Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad

In honor of Memorial Day barbecues/cookouts/gatherings (whatever you call it in your neck of the woods!) I’m finally dedicating an entire post to my somewhat-infamous Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad. I’m not usually one to brag, but this pasta salad is freaking good – it’s always a hit at summer gatherings and it’s probably my most requested recipe from friends. I can’t take total credit; this originally came from one of those little seasonal magazine cookbooks by the checkout in the grocery store years ago. From the first time my mother made it, we knew it was a winner.

At my family gatherings, you don’t see the typical, traditional sides like creamy potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw. Nothing against those, they’re just not our style. Every party involves looking for new recipes – for example, finding the latest and greatest potato salad from the current cooking magazines with seasonal ingredients and fun flavors. We don’t do favorites. Yet, this particular potato salad has withstood the test of our passing whims – it’s a fixture. We like it for it’s uniqueness among other pasta salads – corn, black beans, salsa, avocado, and tons of cilantro in a chili-lime vinaigrette – I promise if you bring this to a party, it won’t be sitting next to another pasta salad brought by another guest, that only differs by one vegetable from yours.

Given all that I’ve told you, you’d think this recipe already had it’s own blog post. While it is in my blog, it’s heavily buried somewhere in an old post containing some other salad recipes too. And it’s not even written in correct form, with the modifications I’ve made over time. So anytime I want to share the recipe, I need to dig it up, copy and paste just that text, and send to someone along with some extra instructions on how I really make it. Well, no more. Finally, here is the best pasta salad ever, exactly how I make it.

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Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1lb wagon wheel pasta
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10oz package frozen corn (I don't even bother thawing it, because I always make this at least a few hours before serving, so it plenty of time to defrost)
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
1-2 tsp chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
freshly ground salt & pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced

Directions:

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.

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104 Responses to “Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad”

  1. 1

    madebymel — May 25, 2009 @ 3:57 pm Reply

    I am starring this one for sure!

  2. 2

    Amy — May 25, 2009 @ 5:14 pm Reply

    My goodness this looks just fabulous!!! Wow! Going to try this one!Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. 3

    Erin — May 25, 2009 @ 8:44 pm Reply

    This looks delicious! What a great combination of flavors.

  4. 4

    Kerstin — May 25, 2009 @ 10:05 pm Reply

    I can see why it’s one of your favorite recipes – it looks fantastic! I just saved the recipe – I love all the layers of flavor!

  5. 5

    wifeplzak — May 26, 2009 @ 9:32 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing this one!

  6. 6

    Christina — May 27, 2009 @ 3:38 pm Reply

    Yum, this sounds good. I am definitely going to try this next week. What kind of salsa do you recommend? Homemade pico de gallo, something chunky or something more liquified? Thanks!

  7. 7

    Cara — May 27, 2009 @ 4:26 pm Reply

    Hi Christina, I like using a fresh salsa from the grocery store, I like it chunkier.

  8. 8

    KMAYS — May 27, 2009 @ 4:47 pm Reply

    Wow! I’m so torn about all these great pasta salads to take to a cookout next weekend. More excuses for cookouts!

  9. 9

    ♥Rosie♥ — May 27, 2009 @ 7:30 pm Reply

    Thank you for calling by my blog and for your kind comment! I do hope you will call by again :0) Your pasta salad sounds amazing and one that needs trying out very soon!

  10. 10

    Claudia — May 28, 2009 @ 3:09 am Reply

    Cara you’re not bragging just telling the truth! This pasta salad is as beloved in my family as it is with yours all thanks to you.Take care,CB90210

  11. 11

    Grace — May 28, 2009 @ 1:50 pm Reply

    i absolutely love the texture of wagon wheel pasta–it’s always a bit more hearty than your typical elbows or rotini. what else do i love? everything you’ve included in the salad part, from the black beans to the avocado. delightful!

  12. 12

    Shawna — May 29, 2009 @ 1:01 am Reply

    I’m making this as I type right now for a BBQ I’m attending tomorrow. I will let you know how it turned out!

