I’ve got lunch all week! So good cold on top of some chopped spinach. Thanks for all that you do 🙂

  7. I made this yesterday and served it on a bed of chopped romaine for more crunch; so, so very delicious! Next time I’ll make a double batch so I can bring it for work lunches! Yum!

  8. I am really addicted on your recipes. I follow you everyday, bravo. Thanks a lot!

  9. I made this last night after I saw it on your Instagram page and it was SO AMAZING. I used homemade tofu mayo, some raw squash, a jalapeno and added some chipotle seasoning to the taco seasoning and it was so delicious! We paired it with chipotle vegan hot dogs and it was a GREAT Mexican inspired-American-vegan summer meal! Thanks for the great recipe!