Friday, July 3, 2009

Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad

I've been hearing a lot of good things about Cara's Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad, and with a party to go to, I finally had a reason to make it! This is a delicious spin on pasta salad, with flavors my husband and I totally love.

Let's just pretend the bowl doesn't clash with the food... I wasn't sure if this was the type of party where I'd see my bowl again or not, so I played it safe.

Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad
Source: Cara's Cravings

1lb wagon wheel pasta
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10oz package frozen corn (No need to thaw corn if making ahead of time)
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
8oz shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp cumin (I used coriander)
1-2 tsp chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
freshly ground salt & pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced

Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix well.

In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Pour over the pasta salad, add the cilantro, and mix well. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Just before serving, stir in the diced avocado.


  1. I love the look of this salad and the fact that it doesn't have the usual mayonnaise based dressing is wonderful.

    Well done!!

  2. I haved been waiting for an occasion to make this salad, it looks so good!

  3. Yum! Forget having an "occasion"--I want to make this for dinner! ;)

    Seriously, though... it'd be good to bring for lunch at work, too!

  4. that looks great! i agree with heather - perfect for lunch!

  5. Two quick questions.

    1) Do you think it's possible to cut down on the olive oil? With the salsa, it doesn't seem like 1/2 cup of olive oil is really necessary if you're trying to cut back on calories/fat?

    2) Any particular reason to use the wagon wheels? :) I like to use whole wheat pasta instead of regular... I assume this would be just as tasty with rotini?

  6. Yes- my husband also wants me to make a batch each Sunday so he can have it at lunch during the week!

    Heather -
    I didn't even use wagon wheels, so I'm sure whatever pasta you want is fine. :-)

    As far as the oil goes... well I am still learning but it's a lot of pasta, if you want the dressing to travel/coat well, you probably don't want to cut back too much. I would definitely suggest you post the question to the original source, Cara, to see if she has some ideas to cut calories (she usually does!!):
    If it helps, I didn't notice any pooling of extra dressing at the bottom of the bowl.

  7. HA! You're right, I didn't even notice that those aren't wagon wheels. But to be fair, they're close enough. ;)

    Thanks, I'll check out her post and leave a note.

    Unrelated to this, obviously, but I saw your note on my blog about the album... I'm glad you loved it! I was super happy with the quality of ours as well.