  13. 13

    Laura — May 30, 2009 @ 1:22 am Reply

    I’m glad you devoted a post to this, it deserved it!Planning on making a batch on Sunday to be my lunch next week. It keeps great for days. In fact, I’d go as far to say it improves after the first day! (if that’s possible…)

  14. 14

    living_insanity — May 31, 2009 @ 7:39 pm Reply

    I’ve had this recipe saved for a long time and I’m making it next weekend for our house party! I cant wait

  15. 15

    Gabby — June 11, 2009 @ 11:27 pm Reply

    This looks fantastic! I hate generic pasta salads…thanks!

  16. 16

    Hennergy Hand & Foot Spa — June 14, 2009 @ 4:58 pm Reply

    This looks delicious. I too am always looking for a little something different to bring to potlucks. I'll have to try this one out.

  17. 17

    Catherine — June 17, 2009 @ 11:01 pm Reply

    This is the best pasta salad I have ever had… Hands down… I cook all the time and am always looking for recipes with flair. I love how this is so different and packed with tons of flavor! Thank you so much for sharing!

  18. 18

    sunshinedaydream83 — June 18, 2009 @ 2:07 pm Reply

    My mom used to make this recipe all the time!! I had forgotten about it until this week and decided to google it! Yum!

  19. 19

    Jenny — June 22, 2009 @ 7:27 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I made it for a baby shower this past weekend and everyone asked for the recipe.

  20. 20

    Heather — July 7, 2009 @ 1:24 am Reply

    Hi Cara,It's my first visit to your blog. I came via Amber's (Proceed With Caution) blog, as I saw that she had posted this recipe. I posed a question to Amber about cutting down the amount of olive oil used in order to cut calories/fat. She indicated that it might not be the best idea, as it is used to distribute the flavor throughout all of the pasta. Is there anything you have done–or from your experience making this, you could suggest–to make this healthier? I know it's probably not bad to begin with, but I'd like to make additional healthful "improvements" if I can!To start, I'd probably use whole wheat pasta, since that is all we ever buy/eat. Thoughts? Thanks–it looks so delicious, I can't wait to try it!

  21. 21

    Cara — July 9, 2009 @ 2:57 pm Reply

    Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by! The funny thing about this dish is that a lot of people assume it's really healthy because they know I'm a health nut ;) The truth is, I never make this pasta just to eat at home, only to bring places on the weekend, so I don't get overly concerned about keeping it extremely healthy. But if you wanted to reduce the fat, you could certainly cut the dressing down a bit and only use as much as you feel is necessary. Or perhaps you could try whisking the lime juice and seasonings with nonfat or lowfat Greek yogurt instead of oil – I make dressings this way sometimes. You could reduce the amount of cheese by just sprinkling a small amount on top of each serving rather than dispersing through the salad. But all that being said, I'm more into the low-carb regime than low-fat persnally, so pretty much nothing short of subbing chopped cauliflower for pasta could make it healthy enough for me to enjoy as a regular meal – wait, now there's an idea!

  22. 22

    Jeremy — July 22, 2009 @ 12:08 pm Reply

    My heart will rejoice after having this salad. I have tried this with little beans added. Salad is must in our meal in this blistering summer.

  23. 23

    jordan — August 7, 2009 @ 1:19 am Reply

    Just made this for a bbq and it was a HUGE hit! will definitely make it again- nice alternative to my italian pasta salad (which everyone likes but gets kinda boring!)

  24. 24

    Tara — August 12, 2009 @ 1:12 am Reply

    LOVED this pasta salad. I made this for a cookout at friend's house and everyone raved about it. I plan on making it again for our cookout next week. Thanks!

  25. 25

    DLib30 — September 8, 2009 @ 5:10 pm Reply

    I just made this for a friend's Labor Day BBQ. It was delicious, thank you for posting!

