What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Since July 4th is coming up, it made me think of cookouts and what I might want to make. Since I have dietary issues I always like to make a dish that can be a meal just in case there isn’t anything else I can have. This week’s recipe for Taco Pasta Salad fits that description perfectly. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Taco Pasta Salad
1 12 oz. box rotini pasta (cooked per box instructions)
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 package taco seasoning
1 15 oz. can fire roasted corn, drained (sweet corn is good too)
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or even quartered
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or taco blend shredded cheese)
2 cups Frito’s chips, roughly crushed (tortilla chips or Dorito’s work too)
2 cups chopped or shredded lettuce
1 cup French, Catalina or Ranch dressing (this I find is personal preference)

Cook pasta according to box instructions, rinse with cold with cold water, put into a large bowl and set aside. In a skillet, cook onions and brown ground meat until no longer pink, drain if needed. Stir in taco seasoning and water (amount according to seasoning package) and simmer about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Stir into pasta the meat mixture, corn, black beans, tomatoes and 1 cup shredded cheese. Cover and refrigerate. Right before serving top with lettuce, remaining shredded cheese and crushed Frito’s chips.
*Dressing can be mixed in right before lettuce, cheese and chips are put on top or I like for each person to use their dressing of choice.

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