Cheesy Taco Pasta & Taco Salad – Taco Night: Two Easy Ways

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

Here are two of my favourite ways to enjoy Taco Night with a twist: Cheesy Taco Pasta and the Best Walnut Meat Taco Salad! This Vegan Cheesy Taco Pasta is the quickest, filling and most delicious pasta ever! It’s creamy, filled with protein, and takes only 20 minutes! This Walnut Meat Taco Salad is so tasty and filled with fresh and crisp flavours that it’ll blow you away! It’s saucy, easy to make, and a salad you’ll be making over and over again.

photo of creamy salsa pasta with a fork in the white bowl

This post is sponsored by Campbell’s® ! Thanks so much for supporting the brands who support Jessica in the Kitchen! All texts and opinions are my own.

Last month I had the most epic taco date night for Gav and me. It was impromptu, fun and an entire spread. It reminded me of so many of the incredible flavours that we’ve had on our trips to Mexico, and how much I miss them. I wanted to keep this up more often and began exploring some pretty quick, simple and delicious meals that helped to incorporate these flavours. These two immediately came to mind! Vegan Cheesy Taco Pasta, and The Best Walnut Meat Taco Salad. They’re inspired by some of my favourite flavours and are incredible for a twist on taco night.

bowl of salad with black beans, sliced avocado, sweet corn, vegan cheese, lettuce, and vegan meat seasoned in salsa and taco seasoning with fork in it from an overhead view, with fork and a hand holding the fork in it

You guys know I love making walnut meat, and I also love crumbling up veggie burgers as a protein source. Well, they’re in full force here. I wanted these recipes to use similar ingredients in different ways so that you could easily meal prep them at the same time. The star flavour and saucy ingredient in both of these dishes is Pace® salsa. I used both their Pace® Chunky Salsa Medium and their Pace® Chunky Salsa Mild as I preferred them per recipe, but you can use them interchangeably. You can find these incredible Pace® salsas at Walmart.

bowl of salad with black beans, sliced avocado, sweet corn, vegan cheese, lettuce, and vegan meat seasoned in salsa and taco seasoning with fork in it from an overhead view, with a jar of salsa to the side, and another bowl of the same salad behind it

I can’t believe I’ve never used salsa like this before in a recipe!! When I say that they were both delicious, I mean, divine. For the salad, the walnut meat (or crumbled veggie burger) works so incredibly well in the Pace® salsa that you’ll find yourself meal prepping that portion in large quantities to go on top of everything! For the pasta, it’s so creamy, cheesy, and the salsa adds such a flavour kick that you’ll have to try it for yourself to understand what I’m saying. These are for sure about to be two new favourites in your household.

photo of creamy salsa pasta with a fork in the white bowl with a hand holding the fork

Both dishes were so good that we ended up having them for almost a week straight, for both lunch and dinner. Be sure to give them both a try! They both take less than 20 minutes, and so easy to prep. Enjoy friends!

PIN THESE:

bowl of salad with black beans, sliced avocado, sweet corn, vegan cheese, lettuce, and vegan meat seasoned in salsa and taco seasoning with fork in it from an overhead view, with a jar of salsa to the side, and another bowl of the same salad behind it

photo of creamy salsa pasta with a fork in the white bowl

Vegan Cheesy Taco Pasta

This Vegan Cheesy Taco Pasta is the quickest, filling and most delicious pasta ever! It’s creamy, filled with protein, and takes only 20 minutes! It’s made using Pace® Chunky Salsa which is so bold in flavour!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Mexican, Universal
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces shell pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces veggie burger meat
  • 2 cups Pace® Chunky Salsa, Medium
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded vegan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup water (reserved from pasta water)
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Instructions

Instructions

  • In a well-salted pot of boiling water, cook the shell pasta according to the directions on the box. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When hot, crumble over the veggie burger into the pan. Add the taco seasoning, stir to combine, and cook for about 3 minutes, until well combined. Season with a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • Lower heat to medium. Add in the salted water, cooked pasta, Medium Pace® Chunky Salsa, shredded vegan cheese and stir to combine for about 3 minutes until the cheese is melted through. Taste and add more taco seasoning, or salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve immediately, top with chopped parsley, and enjoy!
NOTES
Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 883mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 371IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg
by Jessica
bowl of salad with black beans, sliced avocado, sweet corn, vegan cheese, lettuce, and vegan meat seasoned in salsa and taco seasoning with fork in it from an overhead view, with fork and a hand holding the fork in it

The Best Walnut Meat Taco Salad

This Walnut Meat Taco Salad is so tasty and filled with fresh and crisp flavours that it’ll blow you away! It’s saucy, easy to make, and a salad you’ll be making over and over again.
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 salads
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Universal
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 8 ounces walnut meat, veggie burger meat, or 1 cup vegan crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup Pace® Chunky Salsa, Mild
  • 6 cups romaine or butter lettuce, rinsed, pat dry and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet corn (cooked/canned, rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (cooked/canned, rinsed and drained)
  • 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 large avocado chopped
Instructions

Instructions

  • In a pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add in the walnut meat or crumbled veggie burger, top with taco seasoning and sauté for about 3 minutes, until fully cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in the Mild Pace® Chunky Salsa until fully coated, for about 30 seconds while it heats through. Taste and add more seasonings if desired.
  • In your plate, add the chopped lettuce. On top of the bed of lettuce, arrange the salad toppings side by side: the salsa veggie meat, the sweet corn, the black beans, the shredded cheese and the chopped avocado. Stir together and enjoy!!
NOTES
Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Nutrition

Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 1919mg | Potassium: 1535mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 13264IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 267mg | Iron: 6mg
by Jessica

 

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Recipe Rating




10 comments

  1. Eric says:

    5 stars
    I made the Cheesy Taco Pasta the other day. Not only was it so easy to make, it has to be one of the best sauces I’ve ever tried! The taco flavoring is brilliant

  2. I have never cooked shell pasta 😮 this looks so great! Thank you for the nice recipe!!

  3. Nichelle B. says:

    5 stars
    This was so good! I added soy chorizo (1/2 of the link) from Trader Joe’s and used Daiya shredded cheese. Will definitely be making again!

  4. Jess says:

    5 stars
    This was so quick and easy to make and I’m am loving the flavours of this dish, combining tacos and pasta – GENIUS! This is sure to become a regular meal in our house! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Lori says:

    5 stars
    The taco pasta is fantastic! So quick and easy. I used 1/2 lentil pasta and 1/2 white elbows, but I think I could go all lentil pasta next time. Used a package of Trader Joe’s soy chorizo which is seasoned, so I left out the taco seasoning. Added some cauliflower rice and you couldn’t even tell it was there, which is a bonus for getting my family to eat more veggies. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!,

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome we’re so happy you enjoyed it Lori! Thanks so much for reading!

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