  26. 26

    Liz — September 22, 2009 @ 2:20 pm Reply

    Cara, I am finally going to make this for a football party. Do you think I should make the recipe or 1.5 or 2 times the recipe for 10 people? I think I will be serving it with shredded beef (or pork) sandwiches and perhaps some coleslaw.Thanks! LOVE your blog! Was just thinking about those lentil goat cheese burgers last night. I need to make them again :)

  27. 27

    Judimae — February 12, 2010 @ 3:06 pm Reply

    I can hardly wait to try this recipe — it's my kind of dish. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  28. 28

    Michelle — July 11, 2010 @ 7:39 am Reply

    OMG! I made this today for a get-together with friends and I say we all loved it! At least DH and I both did!! Thanks so much!

  29. 29

    Michelle — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    OMG! I made this today for a get-together with friends and I say we all loved it! At least DH and I both did!! Thanks so much!

  30. 30

    DLib30 — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    I just made this for a friend's Labor Day BBQ. It was delicious, thank you for posting!

  31. 31

    Tara — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    LOVED this pasta salad. I made this for a cookout at friend's house and everyone raved about it. I plan on making it again for our cookout next week. Thanks!

  32. 32

    Jeremy — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    My heart will rejoice after having this salad. I have tried this with little beans added. Salad is must in our meal in this blistering summer.

  33. 33

    Cara — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by! The funny thing about this dish is that a lot of people assume it's really healthy because they know I'm a health nut ;) The truth is, I never make this pasta just to eat at home, only to bring places on the weekend, so I don't get overly concerned about keeping it extremely healthy. But if you wanted to reduce the fat, you could certainly cut the dressing down a bit and only use as much as you feel is necessary. Or perhaps you could try whisking the lime juice and seasonings with nonfat or lowfat Greek yogurt instead of oil – I make dressings this way sometimes. You could reduce the amount of cheese by just sprinkling a small amount on top of each serving rather than dispersing through the salad. But all that being said, I'm more into the low-carb regime than low-fat persnally, so pretty much nothing short of subbing chopped cauliflower for pasta could make it healthy enough for me to enjoy as a regular meal – wait, now there's an idea!

  34. 34

    Cara — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by! The funny thing about this dish is that a lot of people assume it's really healthy because they know I'm a health nut ;) The truth is, I never make this pasta just to eat at home, only to bring places on the weekend, so I don't get overly concerned about keeping it extremely healthy. But if you wanted to reduce the fat, you could certainly cut the dressing down a bit and only use as much as you feel is necessary. Or perhaps you could try whisking the lime juice and seasonings with nonfat or lowfat Greek yogurt instead of oil – I make dressings this way sometimes. You could reduce the amount of cheese by just sprinkling a small amount on top of each serving rather than dispersing through the salad. But all that being said, I'm more into the low-carb regime than low-fat persnally, so pretty much nothing short of subbing chopped cauliflower for pasta could make it healthy enough for me to enjoy as a regular meal – wait, now there's an idea!

  35. 35

    Jenny — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I made it for a baby shower this past weekend and everyone asked for the recipe.

  36. 36

    sunshinedaydream83 — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    My mom used to make this recipe all the time!! I had forgotten about it until this week and decided to google it! Yum!

  37. 37

    Catherine — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    This is the best pasta salad I have ever had… Hands down… I cook all the time and am always looking for recipes with flair. I love how this is so different and packed with tons of flavor! Thank you so much for sharing!

  38. 38

    Hennergy Hand & Foot Spa — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    This looks delicious. I too am always looking for a little something different to bring to potlucks. I'll have to try this one out.

  39. 39

    Gabby — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    This looks fantastic! I hate generic pasta salads…thanks!

  40. 40

    Laura — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    I'm glad you devoted a post to this, it deserved it!Planning on making a batch on Sunday to be my lunch next week. It keeps great for days. In fact, I'd go as far to say it improves after the first day! (if that's possible…)

  41. 41

    Shawna — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    I'm making this as I type right now for a BBQ I'm attending tomorrow. I will let you know how it turned out!

  42. 42

    Shawna — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    I'm making this as I type right now for a BBQ I'm attending tomorrow. I will let you know how it turned out!

  43. 43

    Claudia — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    Cara you're not bragging just telling the truth! This pasta salad is as beloved in my family as it is with yours all thanks to you.Take care,CB90210

  44. 44

    ♥Rosie♥ — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    Thank you for calling by my blog and for your kind comment! I do hope you will call by again :0) Your pasta salad sounds amazing and one that needs trying out very soon!

  45. 45

    KMAYS — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    Wow! I'm so torn about all these great pasta salads to take to a cookout next weekend. More excuses for cookouts!

  46. 46

    Cara — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    Hi Christina, I like using a fresh salsa from the grocery store, I like it chunkier.

  47. 47

    wifeplzak — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing this one!

  48. 48

    Kerstin — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    I can see why it's one of your favorite recipes – it looks fantastic! I just saved the recipe – I love all the layers of flavor!

  49. 49

    Erin — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    This looks delicious! What a great combination of flavors.

  50. 50

    Erin — March 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    This looks delicious! What a great combination of flavors.

  51. 51

    Liz — March 28, 2011 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    Cara, I am finally going to make this for a football party. Do you think I should make the recipe or 1.5 or 2 times the recipe for 10 people? I think I will be serving it with shredded beef (or pork) sandwiches and perhaps some coleslaw.Thanks! LOVE your blog! Was just thinking about those lentil goat cheese burgers last night. I need to make them again :)

  52. 52

    jordan — March 28, 2011 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    Just made this for a bbq and it was a HUGE hit! will definitely make it again- nice alternative to my italian pasta salad (which everyone likes but gets kinda boring!)

  53. 53

    Heather — March 28, 2011 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    Hi Cara,It's my first visit to your blog. I came via Amber's (Proceed With Caution) blog, as I saw that she had posted this recipe. I posed a question to Amber about cutting down the amount of olive oil used in order to cut calories/fat. She indicated that it might not be the best idea, as it is used to distribute the flavor throughout all of the pasta. Is there anything you have done–or from your experience making this, you could suggest–to make this healthier? I know it's probably not bad to begin with, but I'd like to make additional healthful "improvements" if I can!To start, I'd probably use whole wheat pasta, since that is all we ever buy/eat. Thoughts? Thanks–it looks so delicious, I can't wait to try it!

  54. 54

    Christina — March 28, 2011 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    Yum, this sounds good. I am definitely going to try this next week. What kind of salsa do you recommend? Homemade pico de gallo, something chunky or something more liquified? Thanks!

  55. 55

    Grace — March 28, 2011 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    i absolutely love the texture of wagon wheel pasta–it's always a bit more hearty than your typical elbows or rotini. what else do i love? everything you've included in the salad part, from the black beans to the avocado. delightful!

  56. 56

    Amy — March 28, 2011 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    My goodness this looks just fabulous!!! Wow! Going to try this one!Thanks so much for sharing!

  57. 57

    madebymel — March 28, 2011 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    I am starring this one for sure!

  58. 58

    Judimae — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    I can hardly wait to try this recipe — it's my kind of dish. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  59. 59

    living_insanity — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    I've had this recipe saved for a long time and I'm making it next weekend for our house party! I cant wait

  60. 60

    Michelle — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    OMG! I made this today for a get-together with friends and I say we all loved it! At least DH and I both did!! Thanks so much!

  61. 61

    Liz — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    Cara, I am finally going to make this for a football party. Do you think I should make the recipe or 1.5 or 2 times the recipe for 10 people? I think I will be serving it with shredded beef (or pork) sandwiches and perhaps some coleslaw.Thanks! LOVE your blog! Was just thinking about those lentil goat cheese burgers last night. I need to make them again :)

  62. 62

    Tara — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    LOVED this pasta salad. I made this for a cookout at friend's house and everyone raved about it. I plan on making it again for our cookout next week. Thanks!

  63. 63

    Jeremy — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    My heart will rejoice after having this salad. I have tried this with little beans added. Salad is must in our meal in this blistering summer.

  64. 64

    Heather — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    Hi Cara,It's my first visit to your blog. I came via Amber's (Proceed With Caution) blog, as I saw that she had posted this recipe. I posed a question to Amber about cutting down the amount of olive oil used in order to cut calories/fat. She indicated that it might not be the best idea, as it is used to distribute the flavor throughout all of the pasta. Is there anything you have done–or from your experience making this, you could suggest–to make this healthier? I know it's probably not bad to begin with, but I'd like to make additional healthful "improvements" if I can!To start, I'd probably use whole wheat pasta, since that is all we ever buy/eat. Thoughts? Thanks–it looks so delicious, I can't wait to try it!

  65. 65

    Gabby — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    This looks fantastic! I hate generic pasta salads…thanks!

  66. 66

    Laura — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    I'm glad you devoted a post to this, it deserved it!Planning on making a batch on Sunday to be my lunch next week. It keeps great for days. In fact, I'd go as far to say it improves after the first day! (if that's possible…)

  67. 67

    Grace — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    i absolutely love the texture of wagon wheel pasta–it's always a bit more hearty than your typical elbows or rotini. what else do i love? everything you've included in the salad part, from the black beans to the avocado. delightful!

  68. 68

    ♥Rosie♥ — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    Thank you for calling by my blog and for your kind comment! I do hope you will call by again :0) Your pasta salad sounds amazing and one that needs trying out very soon!

  69. 69

    Erin — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    This looks delicious! What a great combination of flavors.

  70. 70

    ♥Rosie♥ — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    Thank you for calling by my blog and for your kind comment! I do hope you will call by again :0) Your pasta salad sounds amazing and one that needs trying out very soon!

  71. 71

    Gabby — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    This looks fantastic! I hate generic pasta salads…thanks!

  72. 72

    DLib30 — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    I just made this for a friend's Labor Day BBQ. It was delicious, thank you for posting!

  73. 73

    jordan — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    Just made this for a bbq and it was a HUGE hit! will definitely make it again- nice alternative to my italian pasta salad (which everyone likes but gets kinda boring!)

  74. 74

    Laura — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    I'm glad you devoted a post to this, it deserved it!Planning on making a batch on Sunday to be my lunch next week. It keeps great for days. In fact, I'd go as far to say it improves after the first day! (if that's possible…)

  75. 75

    sunshinedaydream83 — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    My mom used to make this recipe all the time!! I had forgotten about it until this week and decided to google it! Yum!

  76. 76

    Hennergy Hand & Foot Spa — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    This looks delicious. I too am always looking for a little something different to bring to potlucks. I'll have to try this one out.

  77. 77

    living_insanity — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    I've had this recipe saved for a long time and I'm making it next weekend for our house party! I cant wait

  78. 78

    ♥Rosie♥ — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    Thank you for calling by my blog and for your kind comment! I do hope you will call by again :0) Your pasta salad sounds amazing and one that needs trying out very soon!

  79. 79

    Christina — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    Yum, this sounds good. I am definitely going to try this next week. What kind of salsa do you recommend? Homemade pico de gallo, something chunky or something more liquified? Thanks!

  80. 80

    Amy — April 5, 2011 @ 1:25 am Reply

    My goodness this looks just fabulous!!! Wow! Going to try this one!Thanks so much for sharing!

  81. 81

    Fattyfile — May 16, 2011 @ 4:54 pm Reply

    Yum!  I made this to bring to my book club this weekend and it was really, really great.  I couldn't find wagon wheel pasta in my grocery store, so I got rotini and then decided to go crazy and get the whole-wheat version.  It was still really delicious.  Next time, I'm going to add some chopped scallions to the salad.  Thanks for a great recipe.

  82. 82

    Cara — May 16, 2011 @ 5:17 pm Reply

    glad you liked it! This recipe is one of the top reasons I look forward tosummer :)

  83. 83

    Jim — May 29, 2011 @ 3:52 pm Reply

    Cheesburgers, fries make me swoon 

  84. 84

    Almosthome1 — June 23, 2011 @ 12:44 am Reply

    Looks and sounds wonderful!  wish the amount of servings it makes was listed

  85. 85

    Cara — June 23, 2011 @ 1:10 am Reply

    Sorry about that! It makes a LOT. I hate to quantify, though, when it comesto things like that will most likely be served at a summer gathering withother sides to choose from too. I think the number of servings will varywith how much else is offered, know what I mean? But I would say it couldfeed up to 20 if part of a larger spread, for sure.

  86. 86

    Anonymous — July 2, 2011 @ 4:32 am Reply

    This recipe sounds fabulous…can't wait to try it out this 4th of July.

  87. 87

    Anonymous — July 5, 2011 @ 1:12 am Reply

    Wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing! I made it yesterday, just for myself and my husband, so it was yesterday's dinner and today's dinner too~with more leftovers for the week. I did use the Trader Joe's roasted frozen corn, it's got an awesome flavor. Actually tasted better today! We are vegetarians so it was really all we needed. I did crush up some tortilla chips for the top for some crunch…yummy!

  88. 88

    Daisy — August 19, 2011 @ 9:31 pm Reply

    I am obsessed with "wagon wheel pasta". I hoard it from the local grocery store.The only place I have been able to find it! This recipe will become a favorite for us.

  89. 89

    UDscoobychick — October 16, 2011 @ 4:46 pm Reply

    I'm in the process of making this right now…used only 1/4 c. EVOO, and I think it's fine that way. Added more chili powder and some hot sauce as a taste preference. I think next time, I'd halve the amount of pasta and add a chopped bell pepper or two, as I personally like my pasta salads more salad-y than pasta-y! Great starting point, though! Can't wait to share it at a BBQ this evening!

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  91. 90

    Nikki — July 22, 2012 @ 5:35 pm Reply

    I think that black olives would be a great addition to this pasta salad! It looks delicious!

  92. 91

    Archie — May 10, 2013 @ 2:09 pm Reply

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit
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  93. 92

    Gloria — May 20, 2013 @ 1:15 pm Reply

    I am planning to make this for the first picnic of the year—Memorial Day!
    I will add sliced black olives, as someone recommended. I may leave out the cilantro (no one likes it on our family)–will that make a big taste difference?
    When I first saw this recipe (my daughter found it on Pinterest), I automatically assumed you had used taco seasoning (the one in the packet). I was wondering, has anyone tried just using a couple of spoons of taco seasoning instead of the cumin and chili powder?
    Thanks!
    Gloria

    • 92.1

      Cara — May 20, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

      Hi Gloria,
      I have never left out the cilantro because we all love it. But if you don’t like it, I am sure you will enjoy it better without :) If you have taco seasoning and prefer to use that, I imagine that will be tasty too. Enjoy!

  94. 93

    Gloria — May 21, 2013 @ 8:40 am Reply

    Thanks so much for responding, Cara! I really appreciate it. I do have taco seasoning, so I may try it out. On the other hand I think I also have chili powder and cumin from another recipe. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    Gloria

  95. 94

    Gloria — May 23, 2013 @ 4:20 pm Reply

    Sorry, Cara! Another question…
    I want to make this the night before (I usually do that with pasta salads–the flavors meld together). I was wondering what will happen to the shredded cheese overnight? Does it get all soft and gummy? Have you ever added the cheese the day of….say, as you add in the avocados?

    Thanks so much for all your help and your generosity in sharing this recipe!
    Gloria

    • 94.1

      Cara — May 23, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

      I think I would wait on adding the cheese. Then again we’ve eaten this as leftovers for a couple days (with the cheese already in it) and no one has ever complained so it must not have been a problem :-)

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  98. 95

    Barbara — July 18, 2013 @ 5:46 pm Reply

    I made this for the 4th of July gathering of our family. My adult son rarely eats any salads indicating he’s tired of them because they all taste pretty much the same. Imagine my shock when he specifically told me to give your recipe to our daughter-in-law because he absolutely loved it! They are coming for dinner tomorrow evening and I am making a brisket along with your delicious salad again for him. You pretty much pulled off a miracle and I thank you so much for sharing your recipe! I’m still amazed!

    • 95.1

      Cara — July 18, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

      Glad it was a hit!

  99. 96

    Cory — July 20, 2013 @ 5:31 pm Reply

    I just made this for my parents and sister and it was absolutely delicious! I definitely would recommend it for any type of summer party.

    • 96.1

      Cara — July 20, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

      so happy it was enjoyed!

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